Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Iron Man #5

Wow, that new Eli character looks an awful lot like Jeff Bridges’ Obadiah Stane, doesn’t he? I mean, it took me a few pages to realize that wasn’t who he was. Weird! Was that by design from Kieron Gillen or Greg Land, or a simply a coincidence?

Gillen doesn’t have much time to deal with the last Extremis packet; it felt like about half the book dealt with setting up the next status quo. I’m OK with the last challenge not being that great, since the other packets all involved solid fisticuffs. But I was expecting a bit more fallout and follow-up on Maya Hansen’s death and the future use of Extremis. But again, there was little time for that as Stark refocuses to his next arc. This awkward close makes the pacing of the entire first arc seem off.

I have to wonder if this is what Gillen had planned when he took over this book. We got about 5 issues of “modular” Iron Man in two months’ time, and now Iron Man is rocketing off into space to join the Guardians of the Galaxy. In new red and gold armor. I was really enjoying the retro-feel of Iron Man with a trailer full of parts, so I’m a bit bummed that we seem to be moving on from that already.

I don’t think Tony Stark will work that well as a space-based character, so I’m pretty curious to see how many issues have to be spent out in deep space. Again, I understand Bendis wanted Iron Man in Guardians of the Galaxy, so Stark has to get out there, but wow, that choice is totally going to play havoc with the core title. It will be interesting to see if I like the book as much after the locale shifts.

Land doesn’t get a ton of dynamic work to do here, although I do like the giant arm he puts on Iron Man’s spacesuit. The problem with all these modular designs is that they are all reminiscent of Bob Layton’s fantastic alternate armors from my childhood. Stealth, space, Hulkbuster, these things have all been around for a long time, but the past versions stood out a bit more as unique and original. I enjoy seeing the modifications and it sets up a great limitation for storytelling purposes, but a bit more variation in design would have been nice.


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