Who’s Stan Lee’s favorite super villain? It’s Doctor Doom, but Marvel’s resident grandpa doesn’t want you to actually call him a villain. Lee believes Doctor Doom is actually just a misunderstood soul who doesn’t understand . Of course that’s ignoring all the times he’s murdered and plotted the destruction of thousands of lives.

Stan Lee recently sat down with KJ Ricci, a 14-year-old leukemia survivor and Marvel fan who wanted to interview the Marvel godfather. Amid hard-hitting questions like who would win in a fight, Hulk or Thor, Ricci asked Lee who his favorite super villain is. An interesting question for the man who probably loves all of his Marvel creations equally, regardless of alignment.

Turns out the answer is Doctor Doom, but surprisingly, Lee justifies his choice by explaining that Doctor Doom might not be 100 percent a villain. In fact, he’s actually quite misunderstood.

Doctor Doom in Marvel Comics
Doctor Doom

“Everybody has Doctor Doom misunderstood,” explained Lee. “Everybody thinks he’s a criminal, but all he wants is to rule the world. Now, if you really think about it objectively, you could walk up to a policeman, and you could say, ‘Excuse me, officer, I want to tell you something: I want to rule the world.’ He can’t arrest you; it’s not a crime to want to rule the world.” While that’s certainly debatable, Lee seems to stand by the argument. “[I]t’s unfair that he’s considered a villain, because he just wants to rule the world. Then maybe he could do a better job of it. So I’m very interested in Doctor Doom, and I’d like to clear his name.”

Doctor Doom in Marvel Comics
Doctor Doom and Squirrels

While Lee might not be the best legal advice for how you approach police with proclamations of world domination, his argument for Doom as a good guy might not be completely off. He did after all, control the entire Marvel Universe in Secret Wars, and things were only mostly bad.

However, as the genius scientist who invented his own coding language, is currently doing time as one of two Iron Mans, and seems to get along with Squirrel Girl sometimes, Doctor Doom might not be all evil. He has after all, ruled his home country of Latveria with a literal iron fist to mostly okay results. So who knows, he might not be the worst world ruler, especially in these times.

Photos via Marvel Comics (1, 2, 3, 4)