Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Iron Man: The End #1

Ah, I do miss David Michelinie and Bob Layton on Iron Man. The pair just gets Tony Stark. Sure, the man has his problems and temptations, but he can overcome them. In this "last" Iron Man story, Tony is struggling with his legacy both as a businessman and as a hero. He is so focused on giving one final gift to humanity that it starts to affect him personally in his interactions with his wife, and eventually leading him to some trouble as Iron Man. He's gotten so old, he just can't operate at peak efficiency as the Iron Avenger any longer. The heir gets set up quickly but effectively, and the legacy hero is shown to be a genius in his own right, not just riding on Tony's achievements. I would have liked a little more variety in the villains though. We get Crimson Dynamo twice, and I would have loved one last shot of Justin Hammer's gang of thugs. We don't get enough of Backlash and the bunch anymore (although 1/2 of them did join the Thunderbolts, I suppose). One other funny bit, I love how often this writing team has used the liquid armor idea. They love it again here after using it in Metallix and talking about it for Iron Man. I even have a sketch from Layton of an early liquid metal Iron Man.

No one can make the armor gleam like Bob Layton. Bernard Chang's art is good, but it's the overpowering inks of Layton that really makes this feel like an addition to the classic runs of the Golden Avenger. Certain inkers do overpower the pencils they're working over, and Layton is definitely one of those, but man, he draws the best Iron Man in the business. How can we complain about that? I know this was only an ok issue, but it made me remember how much I loved this team's Iron Man. That gives it a bit of a bump in the ratings.


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