WARNING: Spoilers for Timeless #1 follow. A terrifying variant of Reed Richards made his debut in Timeless #1, a special one-shot that previewed many of the stories and events destined to hit in the Marvel Universe this year. Timeless gives the spotlight to Kang the Conqueror, who is popping up more and more since Jonathan Majors portrayed one of Kang's variants, He Who Remains, in the season finale of the Loki Disney+ series. As the company leans into the multiverse, the time-traveling Kang surveys many of Marvel's 2022 events, such as the Fantastic Four's Reckoning War, and the returns of the Young Avengers and Thunderbolts. Now, we have a villainous Mr. Fantastic that has taken on the moniker of his fiercest competitor, Doctor Doom.
This turns out to be fitting development since Kang the Conqueror and Victor Von Doom are longtime rivals. Timeless #1 kicks off with Kang plucking a writer and lecturer on superhuman studies named Anatoly Petrov, and taking him on a time-travel adventure to see his various conquests, in the hopes that Anatoly will crown Kang instead of Doom as the world's worst villain. When Kang detects a pirate timeline that's putting stress on the main timeline, Kang and Anatoly travel to the pirate timeline designated 20208-Manticore-Green, where they find slaughtered Celestials. The person behind these deaths is this Reed Richards variant, who is dressed as Doctor Doom.
Fans got their first glimpse at this Doctor Doom in a teaser for Timeless #1. At the time it just looked like the ruler of Latveria, but upon reading the one-shot we learn how this world collapsed, and Reed Richards went mad attempting to save it. He even replaced his eyes with the Time and Reality Infinity Stones. With all this power and bloodshed on his hands, Reed adopted the name of Doom. Kang and the new Doctor Doom had a hard-fought battle, with Reed Richards gaining the upper hand. It looked like Kang was going to meet his end until Anatoly interfered, driving a spear through Doom's chest.
Kang questions why Anatoly would aid him in single combat, knowing Kang would kill him for the trespass. Anatoly explains how if Reed/Doom killed Kang, he was dead anyway. "You believe that to be the pinnacle of humanity, you must be greater than all the others. You must put yourself before all the others," Anatoly tells Kang. "But I believe that true human greatness lies in putting others before yourself."
Anatoly's words are enough for Kang to spare his life. The Conqueror claims victory over Reed since Anatoly was his guest, thus another one of his weapons. The two then head back to the main timeline, where Anatoly also teased the arrival of Miracleman.
What do you think of this evil take on Mr. Fantastic? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!1comments