Comic Book Review – Iron Man – Legacy of Doom #1 (of 4) April 2008

Writers – David Michelinie and Bob Layton

Artist – Ron Lim

In May 2008, Marvel Studios released Iron Man featuring Robert Downey Jr., Terrence Howard, Jeff Bridges, and Gwyneth Paltrow. The Summer belonged to Tony Stark with the release of The Invincible Iron Man and other related tie-in comics and miniseries spotlighting Ol’ Shellhead. One of the comics I picked up was the first issue of Iron Man – Legacy of Doom, which I haven’t read until now.

Legacy of Doom is a spiritual sequel to Doomquest, a two-issue storyline that featured Iron Man and Dr. Doom thrust into the Age of Camelot by Morgaine Le Fey.

Tony Stark is destroying his cache of armor since he no longer needs his suits, thanks to his recent upgrade to Extremis. He works on transferring data from auto-save circuits that are like black boxes on airplanes that record his activities. He pulls up a mission he doesn’t remember going on. Tony ordered his “employee” Iron Man to work on a Stark International satellite in outer space but was interrupted by the unexpected arrival of Dr. Doom before completing the job. Soon after, Tony starts to relive these memories as they flood back very quickly, causing intense pain to his mind and body.

Dr. Doom needed Iron Man’s help to save millions of lives before they were snuffed out. Tony was hesitant at first, but decided to put his differences aside with Doom in order to help save innocent lives from harm. Dr. Doom modified his Time Cube in order to reach different dimensions in time and space. The duo traveled to Hell to face off with the demon lord Mephisto. Why doesn’t Tony remember his journey to the other side to square off with the Devil? Were Doom and Iron Man successful in their mission?

When I think of Iron Man, the first thing that comes to mind is the legendary run of stories by Michelinie and Layton. They were brought back to tell this tale of Tony Stark’s past and they do a great job pitting the Golden Avenger against the Latverian Lout. Ron Lim brought his A game bringing the menacing and malicious Mephisto to life, as well as, evil creatures and demons that go toe to toe with Iron Man and Dr. Doom once they arrive in the Underworld. It’s nice to see Tony Stark out of his element and using his intelligence and fighting prowess in order to save himself and Doom from the onslaught of Mephisto’s minions. The funniest part of the issue is when they reach a door with the word MANAGER written on it and when they swing it open, Mephisto is sitting on a chair in an office-like setting. You’d expect Mephisto to be sitting on a throne of skulls, surrounded by fire. When i saw this panel, I laughed out loud!

I am a fan of ‘lost’ stories and untold tales, but you must be careful fitting them into already established continuity seamlessly or else you create problems and paradoxes for readers that have a deep knowledge about classic storylines. Peter David has done a great job with his line of Symbiote Spider-Man miniseries in this respect. If I have time and I can track down the next three issues, I’d like to see if Michelinie and Layton are able to pull it off or not.

It’s a showdown for the ages as Iron Man and Dr. Doom must work together to defeat the all-powerful Mephisto. Even if they are successful, will they be able to make it back home or will they end up trapped in Hell forever?