Werner was a member of a gypsy clan, known as the Zefiro, living in Latveria. Werner was a doctor and proficient is herbal healing and folk medicine. He was married to Cynthia von Doom, and was close friends with fellow clan member, Boris. Werner often warned his wife, who was a witch, of the dangers of her sorcery, but it proved in vain. After she slaughtered a group of townspeople under the influence of Mephisto she was shot by a soldier. Before she died, Werner found her. Cynthia made him promise to protect Victor from the demonic power she had become affiliated with. Werner buried Cynthia in an unmarked grave to keep the Baron of that region from discovering her involvement in the murders. He and the Zefiro then fled for safety. Werner continually tried to destroy the trunk containing all of Cynthia's evil belongings to no avail. He gave up and put it among his own belongings where it was later found and used by Victor.
Werner was once ordered to heal the Baron's dying wife. The mission was impossible because the cancer she possessed had spread throughout her body. Knowing she would not survive the night, he gave her a potion and returned to the village, took Victor and fled. Werner froze and died trying to keep Victor warm in the cold Latverian winter. he was saved by Boris who brought them back to camp. But Werner soon died after. His final words spoken to Boris were "You must protect...you must protect...protect."
In the Ultimate Universe, Werner Von Doom's name is Werner Von Dammes. He is still the widowed father of Victor but he is very uncaring. On Victor's tenth birthday he tells his son the story of the family bloodline and that can be traced back to Vlad Tepes Dracula. Werner explains that Vlad knew he needed to rule with an iron fist and he used cruelty as a tool to do so. He goes on to tell of when Vlad was run out of his home, his family changed their names - sometimes to survive, sometimes due to marriage.
Werner then forces Victor to recite the bloodline and memorize over 600 year of the family tree. Whenever his son would pause or hesitate, Werner would beat him saying "Begin again."