Did Bendis' Invincible Iron Man Finale Restore Doctor Doom As a Villain?

infamous iron man

SPOILER WARNING: The following article contains major spoilers for Invincible Iron Man #600 by Brian Michael Bendis, Stefano Caselli, Alex Maleev and others, on sale now.

After the events of Civil War II took Tony Stark off the playing field, there were others ready to step up and take on the role of Iron Man. Young Riri Williams, as we all know, took on the identity of Ironheart, with Tony's artificial intelligence mentoring her along the way.

She wasn't the only one, though – Victor Von Doom, following his demagogic, reality-altering machinations in Secret Wars, was ready to reform, and did so, following in Tony's footsteps as the so-called Infamous Iron Man.

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As of Invincible Iron Man #600 – the conclusion of "The Search for Tony Stark" and Brian Michael Bendis' final Marvel comic – Riri is fully established as Ironheart and Tony is officially back as Iron Man, leaving Victor with a little bit of an identity crisis. Believing Tony to be dead – as most of the world had – Victor is perhaps the most surprised of all to see the return of the hero whose name he usurped. Vic gets one last chance to play Iron Man, though – and has a lot of explaining to do when Tony shows up.

One Last Hurrah for the Infamous Iron Man

Somewhere in the Atlantic Ocean, Parker Robbins – aka The Hood – and his gang of super-villains are on the verge of strong-arming acting Stark Enterprises CEO Eric Lynch into signing over his control of the company. Iron Man – that is, Victor, the Infamous one – shows up in time to prevent this transfer and to take on Robbins and his gang. No sooner do Victor and Robbins engage in battle, along comes Iron Man – that is, Tony, the Invincible one – who's a little incredulous to see that Doctor Doom has taken over his identity.

Tony – along with a couple dozen of his remote-controlled armors, not to mention a newly resurrected War Machine – take on The Hood's underlings, leaving Victor to battle Robbins solo. The respective battles don't really give Victor much of an opportunity to explain his reformation or motives to Tony. Vic's battle with Robbins, though, ushers in another transformation for Victor, making any potential explanation that he might have given Tony a rather moot point.

RELATED: Bendis Resurrects a Major Avenger in His Final Marvel Comic

Victor gets to show Tony his heroism, however, by saving him from The Hood's demonic attack. The Hood then tries to use that same dark energy against Victor, which forces Victor to leverage his mystical skills and conjure up a forbidden spell against the demon possessing Robbins. The spell works, at least as far as dispatching The Hood and allowing Victor to escape the battle, although what exactly happens to Robbins is not made clear in this issue.

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