Sunday, July 1, 2012

Iron Age #1-3

Issue 1 features the Hank Pym team-up, written by Christos Gage with art from Lee Weeks. I’m a huge Weeks fan, so this is an easy sell for me. This storyline focuses on modern-Tony trying to get his Avengers buddies to help, so it’s a can’t miss. This is another look at that 80’s Avengers roster that I love so much, so the team is Captain Marvel, Hawkeye, Iron Man, She-Hulk, Wasp, Cap, Thor, and Starfox. That’s a great team! And they fight Ultron! Gage has always had a knack for Marvel History, so this really lets him show off his skills. I loved this one.

The second part of the issue focuses on Captain Britain. Rob Williams and Ben Oliver are riffing on an old Alan Moore Captain Britain storyline, at least as far as I remember. In any case, Britain is in a police state, mutants are being rounded up, and Captain Britain is fighting them off alone. When Iron Man shows up with his future agenda, Cap B can’t help but be disappointed. This is a good little done-in-one. Captain Britain is a character I never really cared for as a kid, but I seem to be getting some affection for the big lug now. Entertaining.

Issue 2 part 1 is another can’t miss. I love Power Man. Luke Cage in the yellow shirt is just plain awesome, so watching he and Iron Fist team up with Iron Man is a treat. Jen Van Meter and Nick Dragotta do a wonderful job making this feel like an old 70’s issue with an added factor (modern Tony). Dagotta gets to lay out a lot of great Marvel blasts from the past, including the the Heroes for Hire, Scorpion, Tinkerer, and Daughters of the Dragon.

Part 2 by Elliott Kalan and Ron Frenz feels like a lost issue of Marvel Team-Up. Iron Man and the Human Torch infiltrate the Latverian embassy to take on Doc Doom for the next piece of equipment. If for no other reason, this issue is fun since it features red-suited Torch and nose-armor Iron Man. These forgotten looks are very much of their time, but it’s neat seeing them again. The Torch is one of only a few characters that modern Tony lays out the truth for. It’s neat seeing Johnny Storm roll with the punches, he’s not put off at all by his time-hopping team-up.

Issue 3 part 1 features Dazzler in her fantastic 70’s getup. Louise Simonson writes both her and Tony well, with the rookie Dazzler coming off as earnest and hopeful. I like that the character hasn’t changed all that much in the intervening years, just gotten more powerful. Not every hero needs to have travelled down a dark path, a point this story drives home. Plus, it features the Hellfire Club, so it ties in nicely to X-history. Todd Nauck’s art is always fun, but this is the… bustiest I’ve ever seen him draw. Dazzler is falling out of her top through most of the issue; doesn’t that silver suit come with a zipper? And man, she has a disco ball necklace. Wonderful.

Part 2 is a flashback to the Uncanny X-Men’s attack on the Hellfire Club. Rob Williams and Roberto De La Torre do a great job making this feel like it fit between the pages of the original story. I’m also intrigued that Williams makes Nightcrawler the smart one on the team; it’s nice seeing Kurt Wagner again. Now the X-Men really have been through the ringer over the years, so Tony’s melancholy at seeing them is a great touch. Cyclops, Jean Grey, Storm, Nightcrawler, Wolverine, and Colossus. That line-up was a pretty great team, wasn’t it?

If you like classic Marvel, you can’t go wrong with this series. Available for cheap on Comixology, I recommend this to anyone who loves older eras of current Marvel favorites. A product of 2011, it’s already a tad dated (with some sadness about the then-dead Human Torch) but it’s darn entertaining.


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