Published March 7, 2017

Infamous Iron Man: Mommy Issues

Brian Michael Bendis imposes a mother of a problem on Doctor Doom!

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By Josh Weiss

It can be hard to go from a life of super villainy to one of super heroism, especially if you had a rocky childhood. But Victor Von Doom seems to manage it ok after taking up the mantle of Iron Man in the INFAMOUS IRON MAN series. However, things just got a little more complicated for the now good doctor with the surprise appearance of his mother in issue #5.

We spoke with the man behind the reformed bad guy, writer Brian Michael Bendis, about Mother’s Day coming a little early this year for Victor. Needless to say, things are never that simple when you’re a member of the Von Doom clan. Bendis discusses the opening of decades’ old emotional wounds, an undercurrent of nefarious sorcery, extremely cautious optimism, and a full-on Shakespearean tragedy.

In other words, there’s nothing like a mother’s touch. Victor Von Doom and his super villain persona have always been more of the egotistical, lone wolf types. What does the surprise appearance of Cynthia von Doom mean for this lifestyle up until now? 

Brian Michael Bendis: One could argue that all Victor ever wanted was his mother.

All of his studies in the early part of his career and most of the quests that he was venturing on were an attempt to contact his mother or rescue his mother from her own fates. Probably for that one last hug. And when he couldn’t make that happen he would lash out at the world. So, for most of his life, Victor found himself sculpted by his drive to not only get his mother back, but to get his mother back using the tools that his mother had mastered as a sorceress. She was also a sorcerer. She was banished to a dark demonic dimension. These are very complicated, huge, Shakespearean level events that Victor was consumed by and forged by. To many sons out there, a mother’s advice and approval are invaluable when making major life choices. Does Cynthia have either to offer to a son who is now trying to walk the path of do-goodery?

Brian Michael Bendis: I think he’s going to be more focused on the mystery of her reappearance and what it means. I think Victor is rightly suspicious. Do you think it’s fair for her to show up now that he’s reformed or should she have been present during his darker times too, even if she was ashamed?

Brian Michael Bendis: Oh God, no. But life is never fair and certainly never to anybody who is the lead of a monthly Marvel comic. Victor’s mother showing up brings so many more questions [than] we have answers for. Is it really her? Is it a trick? Is it that demon that Victor battled to rescue her soul masquerading as his mother in an attempt to mess with him? Is it The Maker, the evil Reed Richards, trying to defeat Victor with the ultimate mind [expletive]?

Infamous Iron Man #6 cover by Alex Maleev Would you say Victor is a mama’s boy at heart?

Brian Michael Bendis: I would call that an oversimplification. He is completely involved in a Shakespearean level tragedy. Most people whether they are conscious of it or not, spend most of their lives trying to live up to their parents or stay away from their parents or understand them, but it’s all wrapped up in that relationship. I think that’s why the book is connecting with so many people. It’s not that they identify with Victor, because very few people have walked in his shoes, but I think they do respond to the idea of someone trying the biggest “do over” of all time while at the same time dealing with the adult realities of a truly messed up childhood. At the end of issue #5 we learn that his mother isn’t just back in his life to tell him how proud she is of him in his new hero role. Is there anything you can tell us about how she factors into the future of this series?

Brian Michael Bendis: Nothing is what it seems. And for those who think they know what that means…they don’t know what that means.

The Von Doom family drama continues to unfold in INFAMOUS IRON MAN #6 by Brian Michael Bendis and Alex Maleev, available March 29!


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