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Review – King In Black: Iron Man/Doctor Doom #1 (Marvel)

Publisher: Marvel Comics
Writer: Christopher Cantwell
Artwork: Salvador Larroca
Colours: GURU-eFX
Release Date: 30th December 2020


As a general rule, I’m not the biggest fans of “event” comics. Sure, there are sometimes exceptions to this, but I often find that they either interrupt other books’ events in a way that fractures the narrative, or leave fans wondering how any of these events can take place at seemingly the same time without other books being affected.

That said, one of the main benefits of event comics is that they frequently offer up the opportunity for creative teams to deliver some fun and creative mash-ups, and this issue is definitely one of those occasions. Here, Christopher Cantwell gets to bring the two characters he has delivered character-defining work on together for a one-off that, while not central to the narrative, is still a complete blast.

Everything I’ve read from Christopher Cantwell so far, I’ve loved. He has carved out a in impressive niche by deconstructing the geniuses of the Marvel Universe. First Doctor Doom, now Iron Man and hopefully one day Doctor Strange because that would have the potential to be one of the best books Marvel could ever make. Within this little section of the Marvel universe, he has focused on the characters and developing them, making all of his books engrossing reads to the point where this latest offering – which is essentially Doctor Doom visiting a guilty Tony Stark and them running into symbiote Santa – becomes a fun and enjoyable read by virtue of the character interaction. Cantwell writes both these characters well, keeping their recent development from both their recent solo series going (which you should read because they are great) while still ensuring the book is new reader friendly.

On art duty here is Salvador Larroca, the artist from Cantwell’s Doctor Doom run, who is always brilliant on Iron Man given that he was the artist on the entire Eisner Award winning Matt Fraction run with the character. As such, it’s nostalgic to see Larroca’s design for Iron Man once again. Larroca also draws a great Doctor Doom, allowing him to be hugely emotive through just his eyes, and he also goes a solid job with the aforementioned symbiote Santa, embracing the absurdity while keeping things actually quite terrifying.

This is a nice one-off combining half of each of the greatest Iron Man creative teams of the 21st century for something really fun. It might have little in the way of impact on The King In Black event as a whole, but who really cares when you have Doctor Doom and Iron Man saving Christmas in what can be considered the purest and best form of comic book nonsense. It is a fun read if you love either character, and gives two people who have shown the best of what Iron Man can be a chance to collaborate.

Rating: 3.5/5.


[PREVIEW – CLICK TO ENLARGE]


The writer of this piece was: Jonathan Mullen
Jonathan Tweets from @JonathanDMullen ‏


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