Layover In Latveria!

I'm very happy with this final product.

I’m very happy with this final product.

“Civil War II” by Marvel Comics officially ended this week. I haven’t really commented on it at all…I feel like since they delayed the ending, by several months, I’m completely justified in getting around to it when I feel like it.

Because of those delays, spoilers abounded. There were several comics that were intended to release after Civil War II ended, such as “Infmaous Iron Man.” Issue Number 3 of Infamous Iron Man came out this week, alongside the final issue of the Civil War II crossover, and the content of issues 1 and 2 had pretty well spoiled some of the biggest “consequences” of the crossover.

In short…Tony Stark (Iron Man) was critically injured at the end of Civil War II No. 8, and left in a comatose/vegetative state. This, is of course a “Marvel Death.” There’s a built in “out” for him to come back, and at the same time he has downloaded a copy of himself to operate as a holographic AI…sort of a virtual character. So…it’s not a Big Deal. However, it was supposed to be the Ending Status Quo change, except for the fact that we’ve known about it by reading Infamous Iron Man for two months.

The premise of Infamous Iron Man is straightforward. Victor Von Doom (Doctor Doom) has had his face fixed since Secret Wars ended, and has been seeking a kind of redemption. No longer wearing his big ol’ armered suit, he’s been helping out Tony (who doesn’t trust him) by using his often forgotten A-list magical powers. It is certainly a new direction for the character, to be sure. With Tony falling in battle, he decides to make his own Iron Man Suit, and use both it and his magic to take over the role of Iron Man, and attempt to be a better person.

Obviously, no one trusts him….because he’s a former eastern European dictator/warlord who is suddenly saying he’s a nice guy. A fellow who has declared war on countries, hurled the building that his college room mate lives in into space, and dropped a tank on the Punisher. To just name a few, random things that he has on the credits sheet.

It is a decent premise…but to be honest, I would rather have just had a Doctor Doom book. That used to be called “Super Villain Team Up” and it was great. Every month, Victor basically exploits another villain into doing something he wants, because there really isn’t much teaming up with ol’ Vic.

Instead…I don’t get an Iron Man book. Not one that I can recognize, that is. In the last days of 2016 (a crummy year), Marvel basically says to me this: “Hey…we are pretty much doing away with one of your favorite bad guys, and one of your favorite good guys. We will give you comics that have lots of the things that you like about those things in them…but you don’t get those things anymore. Deal with it.”

Thanks a lot Ike Perlmutter and 2016. @#$% you too.

Even in light of that…Issue No. 2 and 3 were legitimately good comics. I can see sticking with infamous Iron Man for a bit…the characterizations are interesting, and the art is good. The color palatte is a bit muddy for my taste, but it is obviously an attempt to set a “mood.”

The art without text.

The art without text.

I’m including the speech balloon free version because of that bale of hay in the lower right corner. I like that bale of hay, I feel it adds something to the Latverian outdoor setting, but it was obscured by the needs of lettering. Latveria is a gloomy, gloomy eastern European place. I feel like it MUST have a Dracula problem.

Also, since Von Doom’s face is fixed, you’ll note that he hangs around in yoga pants and no shirt. It’s those costuming choices that help set up the punch line for this strip, without violating our Comics Code Approved status. It’s a family “book” people.

Still…Cap won’t be able to get new Iron man Suits to ruin from Stark anymore. That’s a running gag that is out of play for a bit.

Next Issue: The End of The Year, and an Adequate Annivesary for the strip!

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