Wow, it’s been a while since I’ve looked at these comics, huh? So long that I thought I didn’t have notes for one of the issues of Infamous Iron Man in question!
My friend at work is a Doctor Doom nut, and he’s been having me pick up some comics at my LCS for him, like the Infamous Iron Man series. I’ve talked about the other issues of the book in various posts before, but it’s been awhile. Basically, Doom took over as Iron Man after Tony Stark was out of commission after…Civil War eye eye, I guess. The first story arc wasn’t exactly my cup of tea, you may remember. How did the second arc turn out?
Well, kudos for the creative team making it the entire twelve issues of Infamous Iron Man, with Brian Michael Bendis writing, Alex Maleev on the art, Matt Hollingsworth the colorist, letters and production by VC’s Clayton Cowles, edits by Alanna Smith and Tom Brevoort. That consistency is nice to see in this day and age.
Infamous Iron Man eventually got decent. I don’t know that it ever completely got GOOD, but it was a decent conclusion to this part of the plot. Doom is trying to be a good guy as Iron Man, the Thing is deputized by SHIELD to take him out, and it appears that Reed Richards wants Doom dead. The Riri Williams Ironheart character shows up, as does Dr. Strange for the finale, and they’re used decently. There’s a conversation between Ben and Johnny Storm in issue 9 that’s pretty good, about how they’re trying to deal with what’s been going on with out the Richards family. The villain behind things is logical and works within the story (and has a nice monologue to the reader in the last issue). However, other things like the way the cliché of having a flashback of characters interacting in the past and in the present, one says something different than what happened so that the fake character outs themselves by agreeing with the false statement was used was irritating. I don’t know when Doctor Strange became a pop culture referencing douche, but that happens here too. And the battles are resolved so quickly and without any real conflict that they aren’t all that engaging.
The art is decent, although some things, like the Wizard’s man-bun (which makes him look like he’s bowling against The Dude) are stupid, and in 7 Ben looks like he’s goosing an old lady, which is amusing. The action sequences are mostly just blasts of energy and then everything is resolved. There are some nice things like the way the art gets kinda weird when Doom and Strange meditate together in 11, or the expressions on the face of the big bad in the final issue’s fourth wall breaking sequence. And the coloring gives a spooky look to some parts, like when Doom and his mother are in The Tear, the hole where the multiverse used to be, with lots of purplish reds, or when she busts in to get Doom in issue 9.
Overall, Infamous Iron Man is a decent but not great superhero book that doesn’t really resolve the issue of Doom trying to become a better man, but does explore it some.
Doom also appears briefly in Avengers 8, a book written by Mark Waid and Jeremy Whitley, art by Phil Noto, letters by VC’s Cory Petit, under a neat Alex Ross cover. It’s a follow up story, I guess, to the recent Avengers 1.1-5.1 storyline (apparently collected as Avengers: Four), a tale of the Kooky Quartet, I believe, and Avenger X, who was the main feature of that arc, I guess. She’s found after years buried away, and isn’t too happy. Spider-Man is entirely too stupid in this issue, and it’s one of those stories Marvel has to have where the new characters (in this case, the new Wasp) have to show that they’re smarter than the heroes we’ve been reading about for years, to prove they’re decent. She’s smart and likeable enough, and calls in Doom for emergency assistance, but it does seem like the rest of the characters have to grab the idiot ball a bit for the story to work. However, Noto does what Noto does well, and it’s not a bad issue, even though it’s part 2 of a storyline (my friend already had part 1, so I didn’t get to read that), and it’s a follow up to an arc that I didn’t read either. Entertaining enough.
So now we come to Bill and Ted Save the Universe, of which I’ve now read 4 out of the 5 issues. Written by Brian Joines, art by Bachan, colors by Alex Guimarães, letters by Jim Campbell, edits by Eric Harburn, and covers by Derek Charm.
Confession: I haven’t seen the Bill and Ted movies. Although I have the Bogus Journey soundtrack on cassette. And I’ve read the novelization of that one (it exists! I swear!). But I will be watching the two movies sometime soon. Oh, and I’ve read some of the comics by Evan Dorkin. I know the basic thread of the story.
Anyway, in these issues, Bill and Ted discover that their music brings peace to the universe, but some are concerned that that interferes with the natural evolution of certain cultures. The book opens with a fun chase involving Dracula and Bram Stoker, then the boys are given a surprise party with their families all showing up. Except their moms, who are away. Far away, as we learn, as they have been going around the universe spreading the Wyld Stallyns gospel. From there, the boys face certain trials from the aliens to prove that they should be allowed to spread their music around, and from their families, as the dysfunction of those families comes into conflict. Ted doesn’t want to tour if it takes him away from his family for too long, which conflicts with what Bill wants, and right now, things are at an impasse. Not to mention all the other familial conflicts happening as well. I think we know things will turn out ok in the end (that’s what happens in these stories!), but seeing how it happens is the fun part.
The art is nicely cartoony and expressive, just right for a fun jaunt of this sort, but it conveys the emotional stuff well too.
Overall, Bill and Ted Save the Universe has been an amusing trip and I look forward to the conclusion, which comes out soon.
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