|INVINCIBLE IRON MAN No. 2, December 2015|
In many ways Brian Michael Bendis’ incarnation of Victor Von Doom for Issue Two of “Invincible Iron Man” arguably makes the comic read more like an edition of the “Marvel Worldwide” publication “What If?” than “a new ongoing series… spinning out of this summer’s universes-shattering events”, so utterly unrecognisable is the former ruler of Latveria. Indeed doubtless many of this book’s 66,664 readers were just as dubious as to the smartly-dressed handsome-faced character’s credentials as Tony Stark is within the narrative and certainly those who missed the final instalment of the publisher’s “SecretWars” mini-series must have been wondering why the arch-nemesis of the Fantastic Four foolishly approaches “the Golden Avenger” whilst “not wearing your armour?”
Shellhead’s reaction to this disconcertingly bizarre set of circumstances is also rather unsettling considering the former director of S.H.I.E.L.D. is supposedly a superhero. Although the billionaire playboy’s abrupt almost panicky lethal pulsar ray discharge at a seemingly unprotected target is perhaps not all that incongruous with a personality rather infamous for ‘acting first and thinking later.’ Whatever the rationale behind the genius inventor’s savage assault upon Doom the attack at least provides the Cleveland-born writer with the opportunity to demonstrate just how formidable “a world-class sorcerer” Image Games Network’s Third Comic Book Villain of All Time is, as well as give an excuse for Iron Man to don his Hulk Buster armour; “Are you finished? I assumed you would lash out at me. I had that defence spell prepared!”
Bendis’ storyline also contains ample ‘screen time’ for Giulietta Nefaria and really does an admirable job of showing just how cold-bloodedly damaged the golden mask-wearing psychopath is. In fact, having brutally gunned down an intelligence source (and the young lady’s male escort) simply because she believes “the Wand of Watoomb in Doom’s castle was a fake”, Stark’s former love interest actually proves to be a more interesting foil for the business magnate than the Latverian ruler; especially when she later hysterically demands Tony return her mask to her and then tries to kill him once she’s certain he’s not wearing his armour.
All of this action, as well as some quite lengthy conversational pieces, are superbly illustrated by David Marquez, a London-born American artist whose incredible attention to detail, such as the white glare points in Madame Masque's eyes when she realises someone has removed the bullets from her firearm whilst she’s been taking a shower, still allows for him to produce some very clean-looking panels for this twenty-page periodical.
|Writer: Brian Michael Bendis, Artist: David Marquez, and Color Artist: Justin Ponsor|