Iron Man and Doctor Doom once fought over the legendary sword that belonged to King Arthur.
Tony Stark is no stranger to improving his arsenal. Iron Man knows that science and technology are his best friends, but what happens when they don’t serve against an enemy? While Stark often avoids magic as much as possible, he was forced to incorporate it into his suit to stop another Doctor Doom plot.
Iron Man: Legacy of Doom by David Michelinie, Bob Layton, Ron Lim, and Moose Baumann begins with Tony Stark shedding his now-defunct Mark VIII armor. While analyzing the suit in that 2008 story, Stark discovers a lost memory etched by the suit that he has no recollection of. While Iron Man is working on a Stark satellite, Doctor Doom approaches him and asks for his help. Stark flies to Doom Castle in Latveria, which is currently under siege by the Latverian army. Stark then intervened and destroyed the military vehicles to prevent Doom from harming the citizens. With the army maintained, Doom and Stark travel to the depths of Hell to find Mephisto.
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Mephisto rewards Doom with a metal shard before the hooded villain disappears. Mephisto then tells Stark that he made a deal with Doom to drive Iron Man to the demon. Mephisto tests Iron Man’s will, unleashing demon inhabitants onto the armored suit. Among these demons is an armored demonic version of Tony’s father. After Stark defeats his demon father, he can attach the armor the demon is wearing to the faulty travel chip left behind by Doom. This returns Iron Man to Castle Doom, where the villain wears a new sleek black robe and holds the mighty Excalibur sword.
While Stark was fighting in Hell, Doom was able to catch Morgan Le Fay, King Arthur’s half-sister. Doom states that the ritual necessary to activate Excalibur must be performed by someone who shares Arthur’s blood. The ritual attaches the sword to Doom’s suit. Doom, who no longer needs Morgan, sends her back to her own time frame. When Tony returns to Latveria, he attacks Doom. Excalibur has made Victor invincible, which he demonstrates by swinging his sword through Iron Man’s armor. Seeing his unstoppable power. Iron Man flees the scene.
Stark lands in a field to recharge his armor where he comes across a hologram of Merlin. Tony and Doom met Merlin in 1989. Iron Man # 250, by Michelinie and Layton, but that memory was also erased from the couple’s mind by Merlin. The magician explains to Tony that he needs to get the case for Excalibur. While the sword grants invincibility, the scabbard grants invulnerability, so Tony runs into an area similar to Stonehenge in Scotland when he encounters Doom. However, Tony is able to decode the pod’s riddle while defending himself from Doom and retrieving the pod. Unfortunately, a gigantic eyeball appears from the sky. Tony fuses with the scabbard, creating a new set of armor that resembles a knight’s suit.
Doom tells Iron Man that he enraged this monster by trying to steal a book from him to increase his arcane knowledge. In response, the creature vowed to destroy everything Doom possessed. The sword and sheath are useless when used separately against the monster. Merlin appears to the duo and encourages them to combine the pieces of the historical artifact. The problem is that the pod technically no longer exists. Tony’s Iron Man suit became the scabbard. Doom then impales Iron Man in the chest, which liquefies the creature. The pair return to their original outfits and Merlin erases their memories once more. Merlin then brings the two Excalibur pieces to the Lady of the Lake to protect the weapon.
The flashback ends and Tony is seen standing in his lab after being inundated with memories. Tony then buys the property on which the lake that contains Excalibur is located. He decides to build a shopping center on the lake, sealing the weapon forever and sending a message to Merlin in the process.
Iron Man has battled all manner of magical villains in his prime, but it is not often that he finds himself in possession of the arcane arts. While Doom and Tony were able to cooperate and defeat the monster, it’s best not to plan for these super-powered superpowers to team up again.
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