INFAMOUS IRON MAN #11 builds on past issues, as Victor Von Doom and Dr. Strange hold astral therapy. Brian Michael Bendis builds on character while bringing revelations to the dark Reed Richards. Alex Maleev's art switches from gritty gunfights to astral planes with ease. A strong issue that sets up even better ones.
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Therapy from Hell

INFAMOUS IRON MAN #11 opens with a mystical SILENCE OF THE LAMBS interview. Dr. Strange arrives at Pegasus base to get some information out of prisoner Victor Von Doom. We get plenty of astral based discussion, but also plenty of answers about Victor’s personal demon — Reed Richards (of course).

Astral Therapy

Victor Von Doom doesn’t crack easily, but Dr. Strange has plenty of options at his disposal. Strange implements them wisely, offering Von Doom a chance to discuss matters on the astral plane, where his admissions will be “strictly confidential.” It’s a great scene that writer Brian Michael Bendis and artist Alex Maleev handle beautifully. Bendis adds a touch of humor with Strange’s plea to Von Doom (“Get in the zone. Autozone“), while Maleev depicts the scene so well it also functions without dialogue.

Courtesy of Marvel Entertainment

Bendis shines in this story, handling the complexity of a repentant Dr. Doom with ease. His run on Tony Stark’s INVINCIBLE IRON MAN never quite fit, but Bendis gels with a new direction for an old villain. Maleev is right behind him, his art capturing the astral plane and gunfights with the same ease. That ease lets the comic slip from Von Doom and Strange’s astral discussion (where, despite magical hierarchy arguments, they start to delve into the mysteries of Doom’s mother) to the outside of Pegasus Base, where a new visitor has just arrived.

Courtesy of Marvel Entertainment

Rising Fire

This scene stands as a testament to Maleev’s work in INFAMOUS IRON MAN. All the elements of Reed Richards are there, but that final shot creates just enough unease within the reader.  We know something’s off here. Bendis keeps the ball rolling back in the astral plane. Von Doom argues that his previous vision of Reed Richards and his mother (which sent him running to his jailers) was a falsehood. Von Doom doesn’t know who has done this or why, but he rants about being deceived, in a dark and all-too-familiar manner. Ironically, that is what clues both men in as to who this false Reed really is.

READ: Doom would probably LOVE this opinion of the Fantastic Four

Meanwhile, Ben Grimm and Sharon Carter are battling the false Reed outside. Strange and Doom arrive to help, as ‘Reed’ finally reveals himself….

Sorry, I can’t tell you, but safe to say, there will be a hell of a fight next issue.

Final Thoughts On INFAMOUS IRON MAN #11

In conclusion, INFAMOUS IRON MAN #11 stands as a strong issue that leaves plenty of potential for what comes next. Bendis writes moments of character with Doom and Strange, without being too serious. He provides a unique shift as well, with the heroic Dr. Doom fighting the dark ‘Reed Richards.’ Maleev’s art follows every step of the way, with gorgeous pages like the ones above. The real treat is just how much the issue whets the appetite for what’s coming next.

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