In the pages of Invincible Iron Man #600, Doctor Doom undergoes some severe changes that will have a huge impact on the character going forward.
Warning: full spoilers ahead!
To explain the significance of what happened, we have to rewind back to 2015’s Secret Wars event where Doctor Doom succeeded in gaining godlike power and remaking the world in his image. Despite achieving his ultimate goal, Doom found little contentment ruling all existence. He was eventually defeated by the heroes and the world was restored, save for a few changes. Most notably for Doom, his scarred face was fully healed, leaving him with handsome good looks and a fresh outlook on life.
Doom decided to turn over a new leaf by helping out Tony Stark, a man who he sees as his intellectual equal. When Tony Stark fell into a coma at the end of Civil War II, Doom chose to take up the Iron Man legacy by building his own suit of Iron Man-like armor and fighting crime in Tony’s place, although his aggressive methods often saw him teetering on the line of superhero morality, hence his comic series being titled “Infamous Iron Man.”
Fast forward to the events of Invincible Iron Man #600 where Doom and his army of Doom-Bots arrive just in time to stop the Hood and his gang from taking over Stark Industries. A freshly returned Tony Stark and James Rhodes join him and help turn the tide of the battle in their favor. Tony is surprised to see that Doom has carried on in his name, but their conversation is cut short when the Hood transforms into his powerful demonic form. Being a sorcerer himself, Doom engages the Hood one-on-one, with Doom eventually calling on forbidden magic to give him the upper hand. Before the battle ends, the Hood grabs Doom’s unprotected face and disfigures him with dark magic.
Later, we see a battered and bloody Doom returned to his home of Latveria, which had been overthrown and left in ruins after the events of Secret Wars. Doom casts a spell and we see the ruins begin to reform into buildings.
With Doom no longer needed as a hero, his home of Latveria rebuilt, and his face horrifically damaged once more, it certainly looks like we’re getting a return of the classic Doctor Doom. Doom is incredibly prideful, and the state of his face has often been tied to what’s going on in his head; his original scarring was a key factor in his transformation into Doctor Doom and having his face restored was a big reason he took on a more positive outlook on life, but with his mug once again mangled, we’re essentially being shown he’s about to take another dark turn. After all, the Fantastic Four are returning with a new series soon, and what would they be without their greatest enemy also back to his villainous ways?
Be sure to check out our review of Invincible Iron Man #600.
And for more on Iron Man, watch this video analyzing Bendis’ run on the character: