However, if Batman is merely good at surrounding himself with morally non-challenging figures, Doctor Doom must have a post-graduate degree in it. Even getting beaten by That Accursed Richards over and over again hasn’t taught him to respect Reed. Getting captured and dethroned by The Avengers wasn’t enough for him to show Osborne any respect when Osborne was offering to release him. He and Namor famously toast one another only to stick knives in each others' backs. Look, I’m not saying that Doctor Doom is dumb; he is obviously gifted in the areas of science and magic, but ‘learning that some people will kick your ass unless you step up your game‘ is apparently the great balancing element of his intellect. Perhaps even overbalancing. Doctor Doom is both incapable and unwilling to hear the voices of failure which surround him. Don’t get me wrong; against anyone who doesn’t have their own comic, Doctor Doom will destroy you like the flotsam you are, but once you get an important character, there will be some technobabble, Doom will get overconfident, and then he will find himself in over his head and be defeated.
While there was one great comic where Doctor Doom was going to give it up; let his grudge against Richards slide away instead of just incessantly banging his head against the wall. An advisor then reminds him of all the hatred he has inside and what a waste it would be not to share it with Reed in the form of interpretive hands around his stretchy, smarmy, wise-guy neck. We then see Doom take heart and find renewed purpose, only for the adviser to be revealed as Stan Lee. I’m not fucking kidding with you. And Stan Lee was all “well fans, we can’t just let Doc Doom do that. Fantastic Four would get boring.”
Yes, based on that poorly-remembered comic that was printed before I was born, I’m going to give Doctor Doom a slide on not being smart enough to figure out to quit fucking with Reed. That said, the reason he does is because he is a petty bastard. Pettiness is a big distinguishing factor between heroes and villains. All-Star Superman’s Lex Luthor is a petty, vain motherfucker, hands down. He’s already killed Superman. Supes admits as much and asks Lex, since he’s already completed his life goal and is about to have a world without Superman, that he put his enmity aside and work for the good of mankind. Lex, separated from Superman by a sheet of solid, transparent plastic, spits at Superman’s face in the most impotently defiant gesture I’ve ever seen, within fiction or without. It’s who the guy is and it sets the two leagues apart.