It’s not a great week to be Victor Von Doom. Over in “Doomwar,” things don’t go quite as planned, and here, well, things don’t go quite as Doom planned. The final chapter of the “War of the Iron Men” pits Doom upon a genocidal rampage in neighboring Transia.
The resulting fracas is one of armor scattered hither, thither, and yon, coupled with appearances of some characters quite integral to the Iron Man side of the Marvel Universe. Unfortunately, a pair of those characters -- Titanium Man and Crimson Dynamo -- are less than cardboard cutouts when it comes to the battle that opens this issue. Radioactive Man, however, proves to be a worthwhile ally for Iron Man. The coupling of those two heroes provides a striking visual of glowing green set against red and yellow, but beyond that it seems like a decent team-up that should be explored a little more.
Van Lente, like Jeff Parker, writes characters in the Marvel Universe from a position of comfort. Van Lente doesn’t stop at the titular characters of the titles he writes. He realizes that Iron Man lives in a world that has more than a few costumed champions running around. As such, some of them are going to show up unannounced, uncelebrated, but integral to the adventure. Van Lente knows these characters. Even Doom’s genocidal tendencies aren’t hideously out of character so much as they are a new aspect to the character that hasn’t been investigated prior to this issue.
Kurth’s art is steeped in realism, to the extent where some of his characters seem frozen rather than fluid in motion. His keen detailing of the armor suits, backgrounds, and facial expressions really sell the world that covers the pages of this issue. Rauch and Chuckry step in and bathe Kurth’s art in an explosion of color, making this comic a bright assault of metal men clashing against one another.
The entire story is given a coat of Hollywood polish, making it more compatible with the movie version of Tony Stark and his supporting cast. That said, it does make it a little slippery to place into context with the main Marvel Universe. A title like “Legacy” might just be better enjoyed as a free-standing title. In that case, this is a solid read and an enjoyable “Iron Man” tale.