Comic Book Review: Infamous Iron Man

Details: First published in 2016. This is a review of issues one through twelve. Official site is http://marvel.com/comics/series/22596/infamous_iron_man_2016_-_present

At the end of Secret Wars, the Fantastic Four bid their adieu and disappeared, possibly never to return. While it is common knowledge that superheroes never truly die, it seemed as if the Fantastic Four had finally met its match: greedy business people fighting over movie rights who were willing to kill a historic comic book series in order to get their way. In my stupor over the potential death of the Fantastic Four comic book line, I desperately looked for some alternative to get my science fiction comic book fix. Luckily, Marvel decided not to wipe out all the characters in the Fantastic Four franchise and left us with the Infamous Iron Man.

There won’t be spoilers for Infamous Iron Man ahead, but I will go over the events leading up to Infamous Iron Man.

Infamous Iron Man picks up after the end of Civil War 2 and from the events of Secret Wars before that. Let me do a quick summary.

During Secret Wars, the Beyonders (godlike beings who created everything) were destroyed and Doctor Doom took all their power and recreated the multiverse in his own image. Survivors of the destroyed multiverse, led by Reed Richards of the Fantastic Four, fought and defeated Doom. By the end of the Secret Wars, Reed recreated the multiverse and went to go explore it with his family, leaving behind the Thing, the Human Torch, and Doctor Doom in the recreated Earth 616 (the primary Marvel Comics continuity) and taking the rest of the Fantastic Four family to explore this new multiverse, thus ending the Fantastic Four comic book line.

Time went on and we enter Civil War 2, where superheroes are fighting superheroes again. The only thing that matters here is that Tony Stark goes into a coma at the end of Civil War 2, leaving the world without an Iron Man. It is here where Doctor Doom takes the lessons he learned in Secret Wars and decides to be a superhero instead of a super villain. He does this by building his own armor and taking up the mantle of Iron Man.

For those unfamiliar with Doctor Doom, Doom is one of the most powerful beings in the universe. He’s mastered both science and magic, and time travel as well. Doom’s only counter has generally been Reed Richards and his ability to build and science the hell out of anything.

So now that Doom’s good and decides to start capturing his old super villain comrades, he’s pretty much unstoppable. You’d think that would make for a boring comic book, but Bendis figures out how to make this new, good Doom vulnerable. The old Doom would never hold back. The new Doom holds back all the time and as a result, is a lot less threatening and open to attacks.

I mostly enjoyed this new story. The only thing that I did not enjoy was the ending and reveal of the true enemy and his plan. If Bendis stuck with the presented trajectory of the conflict, I would have been very satisfied. Instead, Bendis institutes an unneeded ass-pull at the end and fills a needlessly large number of panels with his classic, fourth wall breaking Bendis speak. You know, that jokey, sarcastic way all the characters written by Bendis speak.

I love that they let Maleev do all the art on this. Love that guys art and I am very glad they did not give someone else part of the art duties.

Overall, it’s a fun little story. It is built on top of a lot of developments in the Marvel continuity and will likely not make a lot of sense to anyone who doesn’t have some grasp of the Marvel Comics timeline of events. If you’re someone who does have a grasp of what’s going on in the Marvel Comics universe, I recommend this book. If not, I might still recommend this book based on the art alone.

Score: 7/10

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