The Redemption Of Victor Von Doom
Then there’s the “other” Iron Man, Victor Von Doom — formerly Doctor Doom, the most dangerous man on the planet. Following the conclusion of Secret Wars, Doom was given a new lease on life and saw the error of his ways. He finally accepted once and for all that Reed Richards was a better man than him, so decided to put a fresh foot forward and try being a hero. After spending a few months enigmatically shadowing Tony Stark, once Tony entered his coma, Doom decided to forge his own Iron Man armor to carry on Tony’s legacy — regardless of the fact that Tony definitely would not have wanted him to do so. Since then, Doom has been rounding up villains from low-level costumed crooks to his former brothers-in-arms in The Intelligencia, but recently there was a breakout at Ryker’s Island. Now, every single one of those villains is on the loose and hungry for vengeance.
You’d think that would be enough for Victor to worry about, but there’s also the fact that even though S.H.I.E.L.D. is no longer an existing entity, former agent Ben Grimm will not leave Doom alone. The Thing lays into Victor thoroughly in this issue, telling him that he’s a terrible person who can never be redeemed, and that he will always fail in his attempts to be Reed Richards, because Reed is a good person and Doom isn’t. It’s vicious to the point that for a brief moment, Doctor Doom becomes a sympathetic character, and when he teleports away instead of retaliating, you can feel the shame The Thing just thrust into his head. Doom is worried that the only thing keeping him on the straight and narrow is the absence of better men like Reed Richards and Tony Stark, leading him — and the reader — to wonder what happens to him when they come back.
Iron Man: Missing
The new storyline is, of course, called “The Search For Tony Stark,” and while we saw Tony go missing in Marvel Legacy #1, we get an extended look at the vanishing act in this issue. It’s not enough to give us the answers as to where he’s gone or who may have taken him but we see Tony’s friends and family reacting to his disappearance in greater detail. Meanwhile, at undisclosed location listed only as “Elsewhere” a naked and completely hairless man exists some sort of chamber or pod and urgently struggles towards a retro set of Iron Man armor on a wall; after donning it, the Iron Man curls up in the fetal position and the issue ends.
We’re meant to believe this is Tony Stark, a big indicator being how hirsute Tony was in his coma at the beginning of the issue and the lack of hair on this individual following whatever procedure happened in the pod. However, there’s a whole litany of people it could be from Ezekiel Stane to Arno Stark. “The Search For Tony Stark” is said to be leading towards the biggest Iron Man story of all time and in order for that to happen, Tony’s greatest allies and enemies will be out in full force. Once he returns, of course.
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