Comic Book Review: Iron Man: Legacy of Doom #2

The Revolution enjoyed the debut issue of this mini-series. It is quite pleasant to once again read a David Michelinie and Bob Layton penned Iron Man tale. I expect plenty of old school Iron Man goodness with Iron Man: Legacy of Doom #2. Seriously, this is the best time to be an Iron Man fan. It seems like every Wednesday brings yet another Iron Man title. I am definitely one happy hombre. Let’s go ahead and do this review for Iron Man: Legacy of Doom #2.

Creative Team
Plot: David Michelinie & Bob Layton
Script: David Michelinie
Pencils: Ron Lim
Inks: Bob Layton

Art Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Story Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10

Synopsis: We begin with Dr. Doom back at his castle with Morgan La Fey trapped in an energy beam. Doom tells Morgan to remember the deal they made in her spell-guarded exile in the Land of Gor. That Doom agreed to help Morgan in her attack on King Arthur in return for her giving him knowledge of the arcane. However, when the tide of the battle turned in favor of Iron Man and King Arthur, Morgan took her precious talisman, a shard of the sword Excalibur, and fled.

Doom reveals that it took him many months of research, but he finally discovered Morgan’s location. That Mephisto granted Morgan sanctuary in return for her giving Mephisto the shard of Excalibur. Doom then made a deal with Mephisto that Doom would give him Iron Man in return for the shard from Excalibur and Morgan’s soul. Doom says that if Morgan refuses to give him what he wants then he will return her to Mephisto but this time not as a guest but as a possession. Morgan then agrees to do what Doom wants.

We cut to Iron Man trapped in hell and battling Mephisto’s protoplasmic imps. Iron Man keeps blasting the protoplasmic imps, but they keep coming back for more. Mephisto watches the fight and comments that this is getting boring and casts another spell to end this fight quickly. Suddenly, the imps stop attacking and then run away in fear. Iron Man feels something behind him. Iron Man turns around and sees a demonic version of his father, Howard Stark.

Demonic Howard is composed of his own demonic armor. Demonic Howard begins to verbally berate Tony while beating him up. Demonic Howard calls Tony a wimp. That Tony is a weak fancy-boy. Demonic Howard says that Tony was always his greatest shame. Demonic Howard then calls Tony nothing more than a prancing gigolo. (Ouch! Truth hurts.) Iron Man has a hard time concentrating on the fight due to the verbal abuse from his father re-opening old wounds.

During the brawl, Demonic Howard mentions that Tony was always a disappointment to him and Tony’s mother. The thought of his mother inspires Tony to pull himself together. Tony replies that his mother loved both him and Howard. Tony says that anything good in him that Howard calls weakness, the compassion and the caring, all came from his mother.

Iron Man grabs Demonic Howard’s arm and flies him toward a small opening just big enough for Iron Man to fly through. Demonic Howard gets stuck in the opening and Iron Man rips off Demonic Howard’s arm.

We slide back to Dr. Doom’s castle where Morgan casts her spell and fuses the Excalibur shard with Dr. Doom’s armor. They are now one. Morgan says that she has done what Doom wanted. Therefore, Morgan requests to be returned to Mephisto’s realm as a guest. Doom agrees.

We see Morgan transported away from Doom’s castle. However, Morgan does not go back to Mephisto’s realm. Instead, Doom sends Morgan back to her spell sealed chamber in the Land of Gor back in King Arthur’s time period. Morgan is pissed.

We cut back to Mephisto’s realm. With Demonic Howard dispatched, Mephisto’s imps attack once again. Iron Man turns on his shield as he frantically works on the robotic arm of Demonic Howard. The imps pile on top of the shield and begin to try and crack through it. Iron Man figures that he can use Demonic Howard’s armor technology to help him create a circuit like what was in Doom’s armor that triggered the teleportation device that Doom made for Iron Man.

The imps begin to crack through the shield just as Iron Man finishes his modifications. Iron Man then teleports away from hell. We see Iron Man arriving back at Dr. Doom’s castle. Iron Man says that Dr. Doom is going to pay for what he did. Iron Man then notices Dr. Doom’s new armor. Dr. Doom uses his sword to slice open Iron Man’s armor. Tony is stunned since no sword should be able to pierce his armor.

Dr. Doom then explains that he is not wielding just any normal sword. That he is wielding Excalibur and that its blade was enchanted by Merlin to make it able to cut through anything. That Merlin’s magic in Excalibur makes whoever wields it invincible. Dr. Doom then tells Iron Man that it is time to end their conflict once and for all. End of issue.

Comments
The Good: Iron Man: Legacy of Doom #2 was a fun read. Michelinie and Layton treat the reader to a classic version of Iron Man. I forgot how excellent Michelinie and Layton’s Tony Stark is. This issue was a well paced. It was certainly a fast read that had plenty of action scenes which were nicely balanced by the slower scenes with Doom and Morgan.

Iron Man: Legacy of Doom #2 was nicely plotted. The structure of this mini-series is a refreshing break from the typical decompressed styled stories that dominate the market. Michelinie and Layton are not trying to be too fancy with this story. They have a strong straight forward classic action tale that they are delivering with a clear purpose and direction. I dig how Michelinie and Layton are seamlessly building off of the story arc from Iron Man (Vol. I) #149-150. I loved that original story arc and it is enjoyable to finally seeing Doom’s vow of revenge being played out.

Michelinie cranks out some solid dialogue. Michelinie gives Tony his proper external voice. As a matter of fact, this is the first time in a long time that Tony has really sounded like himself. Michelinie also creates a proper external voice for Dr. Doom. Doom has his appropriate haughty and overbearing demeanor.

Michelinie and Layton pull of some enjoyable character work. Michelinie and Layton simply get Tony’s character like no other writer. These Iron Man legends completely understand how Tony thinks and reacts and exactly what makes his character tick. I dig that Michelinie and Layton have Tony use his greatest weapon to get out of a seemingly impossible situation in Mephisto’s realm: his mind.

The fight scene between Demonic Howard and Tony was perfect. Michelinie and Layton give the reader a great sense of the serious father issues that plague Tony. Tony may be Iron Man, but his father was a man of iron who constantly pushed his son. Making Howard Stark proud was a tough job. Michelinie and Layton do a good job contrasting Tony’s issues with his father with his blind love for his mother. Tony didn’t set up the charitable organization known as the Maria Stark Foundation for nothing.

This battle scene also shows that despite Tony’s incredible intellect, playboy lifestyle, massive money and powerful Iron Man armor that he is a complex individual plagued by various personal demons. It has always been Tony’s enviable mind and lifestyle contrasted with his obvious personal demons that has made his character so interesting.

I dig how Machiavellian Doom is in this issue. Doom manages to negotiate a deal with Mephisto in order to force Morgan to pay up on her long overdue promise. And what made it even better was how once Doom got what he wanted from Morgan that he double-crosses her and sends her back to her spell sealed chamber in the Land of Gor. That was a bit of what Doom saw as justified punishment for Morgan trying to play Doom. Mess with Doom, you’ll get the horns.

I liked the cool twist that the shard that Mephisto gave to Doom as a part of their deal is none other than a shard of Excalibur with Morgan inside of it. And that led to a great hook ending as Doom gets a serious power up by having his armor fused with the shard of Excalibur. Iron Man definitely has his hands full and it should be interesting to see how he gets himself out of this tough situation.

Lim and Layton provide the reader with plenty of great looking artwork. This is exactly how Iron Man should look: sleek and shiny.

The Bad: I have no complaints with this issue.

Overall: Iron Man: Legacy of Doom #2 was a fun read and that is what comics are all about. This isn’t a deep, complex or weighty read. Michelinie and Layton are not trying to do anything other than deliver a classic Iron Man action adventure. And I can definitely appreciate that. This mini-series is a rare example of compressed storytelling that you just don’t that much anymore. I think that readers who dig this type of tale will enjoy Iron Man: Legacy of Doom.

2 Comments

  1. Based on Morgan’s final scene, I’m guessing Doom waited a few days before popping in for some lovin’ (give it a while, and she’ll be desperate for any man).

    I’m not all that familiar with the comics version of Howard Stark, but from the looks of it he would have had no problem with selling Jericho missiles to terrorists, from what we see of him here.

    It’s cool to see the writers revisit their original run and pick up the various plot elements from the original stories; now that Tony is back in the real world, I’m debating whether we’ll see Rhodey, Bethany, Scott, et al., however briefly.

  2. “Iron Man then teleports away from hell. We see Iron Man arriving back at Dr. Doom’s castle.”

    He went through a lot of work there to beat Mephisto. Really all He had to do to get out was offer to sell his love. With the playa Tony we’ve been seening in recent books, Mephisto would be getting more than his money’s worth.

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