Dr. Doom has always been kind of an asshole, but one you can respect.
Of all the various Marvel Comics villains of note, none seem to command that respect like Doom. Red Skull is a Nazi, so always a bastard. Magneto has changed sides so often, it’s as cliche as Jean Grey dying. But Doom is, and always has been Doom.
The events of Secret Wars made him a god and brought him back to Earth again, and he’s decided to give being a good guy a shake.
Is this just another step in Doom’s plan, or is he actually turning a new leaf? It’s Infamous Iron Man.
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Artist: Alex Maleev
Publisher: Marvel Comics
For those of you who are coming into this comic a little confused, let’s recap real quick. Doom became a god, then wasn’t, got his face fixed, ditched the armor, and then saw Iron Man fall in Civil War II, and decided to become a good guy.
How, you might ask?
By becoming the new Iron Man.
So, this is seemingly an odd wrinkle in Doom’s history, right?
Wrong. I think this is brilliant. Doom has always been an honorable foe, with rules he does not cross. His tiny country might be a dictatorship, but outside of terror of their leader, the people live a relatively good life. Yes he wants to rule the world, but it’s because he thinks he can do it better than anyone else, not because he’s evil.
So, his heel-face turn isn’t that dramatic to me. This is a character who is both a genius scientist and an amazing magic user–he’s looked at the evidence, evaluated his past performances, and decided to try his hand at a new craft. This STINKS to high heaven of temporary character change, but we’ll see.
He’s no angel though. He uses threats, blackmail, and murder to try to keep the world safer. Keep an eye out for a hilarious exchange with some children as he realizes his old methods don’t really work in the hero world. One item I really appreciate about this writing is that he doesnt feel like a bad-ass anti-hero character. He’s calm and methodical throughout, and doesn’t seem to care if people are scared of him, until he wants them to be, at direct contrast from the “Imma good guy who KILLS” type persona we’ve seen so often.
As far as the artwork goes, I’m torn. Maleev is not my favorite, for his muted colors and palettes, but my initial reaction to earlier issues starts to get tempered as more and more color bleeds in:
Any scene with magic in it lights up the entire page, and turns his usual dour scenes into an electric panel.
Overall, I’m a big fan of Iron Doom. Like I said above, this stinks of the typical character shakeup we’ve seen far too much from Marvel over the past few years, but somehow Doom shines through. If nothing else this should give him the chops to carry on his own series after Tony returns. If this continues to be a “Doom annoys Maria Hill, kills third rate villains, and flirts badly with a romantic interest” story, I’m coming back for more.