Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Iron Man #1

So let’s all just agree that Armor Wars might be the best Iron Man story ever. It’s the story that hooked me on the Golden Avenger when I was a kid, and almost every time someone goes back to the well, it turns out great. Warren Ellis did it. Matt Fraction did it. And (Marvel) now Kieron Gillen is doing it. Sure, the concept is tweaked a bit, and modernized, but the core is the same. Someone’s got Iron Man’s tech and he’s got to hunt the scumbags down and get it back. I guess this Maya Hansen technically gets the credit for Extremis, so Tony is technically tracking down her genie in the bottle, but close enough. Iron Man was Extremis-powered for years, after all.

Gillen works hard to give this premiere issue a clear Robert Downey Jr. vibe. Tony Stark is a brilliant playboy living the good life. He’s overconfident, smug, and just barely on this side of an a-hole. He keeps his friends at arms length (looks like he and Pepper didn’t work out) but keeps a careful watch over the world. So yeah, he’s Iron Man.

The opening action sequence just barely passes my first-issue test. For those who have forgotten, here it is again: First issues must never feature the leads facing off against nameless, faceless hordes with no personality. When that happens, the book is more focused on pin-up shots and kewl art than it is about story. Some examples of this fault include zombies, robots, and ninjas. So we’ve got generic, nameless AIM soldiers here. Technically they qualify, but I’m hoping Gillen has some named, motivated villains in the next issue.

Greg Land. Geez. I’ll admit his Iron Man looks tremendous. The armor, the tech, it’s all really well done. I think Land was a great choice from that perspective. But man, the way he draws ladies. Tony’s date, Pepper Potts, even Maya Hansen all look like they stepped out of a magazine (as opposed to adult films, at least). We know what we’re getting with Land, I’m just hopeful he can make the villains look good as we move along.

Story – Good
Art - Fair

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