It’s not every kid who can say he stared down Doctor Doom while wearing a customized version of Iron Man‘s armor customized by Tony Stark himself, but five-year-old Max Levy has the comic book proof that it happened.
Though Mary Jane Watson’s appearance in Brian Michael Bendis and David Marquez‘s “Invincible Iron Man” #4 is hyped on the cover, it’s Max’s turn as a patient in a children’s hospital ward Stark was visiting that is the true highlight of the issue. In a scene not entirely dissimilar to times Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth, Chris Pratt and other Marvel actors have visited sick kids, Stark meets Max during a visit to a children’s hospital, promptly making the boy’s day by reconfiguring an armor for the young patient to wear. And when Doctor Doom shows up, Max stands right by Stark in staring the villain down.
The real-life Max Levy was diagnosed as a baby with Hemophilia A, a disorder that affects the blood’s ability to clot properly. In 2014, Max received a port in his chest as part of his treatment, a la Stark’s Arc Reactor, leading his parent to nickname him Iron Max. He went on to co-create a charity calendar with his sister, Zoe, and with this week’s “Invincible Iron Man” release, has been immortalized as a member in good standing of the Marvel Universe.