With Knull’s invasion of Earth in full swing, it has become apparent that evil won’t wait for anybody, lest not during the holiday season. In this week’s King in Black: Iron Man/Doctor Doom #1, our unlikely duo is forced to team up to take down a symbiote-possessed Santa Claus. Merry Christmas!
Published as a tie-in for the currently running King in Black event, Iron Man/Doctor Doom #1 is exactly as I alluded to above: Iron Man and Doctor Doom versus a Knullified Santa. Nothing more, nothing less. While it would be helpful to have the context of King in Black going into this spinoff, I can’t say it’s necessary, especially since they give you all the information you need on the recap page. Do you want to see Iron Man and Doctor Doom fight Symbiote Santa? Then this is the issue for you. (In case you didn’t know, Santa is indeed a real character in both the Marvel and DC universes.)
I just wish Iron Man/Doctor Doom #1 were as bonkers as the elevator pitch suggests, and it definitely falls short of its potential. The script here by writer Christopher Cantwell (recently of both characters’ own ongoing titles) is definitely competent and makes for an enjoyable read, but Salvador Larroca’s art weighs the whole thing down. It’s not bad, but historically speaking, Larocca is the person you go to for comics with “realistic” art that doesn’t call attention to itself (see: All of his Star Wars work). His aesthetic just lacks the style for what a story like this calls for. With a more expressive artist to elevate the material, Iron Man/Doctor Doom #1 potentially could have been a must-read, especially for a between-holidays, fifth week one-off. But unless you’re a completionist for either character, or you’re looking to read every entry of the King in Black event, you can probably skip this one, or wait until next Christmas when it’s on Marvel Unlimited.