Review by Ian Keogh
The creative team of David Michelinie and Bob Layton was the first to really explore the frontiers of what an up to the minute technology based superhero might be, and their view of Iron Man became the template for so many successful re-boots since. One of their most fondly remembered stories pitted Iron Man against Doctor Doom in old Camelot (see Doomquest), which tied into Doom’s continual efforts to free his dead mother’s trapped soul. His hope has always been to learn enough magic to accomplish this, and his machinations through the course of this story seem to have him arrive at the point where he can make a difference.
It would be nice to note that with Legacy of Doom Michelinie and Layton had recaptured former early 1980s glories, but it has more in common with their 1988 sequel (see also Doomquest) than it does with their stronger original story. The sequel featured an ill-advised wisecracking Merlin, and anyone who considered him unbearable in a sparkly suit should know that trading it for a pair of lederhosen, and later a kilt, hasn’t rendered him any more palatable. It’s not just an undignified Merlin striking the wrong note. Much of the plot is padded, not least by starting as a flood of memories returning after a few pages in the present day, and as for the rest, let’s just say anyone who’s ever wished to see Iron Man go head to head with a creature composed completely of eyeballs will have their dream fulfilled.
Ron Lim’s pages are an improvement on his dashed off 1990s look, but it’s still very basic superhero art. It tells the story, but there’s not a single panel that’ll stick in the memory for the right reasons. The eyeballs do, but for the sheer gumption of such a terrible idea.
The book ends with Lim’s pencil sketches for the cover art and the four chapter plot submitted as a pitch. It calls for a really terrifying creature, at that point not conceived, for the final chapter. That’s the eyeball creation. This isn’t good.