Nexus: City of Angels
DOOM was a sophisticated criminal organization in the U.S. that began in the late 70s. DOOM unified various far-right antigovernment militias, outlaw biker gangs, white power skinhead gangs, and white supremacist prison gangs under a single charismatic leader: Karl Haflich, a neo-Nazi who concealed his identity behind a skull mask. An avid wargamer since his days in the U.S. military, Haflich went by the alias “the Lich”—a powerful undead monster from the game Dungeons & Dragons.
DOOM engaged in illegal drug manufacture and smuggling (including the deadly narcotic known as Amazon Violet), human trafficking, weapons and explosives trafficking, burglary, hijacking, and contract killings.
New members went through an initiation process that included issuing them a death certificate in their name: to become DOOM was to become a “dead man”, and thus completely without fear of consequences from the outside world. Members were to carry this certificate with them at all times.
DOOM’s activities increased in scope and violence throughout the 90s, but ultimately was unable to sustain a two-front war against the Nexus superhero organization on one side and the takeover of American organized crime by the Russian Mafiya on the other. DOOM’s back was broken when, during a pitched battle, the superhero Doc Thoth found and destroyed the source of the Lich’s supernatural power, turning him into a normal human. Haflich was arrested, tried, and received multiple life sentences, but his lawyers successfully argued that as a non-super, he should be confined to a normal prison instead of sentenced to Stronghold.
Without Halflich DOOM fell apart, its members joining the Russian Mafia, other white supremacist criminal gangs, or starting their own gangs.
In 2016, Haflich was diagnosed with advanced bone cancer and given an estimated five years to live. The former supervillain was discharged from prison under the Compassionate Release program and now lives in Pasadena, CA.
In recent years DOOM and the Lich have become icons.of the rapidly growing extremist far right, particularly the “alt-right” who revel in irony and 80s nostalgia. Now in his mid-70s and reliant on a wheelchair, Haflich is sought out by far-right celebrities and journalists for interviews and photo opportunities.
In 2018 a new criminal white supremacist gang calling itself Knights of DOOM (also known as KoD) emerged, and several members have been arrested for violent crimes. Haflich has not condemned the group and acknowledges he has met with its leaders, but he denies any involvement with it.