In a creative effort that is both insultingly bad and morbidly humorous, King In Black: Iron Man/Doom #1 is a crossover fueled one-shot that teams up two of the Marvel Universe's brightest minds in one of its stupidest moments.
The sky is darkened as the god of symbiotes, a monochromatic and singularly dull entity called Knull has come to earth with an army of space dragon symbiotes to blot out the light. That's happening whether you like it or not, but this book posits a drastically dumber side quest to fit with the holiday season.
While navel-gazing about an unfortunate tactical sacrifice, Iron Man has Doctor Doom come up and, basically, mess with him. Jerk move, but given some of Victor's choices, at least in character. That's all fine until a symbiote infected sleigh flies overhead with seasonally themed murder in mind. Yeah. Venomized Santa is here to corrupt your ideas of the holidays, Futurama style.
In the span of the King in Black story, this will not be considered an important interlude. As a holiday take, this will likely not be hearkened back to as an emotional favorite. As a stand-alone story, this offers no new insights into the players on the field, nor does it clarify anything you don't know. From a sense of dramatic urgency, there is no reason for the reader to be here unless they absolutely need a dose of Victor von Doom trash talk that they weren't getting in his disappointing recent solo series. There is no universe in which this book could be released during the summer, but someone had to have a Yuletide themed book (after the actual holiday at that), while even dialogue in the issue points out that the ideas posited here are wildly provincial.
The execution of this book on behalf of the script by Christopher Cantwell and the visuals from Salvador Larroca, Guru-eFX, and Travis Lanham are all professional grade. With an underlying concept so flawed and so tepid, there's only so much lipstick that could fit on this pig, no matter whether or not it's a Christmas ham. RATING: NO. JUST … NO.
King In Black Iron Man Doctor Doom #1
By Christopher Cantwell, Salvador Larroca
Iron Man has risked everything to save Eddie Brock, but now he's left with nothing but guilt. As longtime 'frenemy' Doctor Doom shows up with both counseling words and ulterior motives, they'lll be forced to battle an all-too-familiar specter of the holiday season-albeit one now twisted and controlled by the recent invasion of Earth by the symbiote homeworld. As Iron Man and Doom fight as temporary allies, their unexpected encounter both with each other and a horrifying inversion of yuletide joy may ultimately reveal to them the true meaning of Knull-mas.