INFAMOUS IRON MAN #12
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Penciller: Alex Maleev
Colorist: Matt Hollingsworth
Letterer: VC’s Clayton Cowles
Release Date: 09/27/17
Plot: Victor Von Doom fights the one being manipulating him since the first issue, Mephisto. The Infamous Iron Man charges head on into the fight with Doctor Strange by his side. Hopefully Doom’s first arc as a hero won’t be his last.
Story: The opening sequence with Mephisto is very entertaining. Basically we have the devil stopping time so he can break the fourth wall. Mephisto explains his motivations for this arc, and the reappearance of Victor’s mother. This direct explanation for the reader is rarely seen and it’s a nice change of pace from receiving the explanation in the story. Also Mephisto speaks with a sense of humor and wit which is something you wouldn’t expect from the devil. This type of dialogue makes him a more entertaining villain. Plus this scene shows off Brian Michael Bendis’s skills with dialogue.
The crux of this series was Doom changing his reputation from villain to hero. Fighting the devil is one thing that can benefit him. After banishing Mephisto, Doom offers to take down a Hydra science island in exchange for a pardon. Sharon Carter is a bit hesitant but ultimately agrees with his terms. Later toward the end of the issue, Doctor Strange tells Sharon that he doesn’t know for sure if Doom’s changed but Doom’s actions will speak for themselves. This feels like a good ending. While this arc doesn’t completely change every Marvel character’s opinion about Doom, it does at least leave them open to the idea that he has changed for the better.
Even though Doom’s own title is ending this isn’t his last appearance as Iron Man. Doom is set to return for “The Search for Tony Stark” in Invincible Iron Man. Fortunately this issue doesn’t steal focus from Victor’s arc to set up his role in said future arc. However as a finale issue, it does leave some things open. One thing is the 42 criminals plotting revenge on Doom for incarcerating them. Another would be Dr. Amara Perera discovering she’s pregnant with Doom’s kid. These open plots could be a sign of Bendis returning to Doctor Doom at some future point.
Art: The issue’s artwork is stunning. It has some great double page images which are perfect for the fight scenes. This format helps sell the scale of the battle. Drawing Mephisto on a bigger scale shows how much of a threat he is to our heroes. Plus the full images of Doom fighting tell the reader that he can handle himself. Additionally the color choices by Matt Hollingsworth are stunning and help keep the reader’s attention. Also Alex Maleev does an excellent job with facial expressions when characters are exchanging dialogue.
Verdict: Infamous Iron Man #12 is an impressive finale for Doom’s new direction. This issue had an awesome opening sequence with Mephisto. Plus it leaves some things open for Doom in the future. Also the issue featured some killer images which would make fantastic posters. Overall if you’re a Doctor Doom fan then you should give Infamous Iron Man a read.
Rating: 4 out of 5