This week Doctor Doom takes up the mantle of Iron Man, and Gerard Way’s second Young Animal series Cave Carson Has A Cybernetic Eye begins!
Infamous Iron Man #1 (Marvel Comics)
Once again, a major Marvel event has been delayed. But it’s still business as usual for Marvel, as they’re releasing Infamous Iron Man this week. The first of two series spinning out of the end of Civil War II, this series finds Victor Von Doom taking the mantle of the Armored Avenger and dishing out his own brand of justice. Yes, it’s a pain that the Brian Michael Bendis and Alex Maleev series is going to spoil the events of Civil War II, but at this point it’s not even that surprising that Marvel would let this be released before the event wrapped up. In fact, it would be more surprising if they actually finished the event first. Despite being a victim of Civil War II’s near constant delays, Infamous Iron Man serves as a solid, if slow, look into the new Victor Von Doom.
Following the events of Civil War II, the newly rejuvenated Victor Von Doom has decided to take it upon himself to become the new Iron Man. After rescuing Maria Hill from Diablo, Doom enters one of Tony Stark’s armories and fashions a suit of his own, which of course upsets the Stark AI that inhabits the building. That’s really all we get from this issue, but before you start to say, “Bendis is up to his old tricks again”, what Infamous lacks in plot progression, it makes up for in character and dialogue. Doctor Doom is a character that’s rich with potential, but he can also be written poorly if not done correctly. Luckily for us, Bendis is able to hit the right beats with the character, and draws on a surprising angle that may offer some insight into why Doom has had such a change of heart.
Alex Maleev has worked with Bendis on a wide variety of projects, but this opening issue of Infamous Iron Man was the first to feel almost like the classic work he did with Bendis on Daredevil. Maleev can be known for a much looser style as of late, but here he’s able to really hone in his line work and present some really dynamic action as well. It may not be a knock out action scene, but the flashback of Doctor Doom meeting with the Cabal that opens the series is easily the best part of the book.
Infamous Iron Man is going to draw a lot of comparisons to Superior Spider-Man, but where that series had Doctor Octopus take over Peter Parker’s body to prove he’s better at being a hero, this series seems to have Victor Von Doom decide to take up the Iron man name to help others and redeem himself. There doesn’t, at least yet, seem to be any malicious intent on Doom’s part, and that should make the series be an interesting one to read. The thought of one of the most dangerous men in the Marvel Universe suddenly turning over a new leaf is really interesting, and if Bendis and Maleev can keep the plot moving, Infamous Iron Man could be a major series.
Cave Carson Has A Cybernetic Eye (DC Comics/Young Animal)
Gerard Way’s other Young Animal series, Cave Carson Has A Cybernetic Eye, is pretty weird. I know that’s not saying much when you look at Way’s Doom Patrol and Umbrella Academy, but Cave Carson is an unknown character that I’ve honestly never heard of. But, this is just the kind of character that can benefit from the Young Animal treatment, and with Michael Avon Oeming drawing and Jon Rivera assisting on scripts, it’s got a lot of potential.
Cave Carson follows the adventurer after the death of his wife, Eileen. Restless and still acclimating to life without his wife, Way and Rivera’s script is actually a lot more subdued and melancholy than one would initially suspect. But this works in a lot of ways, because it makes Carson immediately sympathetic. Not only that, but apparently his titular cybernetic eye is also a recent addition to his life, so he’s still getting used to that as well. All of these changes are having a profound effect on Carson, who at one point was a world famous explorer, but has now seen the spotlight fade on him. It’s this human element, and the fact that Way and Rivera are able to keep CCHACE from being TOO weird (which can’t be said of some of the other Young Animal books) that makes this debut one of the stronger Young Animal titles.
Michael Avon Oeming has been working in comics for decades, and while his style can take some getting used to, it works really well for CCHACE. While an opening issue that features a widower dealing with life without his spouse doesn’t sound like the kind of series that would have dynamic panel layouts, Oeming delivers some pretty clever and unique ways to present Way and Rivera’s story (I particularly enjoyed the way Oeming depicted Carson’s eye noticing things around him). Like the script, these panel layouts did a lot to keep my interest in the book.
Of the Young Animal books, Cave Carson Has A Cybernetic Eye seemed like the weirdest, but after reading it, it might also be one of the best. This debut issue definitely stands toe to toe with Way’s Doom Patrol, and if I’m being honest, I might even like it more. If anything, Cave Carson shows the potential of DC’s Young Animal line, and hopefully it’ll inspire some other weirdly creative books to spring from it.