Thanks to Marvel Comics' Venom-centric King in Black event (apparently the publisher's 'gift that keeps on giving' this holiday season), Doctor Doom and Iron Man are not only about to team up – they're going to take on Father Christmas himself, Santa Claus.
The second Christmas-themed King in Black tie-in Marvel has announced this week, December's King in Black: Doctor Doom/Iron Man #1 from writer Christopher Cantwell and artist Salvador Larroca will bring the two iconic armored characters together to take on a version of Santa Claus who has been subsumed by Knull, the dark god of the symbiotes, whose arrival on Earth is the central conflict of King in Black.
"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'll 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," reads Marvel's description of the one-shot.
"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."
Doctor Doom and Iron Man have a long history together – they've both teamed up and fought each other on numerous occasions, even several time-traveling adventures. Victor Von Doom even once took up the mantle of Iron Man when Tony Stark was missing after he briefly tried to become an out-and-out hero.
Cantwell, who currently writes Doctor Doom, will relaunch Iron Man with a new #1 later this month.
"As Marvel's resident writer of armor-clad egomaniacs, it brings me so much joy to put Iron Man and Doctor Doom on the page together," Cantwell tells CBR, who announced King in Black: Doctor Doom/Iron Man #1. "I'm also incredibly honored to be included in such a massive event like King in Black, where I get to earn my first cross-over stripes."
"And this issue won't be just a battle royale - at least, not between Tony and Victor. The two of them will once again be forced to reckon with their similarities to each other and difficult 'frenemy' status as they go up against one of the worst grotesqueries of Knull's infected Earth… Santa Claus."
Oddly enough, this will actually be the second time Doom and Santa have crossed paths. The first was in 1991's What The–?! #10 in a story called 'I'll be Doom for Christmas.'
Written by Scott Lobdell (in verse and in the cadence of 'A Visit from St. Nicholas' more commonly known as 'Twas the Night Before Christmas') and drawn by John Byrne, Santa Claus is injured in a giant bear trap-like vice while trying to deliver toys to children in Latveria (no … really), and in a 'The Santa Clause'-like twist with shades of 'How the Grinch Stole Christmas,' Doom completes his duties while Santa recovers, in exchange for St. Nick granting Doom's heart's desire (which turns out to be a teddy bear).
King in Black: Doctor Doom/Iron Man #1 is due out in December.
Wanna know more about what's in store for Tony Stark as he gets a new ongoing series? Christopher Cantwell runs down what's coming in Iron Man #1 right here.