INFAMOUS IRON MAN #9 by Brian Michael Bendis is another stellar issue in the series. The plot continues to be incredible. While some of the characterization of minor characters is off, it's very much on point for major characters. The artwork from Alex Maleev and Matt Hollingsworth continues to impress as well.
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INFAMOUS IRON MAN #9 is such a tease of an issue, and that’s a good thing. In it, we get vague information from a future Tony Stark, the easy capture of Victor Von Doom, and a very touching diner scene between Human Torch and Thing. All of these instances and interactions provide clues to the world Victor has been molding, as well as the Marvel Universe, since SECRET WARS. This makes INFAMOUS IRON MAN #9 a great issue as it deals with the Marvel Universe — and Brian Michael Bendis’ tinkering ideas of Marvel — as a whole.

READ: Need a recap? Here’s our review of INFAMOUS IRON MAN #8!

INFAMOUS IRON MAN #9’s Plot is Bustling With Stories

The interwoven plot lines make INFAMOUS IRON MAN #9 an intriguing issue. We’re able to gain the perspective of many characters beyond Victor himself, and this fleshes out the story to make it all so believable. Perhaps the greatest moment is when Ben Grimm and Johnny Storm are reunited (it’s been almost two years since SECRET WARS). Sitting in a diner, the two talk about Victor’s new heroic lifestyle. Both are completely baffled: they just can’t believe it. Ben eventually tells Johnny that a Reed look-alike told Ben to kill Victor. Neither one believes this Reed to be the Mister Fantastic they know and love. But who could it be? And what’s happened to the Reed Richards and Sue Storm we know and love?

Image courtesy of Marvel Entertainment

Elsewhere, Riri Williams captures a collapsed Victor and takes him to S.H.I.E.L.D. His incapacitation is a result of his vision; a vision in which he meets Tony Stark, the future’s Sorcerer Supreme. This is a nod to Bendis’ UNCANNY X-MEN ANNUAL where Eva Bell transports to various futures in the Marvel Universe. This reference really adds to the issue because it continues on the world-building. We first have Ben and Johnny referencing SECRET WARS, and then we have Bendis adding stories from his X-MEN runs. It’s amazing to see: this is what the comic medium is made for.

Later on, Maria Hill congratulates Riri Williams for the capture of Victor. What happens next is a bit out of place. Various S.H.I.E.L.D. agents debate on the morality of keeping Victor around and wasting resources. Why don’t they just kill him? So they go ahead and attempt this, and it just seems bizarre. I wasn’t really buying it, to be honest. Bendis never strays away from using S.H.I.E.L.D. in his comic runs, but his usage here in INFAMOUS IRON MAN #9 is too relaxed. I’m sure these agents deal with worse. They’ve had to have had terrible people in custody before. Is Victor really that much more of a nuisance for them?

Image courtesy of Marvel Entertainment

But other than that, the plot is stellar, and the ending is great. The surprise guest at the end has you cheering. It also has me wondering what could possibly happen next. If the plot continues to reference SECRET WARS and involve characters with strong impacts on the Marvel Universe, I’m on board.

Consistency Continues with the Artwork

The artwork from Alex Maleev and Matt Hollingsworth is on point. The way Maleev draws the facial expressions of characters like Riri and Ben is fantastic. You can see the sadness and frustration in their faces as they contemplate the complicated situations at hand. The shading from Hollingsworth really aligns well with Maleev’s drawings. The deep shades give the story a darker and more serious tone, while the cool palettes in other scenes make it pleasing to the eye. Bendis’ stories really come to life with Maleev as the artist.

READ: Need more darkness in the Marvel Universe? Here’s what we think of Tom King’s VISION and its relation to the American Dream!

INFAMOUS IRON MAN #9 is a World Builder

Overall, INFAMOUS IRON MAN #9 is a really great issue. The inclusion of the scene between Johnny and Ben is truly fantastic. It’s so simple yet real. It shows that Bendis has a huge investment in the entire Marvel Universe, and not just in the future of Victor Von Doom. I also dig his usage of Riri here, as it adds to the Iron Man mythos really well. Hopefully Maker reappears sooner rather than later, as I can’t wait to see his interactions with the redeemed Doom. And, of course, I can’t wait to see the Sorcerer Supreme Tony Stark and how he stumbled into that position. How could it be? Well, perhaps his words to Victor are all we need: “Here I am — one man of science asking another man of science to take a leap of faith.”

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