There used to be a few constants in the life of Marvel Comics. Captain America was an unbreakable rock of virtue, the Incredible Hulk was always the tale of Bruce Banner looking to solve his modern day Jekyll and Hyde conundrum and there was always one true Spider-Man. Times have changed, as the Marvel Universe is now home to new faces bearing the mantle of legacies that they were thrust into.
One such change which has resulted in a massive inversion of a time-honoured character? Iron Man. With Tony Stark down for the count in a super-coma while his sentient artificial intelligence back-up brain program tries to stop Steve Rogers and his Secret Empire (comic books kids!), there’s someone else out there who happens to be the new Iron Man: Victor Von Doom.
The man who wielded the power of gods and forged Battleworld from the remains of a battle with the Beyonders that almost ended all of reality now finds himself healed and in search of redemption. Not only that, but Doom finds himself a hero facing a familiar villain: Reed Richards of the Ultimate Universe, another survivor of Battleworld and hellbent on dominating the world once again. It’s a full-circle situation, one that Doom feels responsible for in Infamous Iron Man.
“I think the fact that he was so disrespectful to Reed Richards and some of the Marvel Universe’s other great intellects is a point of great shame now that he’s a little more clear-headed, for lack of a better description,” Infamous Iron Man writer Brian Michael Bendis said to CBR of Doom’s double-trouble villain situation that apparently includes his resurrect mother Cynthia Von Doom in the mix.
It weighs on him even more than some of his evil “Bah-Hah!” schemes as Doctor Doom.
Here’s where I’m having a lot of fun. Both the Maker and Doom’s mother, Cynthia, are big mystery boxes, so we have a double villain mystery box at the center of a redemption story with the biggest villain in the Marvel Universe.
This is the kind of stuff that excites me, because I’m a real process nerd. We’re balancing a lot here — what is the Maker’s relationship to Doom? And now that Victor is on the road to redemption, is that something that the Maker might respect? Be horrified by? Or want to him punish him for? The answers to those questions haven’t been revealed yet, and readers have absolutely no idea what Cynthia’s deal is. Victor’s entire story, though, has revolved around his mother complex, which is very intense, and he wears it on his sleeve.
These are the two things that I’m very excited about. They’re of equal stature. That’s why I brought them up together. We don’t know yet what their individual deals are, and on top of that, we don’t know what their deal is together and it looks a little creepy.
So what’s the end-goal here? Proof that Doctor Doom could and still can be one of the greatest heroes of the new Marvel age. A scientist and sorcerer of almost unparalleled skill, Doom’s quest is one of redemption. “One of the things we talked about last year when we were first announcing this book was that this was on my dream list of stories I always wanted to do,” Bendis explained.
I’ve done smaller versions of them, but I always wanted to do one with the biggest, baddest villain who’s dug the biggest hole of anyone in the world. Let’s see them dig out. That’s what I wanted to write. The fact that the stars and Jon Hickmans of the world allowed it to be Doctor Doom at this time and place with this artist is perfect.
Infamous Iron Man has several solid issues in the can so far. Alongside the stellar art of Alex Maleev, it’s actually rather fascinating insight into what it means to be a hero. And how to pull off a bitchin’ cape and hoodie combination on high-tech combat armour.
Last Updated: May 29, 2017