Infamous Iron Man #1 by Brian Michael Bendis, Alex Maleev, Matt Hollingsworth, and Clayton Cowles
Everything about this book demands attention (just like the title character). Pitch perfect dialogue, strong smooth art, reserved yet amazing coloring, and confident lettering, this is a beautiful and fun issue that does a great service for fans of Marvel's best villain.
100 %
Iron Doom!

Victor Von Doom has gone through a lot of changes over the years and none more dynamic than in INFAMOUS IRON MAN #1. Arguably the most infamous villain of the Marvel Universe, his origins lay in science and besting Reed Richards. A result of this was the scarring of his face, and the cold metal mask that hides his features. As his character grew and evolved over the years, he embraced magic as a means to an end, and became a master of the mystic arts. This brought a new and terrible dimension to the despot of Latveria. Recently, he took on the powerful Beyonders, simultaneously breaking and saving the Marvel Universe while creating a new earth, Battleworld. In SECRET WARS, he ruled with a benevolent hand, bringing swift, and at times cruel, justice to his domain.  Following his eventual defeat at the hands of Reed Richards, Mr. Fantastic gave Victor back the one thing he could never fix: his face. And with the demasking of a villain, an awkward path to redemption began, and how.

READ: Catch up on CIVIL WAR II with our review of #5!

Doom re-emerged in the recent INVINCIBLE IRON MAN series, aiding Tony Stark in his super heroics, goading Iron Man to do better, to be exceptional, and strive to be an even better superhero. But now, with Stark gone, following events yet to be seen in CIVIL WAR II, Victor is faced with a conundrum. Does he step out of the shadows and take up the mantle of the Iron Avenger? And if so, what can he hope to accomplish? INFAMOUS IRON MAN #1 begins to answers these questions, and opens up an exciting new chapter in the life of Doctor Doom.

Infamous Iron Man

From the first page, INFAMOUS IRON MAN #1 demands respect and displays great mastery and control of the storytelling medium. Brian Michael Bendis begins INFAMOUS IRON MAN #1 with a flashback to the meeting of the Cabal, a secret society of Marvel villains. The words and art guide you to the silent dominating presence of Doctor Doom as he waits, along with the rest of his villainous comrades, for the arrival of Norman Osborn. Parker Robbins, aka the Hood, makes the unfortunate mistake of attempting to engage Doom in conversation. The good Doctor, with a few slight, simple gestures, deftly rendered by Alex Maleev, becomes irritated with Robbins, and quickly teleports him away. But before that happens, the second-tier villain asked a very pertinent question, something which could possibly be what this series will attempt to answer: what drives Doctor Doom?

READ: Need more Iron Man adventures in your life? Check out our list of essential Iron Man stories!

Cut to the present, where Victor takes his first step out of the shadows to take down Diablo and rescue Maria Hill. This Doom is now a mask-free, debonair gentleman, yet still full of authority, with more than a passing resemblance to French actor Vincent Cassel. While other villains spout mountains of dialogue, Bendis uses great control and restraint when voicing Victor. Every word that Doom says is important (at least to the anti-villain) and so, Bendis dispenses with rants and his familiar ra-ta-ta dialogue to provide Doom with a voice that is full of restrained nuance and authority. But Bendis does not stop there. While Doom is on a path to redemption, Bendis reminds us that Victor is feared and brings terror with him wherever he goes (whether knowingly or unknowingly). This is demonstrated superbly in the conversation between Victor and Amara Perera, an ally and romantic interest of Tony Stark. Though he shows nothing but courtesy and respect to her, Amara slowly gets more and more terrified of being in his presence, shedding a tear in fear of him.

Infamous Iron Man

Alex Maleev executes Bendis’s script with style and finesse, creating panels full of restrained power and strength. In INFAMOUS IRON MAN #1, Maleev uses strong, confident lines, giving a grounded weight and seriousness to the comic. His Doom, inside and outside of his iconic armor, is full of quiet stillness, bristling with untapped energy. The moment he dons the Iron Man armor is also understated, a splash page that shows Victor in full flight. It’s beautiful in its simplicity. Matt Hollingsworth’s colors compliment Maleev’s inks seamlessly. A slightly muted color palette that perfectly captures the world Doom lives in, a lot of shaded blacks and light blues. VC’s Clayton Cowles’ lettering slots seamlessly into the panels, controlled and measured, an extension of Victors will.

READ: Check out Brian Michael Bendis’ and Michael Gaydos’ JESSICA JONES #1!

As first issues go, this is intriguing, involving and a lot of fun. To have Victor Von Doom command a comic series is inspired, and while there is concern that this villain could lose some of his edge in becoming a hero, INFAMOUS IRON MAN #1 gives me confidence this series won’t have any easy answers. I will definitely be back for #2. Doom commands it!

One Comment

  1. BMK

    October 19, 2016 at 1:39 am

    “with more than a passing resemblance to French actor Vincent Cassel”

    I’m glad to know I’m not the only one who thinks this


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