Okay, so the moral myopia and righteous vengeance are staples of the genre. Got it. The heroes who pursue violence against those who don’t deserve it, who are pacifists, and who try to solve all of the world’s problems are doomed to failure. Failure and suck. Eventually.
That said, let’s discuss some of these unapologetic punching bags for our heroes, the villains:
Doctor Doom. No one stands as a stronger counterpoint to the things that I’m saying than Doctor Victor Von Doom of Latveria. Sure, he gets beaten pretty consistently, thanks in no small part to exactly The Thing’s fists and uncanny sense of chronology, but he stands above other villains (and, indeed a few heroes). Doom has a sense of style and nobility. While his monarchy isn’t strictly old school (its absolute as few monarchs have ever been, thanks in large part to its almost American three branch system of government; The Doom, Doombot, and RIIIIIICCCCCCCCCHHHHHHHHAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRDDDDDSSS!!!!!!!!!), it is old world in that Doctor Doom is generally polite and straightforward with his guests, even if he does expect them to grovel a little bit. Of course, as an enemy, he will make deals with devils and defy the laws of nature to achieve his goals, but he is quite polite. I think that’s a contradiction that defines him; he does have rules and integrity, but his limitations pertain to when he will or won’t kill someone and how casually (monologue first, or just a witty-put down? How about a post-incineration exposition? Just shout his own name? There’s a lot of ways Doom could go with each murder.). It’s like he has the same parts of so many heroes, but they’re all screwed up with self-confidence, becoming ego--a veneer of selflessness cloaking ambition, and humbleness only in the face of god-like superiority (sometimes). It’s the not-humbleness of Doctor Doom that puts Batman in perspective. Batman’s evaluation of his abilities is matter-of-fact, as is Doom’s, but Doom’s exhortations of his abilities are truth mixed with speaking of himself in the third person and making sure everyone knows how easy this is for him because he’s Doctor Doom and Doctor Doom is awesome.
If you were to ever have a “’nuff said” style comic with a Doctor Doom/Batman team up, you could accurately reflect their personality differences without words by simply having Doctor Doom wear a Doctor Doom t-shirt.