Dear Victor Van Damme,
I'm one of those people out there that consoles myself over the downfall of the great Ultimate Villain you used to be by choosing to believe that the 'you' that did all the nonsensical stuff in Ultimate Power, and had the bright idea to have Magneto destroy the whole world in order to 'pick up the pieces' (you can't take over a planet that's...you know...dead, Vic. Also, I'm sure your beloved people of Latveria, that modern economic wonder, appreciated you getting them frozen to death 'The Day After Tomorrow' style while on the crapper or making dinner on a nice summer evening...good thing it wasn't an election year and you still have seventy-two years left on your current term).
You're like the Michael Jackson of super-villains. How, you ask? Well, I'm glad you did ask. Here's why. The first half of your career was legendary! You had a great look! You were genuinely menacing, and a true magnificent bastard whose inevitable, semi-regular appearances to screw with the Fantastic Four, or turn a small third world-Eastern European country overnight into one of the world's most stable and productive economic systems, became events to look forward to on par with the Super Bowl, or the release of the long-anticipated Blu-Ray edition of 'The Return of Jafar'! You were destined to do something great and terrible! Second half of your career? Well, you inexplicably and drastically changed your appearance, started making decisions that only made sense to paranoid schizophrenics off their meds (and also to Andy Dick), apparently just spontaneously changed your entire biological make-up overnight when, against all rules of nature, you somehow grew internal organs and a working bloodstream, despite the fact that you showed us pretty definitive proof in the past that your whole body was made out of a super-stylish organic metal and that you were nigh-immortal in addition to being an evil genius of the highest order, and then, along the same vein, suddenly grew regular feet to replace those 'completely-awesome-in-a-creepy-quasi-satanic-kinda-way' goat's feet you used to have.
Seriously, don't ask me to explain why it was awesome, but you somehow pulled it off and made a legitimate fashion statement out of wearing a partially torn green cape that looks like that one cloak that Robin Hood just refuses to throw out despite Maid Marian's angry protests because it apparently is his 'lucky cloak' even though the luckiest thing to happen to him while wearing it in the last ten years was that time he found a partially petrified kidney pie from the previous week's 'merry men' picnic in the side pocket (which was STILL GOOD! MARIAN!), looking kind of like a grey C3PO who's constantly pissed because R2 never pays his share of the rent on time and leaves his dirty oil rags out on the table for all the world to see and refuses to clean them up because it's 'his table too', you know, the fact that you had the aforementioned hooves for feet.
This was a revolutionary, bold look, Vic, and then you went and got regular feet and blood and...oh wait, we already went over this part. I get repetitive when I'm feeling sentimental. Okay, so you went cooky, but we all held out hope you'd get your groove back in a bigger way than Stella did (I've never seen that movie, but based on the title I am going to assume that the eponymous Stella did indeed get her groove back at some point during the film, probably followed by a chorus of 'you go girls' from her friends).
Instead you made your aforementioned moronic 'play for power' by pushing the most powerful mutant on the planet into a genocidal rage and then apparently figuring you'd just wing it and see how that worked out, then after it was all over you kidnapped Namor for...sport? I guess? Because you thought a mostly naked Atlanteon mass murderer trapped in a fish tank would really bring the room together? Then, somehow, a guy who is admittedly very strong but is essentially a high-school football player of average to slightly below average intelligence who got turned into a rock monster whose only powers are being really strong and beig the opposite of stealthy was able to get past all your no doubt ample defenses, stroll right into your living room (or whatever the hell the living room equivalent is for a sinister, drafty looking Eastern European castle), and crush your head like a metal-coated grapefruit, squirting blood everywhere and...killing you. In seconds, apparently, while you put up no fight whatsoever (nevermind the fact that you used to be able to fight the entire Fantastic Four by yourself and hold your own).
See, this is what happens when you grow blood. Do you think I would choose to have blood and organs in my body if I could just be metal instead? Granted, it would make airport security some kinda hell, but it'd be worth it to completely dominate the fight club my friends and I started in my mom's basement last Saturday night. So that was it...your career ended more abruptly than the finale of the Sopranos. I haven't seen something start that well and then end that badly for a person of means since every one of Newt Gingrich's six marriages (or seven or twelve or whatever the number is).
So, much like the real Michael Jackson was kidnapped by aliens in the late '80's and replaced with a mentally unstable, man-childish, racially ambiguous clone as part of some nefarious scheme to soften us up for invasion by breaking our pop-music-loving spirits, I and many others will choose to believe that you're not only still in the Zombie verse and the Doom who was killed by the aforementioned rock monster with the mind of a high school second string tight end was some sort of experiment in genetic engineering you had going that went terribly bad after you were forced to abandon it when you took that unscheduled stop into Zombieland.
One day you will return, and upon finding out that your former arch-enemy/goody two-shoes Reed Richards has turned into a genocidal mad scientist bent on destroying humanity and replacing it with a superior 'master race' (man, when you put it that way...), you will....well, honestly, I have no idea what you will do, because a reality in which there is a legitimate argument to be made that you are actually less evil than your hated rival Richards has never before been seen outside of some obscure issues of 'What If?' Anyway, I don't know what you would do upon seeing what the world has become in your absence, but I'd love to find out. I'm convinced this or something similar will happen someday.
Until it does, though, I'll always have the image of you ripping apart the Zombie Fantastic Four like wet toilet paper and then banishing yourself voluntarily to another dimension so as to get rid of an evil alien parasite that would have otherwise ended all life on Earth. Were you scared when said other dimension turned out to be a world where all the meta-humans have turned into flesh-eating evil zombie versions of themselves and now turn their eyes towards you as their next meal? I mean, quite the pickle, even for you, right Vic, you magnificent bastard? Not quite. Your reaction? You merely narrow your eyes and say, 'This should be a challenge.' No doubt, Vic, but I bet you're still up for it, somewhere out there. Come back to us. The Ultimate Universe has never been the same without you. Until then I'll force myself to rewatch Nip/Tuck's Christian Troy play you in the horrid Fantastic Four movies as if he were a CEO pretending to be Lex Luthor for Halloween to remind myself of how there is nothing worse than a poorly written Doctor Doom, in any continuity, which will subsequently stoke my desire for your return even more.
Anyone who ever read Ultimate Fantastic Four (okay, well actually it was me, PhilUrich'sFlamingSword, that wrote this, but I'm confident I speak for most of your disgruntled yet still hopeful fans)