For twelve issues of Infamous Iron Man, Doctor Doom has been parading around in an Iron Man suit trying to atone for his past evils. Some inhabitants of the 616 Universe have been buying into the new Doom. However, one entity that will not stand for a sudden change of heart is Mephisto.
***SPOILERS LIE AHEAD***
Infamous Iron Man #12 sees all things sorcery take center stage. Victor Von Doom and Stephen Strange find themselves engaged in battle with the Devil of Marvel Comics, Mephisto.
The first chunk of this issue is a freeze frame monologue by Mephisto, explaining his revenge plot against Doom. It’s a nice visual but overstays it’s welcome almost immediately through the unnecessary rambling Bendis wrote. I don’t believe for a second that Mephisto absorbs pop culture enough to make a Kill Bill Vol. 2 reference.
It doesn’t get any better from there, jumping from scene to scene in what is ultimately a mess. This series seems to have come to an abrupt halt. Everything that was clicking so well went completely out the window without any payoff whatsoever. Even Victor’s sendoff to Ben Grimm felt insincere, quickly half-tying up a loose end.
From Mephisto’s confusing revenge, through a quick Hydra island takeover, to an underwhelming pregnancy reveal. There are way too many moments in this issue that will make you say “what?” In the worst possible way.
What happened? Infamous Iron Man was going so smoothly. It was one of the strongest Marvel titles available and the closest thing to Fantastic Four that we were getting. All of a sudden with issue twelve, Bendis seemingly threw in the towel as if he didn’t know Legacy was happening.
Despite the messy script, Alex Maleev and Matt Hollingsworth still deliver top notch art. Maleev has drawn the hell out of this book, capturing the weird essence of this era for both Doom and Iron Man comics in spectacular fashion. With sorcery being the focus of this issue, there are massive layouts and spreads with beautifully colored action sequences.
This is easily the weakest issue in what has been a dynamite series. The blame could easily be Marvel’s agenda and not Brian Michael Bendis, but it certainly doesn’t soil the reputation built by the rest of the series. Infamous Iron Man is still a comic book to be celebrated from this era of Marvel history.