Infamous Iron Man #1
Written By: Brian Michael Bendis
Pencils By: Alex Maleev
Colors By: Matt Hollingsworth
Honestly this review could whole heartedly be summed up in 5 short but oh so sweet satisfying words. “Why James Portis is wrong” oh boy shots fired didn’t think we could house meta humor fourth wall breaks here did you? Well you stand corrected my fellow true believer and must I say was that so worth it. Now on with the review honestly few villains have as quite an impressive repertoire as Dr. Doom but as fantastic a villain as he villain titles have always been and always will be particularly challenging to do mainly because if you don’t stray enough they just don’t come off interesting and it’s just your villain doing villainous things which let’s be honest with ourselves here doesn’t always make for compelling storytelling but if you stray too far you risk potentially ruining your character and potentially writing them out of character and compromising who they are as characters at their cores and what we love about them. So, there’s a fine line between giving villains an arc for the sake of natural and organic character progression and growth and humanizing villains for the sake of a gimmick. In which case where does this series fall?
Well good news it’s not a gimmick there’s actually some great talent behind this. In all honesty doing a series about a villain with as much history as the fantastic Dr. Doom had to difficult considering the amount of ground you have to cover but Mr. Bendis covers it like a genius. From being the great Von Doom leader of sovereign nation Latveria, to Dr. Doom former arch-nemesis of the Fantastic Four, to Ruler of Earth and God of Man in Secret Wars. Hell, it even covers his skills in the arts of mysticism, arcane, and sorcery. Even covers his battles against Mephisto with Sorcerer Supreme Stephen Strange to save his mother from hell. A character as revered as Victor with as much feats and reputation who has achieved so much over the past 60 years who’s faced super humans, celestial beings, interdimensional threats, and gods is still just a man. Now with that being said he’s a man of many things and doing this type of series with a character like Doom is incredibly ambitious.
It’s an incredibly bold direction for a character who’s been the same way for 60 years now and I know purists may shit on it for being different but for me personally as long as it’s done well contextually speaking in a way that’s respectful to the character and not out of character then I’m fine with it. So long as the core of the character is still intact then honestly that’s all that matters. Characters are allowed to have arches and evolve over time. Remember when Sandman became a good guy for a while, remember when Magneto was? Point is Bendis manages to start this story off in a believable and convincing way that feels very Doom but feels like a different kind of Doom. An older one, a wiser one, someone who’s trying to turn over a new leaf and seek redemption for all the horrible things he’s done. Honestly for a first issue not a lot really happens here but the artwork is simplistic and effective straight to the point. Thank god this issue doesn’t carb load a lot of exposition down your throat all at once because that would just feel forced. Rather Bendis is setting up and building up a much bigger storyline and allowing it to unravel itself naturally and grow gradually like any good narrative should be allowed to do. So Doom’s reasoning for becoming the new Iron Man(who at the time of this comics release we still had no idea what had happened to him thanks Marvel) are still his own and honestly I kinda like the fact they’re keeping his motivations vague and mysterious similar to Norman Osborn’s back when he became the Iron Patriot but you do get to see a cool action set piece between Victor and Diablo early on the rest is set up and some rather witty dialogue between Starks Digital consequence A.I. and Victor but any good story allows itself to be told fully over time. It’ll be a while before all becomes revealed but it’ll be a worthwhile wait and the payoff will be so worth it I can Gaurentee that with Bendis’s impressive writing skills. You can’t rush a good narrative and if that means I’ll have to wait a little longer for it to pick up speed then I’m all game for it. Intriguing from start to finish and I’m sure it will be one hell of a run. So far, I we’re off to a good start.