King In Black: Iron Man/Dr Doom #1: Review

Dec 2020
Christopher Cantwell, Salvador Larroca

Story Name:

(no title given)

Review & Comments

4 stars

King In Black: Iron Man/Dr Doom #1 Review by (January 2, 2021)
The history of Eddie Brock, Venom, Knull and the Klyntar is very complicated, but I'll try to summarise some relevant parts here.
Knull inhabited the dark void between this multiverse and the previous 1. (Here the multiverse recreated after Secret Wars III is counted as the same as the 1 that was destroyed before SWIII.) He hated the new universe he found himself in and waged many wars against its inhabitants. At some point he created his throneworld Klyntar, and later learned how to create parasitic symbiotes to take over living beings. The symbiotes formed a hive-mind, and eventually they rebelled against Knull and imprisoned him at the heart of Klyntar.
In Secret Wars I Spider-Man found 1 of the Klyntar symbiotes which became his black costume. Later Peter Parker rejected the symbiote which then bonded with Eddie Brock as Venom. The symbiote has been worn by others at times and even operated independently but it's always returned to Brock. Initially a villain, Venom and Eddie have changed to become heroic.
Recently Knull awoke and freed himself.

Tony Stark took the Extremis virus in Iron Man (2005) #1 which modified his body and brain so that he interfaced directly with the Iron Man armour. After 'dying' during Norman Osborn's Dark Reign Tony was 'rebuilt' without Extremis in IM(2008)#21.

This is Dr Doom's 1st app in the King In Black event, but maybe not his last. This fun issue may be consequential if it gets Doom more involved or causes Stark to amp up  the symbiotised armour.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

King In Black: Iron Man/Dr Doom #1 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
The Klyntar symbiotes' god Knull was recently reawakened and led a horde of symbiote dragons across the universe. They arrived on Earth and Knull took the Venom symbiote from Eddie Brock, throwing the human off the top of the Empire State Building in King In Black #1. In #2 Spider-Man took Eddie's dying body to the Fantastic Four for help from them and other heroes. Iron Man figured that Eddie Brock, with a symbiote, was their only hope against Knull so he set out to get hold of 1. He injected some Extremis virus (an old invention of 1 of his Companies) into a symbiote dragon to rewrite its DNA so it could bond with his armour. But then instead of bonding with Brock the symbiote killed him. And Tony Stark was left with symbiote armour and some added guilt.

This issue begins with a flashback to Tony's childhood where his father Howard Stark told him Santa had brought him the Johnson & Bernstein Building as a Christmas present. Young Tony already didn't believe in things like Santa Claus, and he sold it when he was 13 for 6 million dollars more than his dad paid for it. Now he's looking at it overrun with symbiote tentacles, mourning for Eddie Brock. Dr Doom pops up to join him and weirdly asks if Iron Man would mourn *him* this much. Stark replies he might if he'd killed him while trying to save him. Victor Von Doom suggests the heroes should give up on trying to 'save' him.

Just then they see what appears to be Father Christmas flying overhead with his sleigh and reindeer. Now it's Victor's turn to scoff at the idea but Tony is ready to believe. Even after they detect that this is a Knullified version of the man and his reindeer singing evilised versions of Christmas carols. Stark is angry about Knull having taken over heroes like Captain America, Cyclops, Ms Marvel and Thing (KIB#2) and he's not going to let whoever this is deliver symbiotes to children. So he flies to the attack with Doom by his side.

The reindeer spew symbiote stuff at them, and Santa throws exploding presents. While recovering from the assault Tony finds time to eulogise Eddie Brock as someone who saved the world from many bad things and was their best chance to beat Knull. Doom replies that Brock was addicted to the Venom symbiote, and he was obviously unworthy because he *lost* his fight with Knull. The best thing he did was cause Iron Man to get merged with a symbiote.

Thus incentivised Iron Man flies up and grabs the sleigh and uses his symbiote to gain control of it. Doom uses the chance to vaporise the reindeer. Santa and sleigh fall separately to the ground. Iron Man fails to catch the man before he impacts on an abandoned car (mimicking Eddie's landing in KIB#1). But he emerges from the wreck swearing in Christmassy symbols. IM/symbiote and Doom attack jointly and cause a big crater ...

... which a red-suited human stumbles out of. He calls Tony a good boy and Victor the naughtiest of them all, and then he staggers off home. Stark picks up a dropped driver's license which identifies him as Michael Dunwoody of Paramus, New Jersey. And his AI traces him as the owner of Snow Globe Holiday Decoration Supply.

Doom points out that the symbiotised armour was able to de-symbiotise that man, and he suggests that *he* could improve it into something that could take on Knull himself. Stark refuses to hand the armour over to the megalomaniacal villain, but says he'll work on it himself.

Iron Man leaves, but the issue ends with Doom wondering if Santa Claus *could* be real. Maybe he's a Sorcerer Supreme.

Salvador Larroca
Salvador Larroca
Salvador Larroca (Cover Penciler)
Salvador Larroca (Cover Inker)
Guru-eFX (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Travis Lanham.
Editor: Tom Brevoort. Editor-in-chief: C. B. Cebulski.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Doctor Doom
Doctor Doom

(Victor Von Doom)
Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)

> King In Black: Iron Man/Dr Doom: Book info and issue index

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