Victor Von Doom is one of the strongest forces in the Marvel universe. With science and magic on his side, he is virtually undefeatable. Well, that is except for Reed Richards. Before Reed leaves with his family to explore the multiverse, he tells Victor that he’ll fix his face so he can be the good person he is capable of being. Victor chooses to make up for his sins in a huge way: He will be the new Iron Man!
I know, right?!
Bendis opens the story in a meeting of The Cabal. The Hood is being annoying by asking so many questions about Victor’s mom, so Victor banishes him to India. But this isn’t just so we can see how powerful Victor is. It’s showing us that he really doesn’t want to talk about his past or motivations because that’s not who he wants to be. Instead, he works on being a hero by first saving Maria Hill from Diablo (Fantastic Four villain).
He then goes to see Dr. Amara Perera, Tony Stark’s past love interest, to see how she’s doing, given Tony’s death. As soon as he leaves her, though, Amara is approached by Ben Grimm himself, and asked if she has seen Victor. Dun dun duuuunnnnn! This is a great way to set up some possible clobberin’ time for issue #2.
When Victor stops by Tony’s lab, he speaks with a hologram of Tony, which also has his brain uploaded to it (whaaaat?). Victor announces that he will be the new Iron Man. Tony says no, but Victor insists that he wasn’t asking for permission. He’s got some sass!
At the end of the issue, we see that someone from Victor’s past is watching him from afar. I’m not going to tell you who it is, but boy are you going to love it or what!
Victor has struggled for some time now with his purpose in life. First he wanted to take control of Latveria and emancipate it from oppression. He wanted to get back at Reed Richards, whom he thought was responsible for destroying his mommy-saving machine. He became God. GOD! But he still feels a void inside. Being a hero is really the only option left, essentially. So, it makes sense; and what better hero role to take over than the recently deceased Tony Stark? Although, I would love to see what kind of original hero the infamous Dr. Doom could be.
Maleev works alongside Bendis with a beautiful and effective dynamic. Given their previous works, Maleev and Bendis know how to use their talents and enhance each other’s strengths. There is a darker tone in the artwork, what with the shading around Dr. Doom at his meeting with The Cabal. The tone does shift, though, to a lighter tone when we see Victor trying to be a hero or, at least, somewhat of a better person.
This issue exceeded every single one of my expectations. Bendis has got Doom’s character down and, with Maleev’s creative genius, Victor is able to go to the next level of characterization. In case I didn’t imply it enough, I fully recommend this issue to any Marvel fan out there.
Written by: Brian Michael Bendis
Illustrated by: Alex Maleev