I’m afraid Kieron Gillen’s Iron Man has moved from the top of the stack to the bottom. I loved the module-based approach that the series started out with, but now that Iron Man is in space in a silly new armor? I’m just not feeling the armored Avenger these days.
That said? This book pretty much wins me back. Gillen uses a Rigellian Recorder who shows up at JUST the right moment to help out Tony Stark with his whole “GodKiller” trial. I found the timing to be a bit suspicious and nothing that happens later in the issue has changed my mind. I know Gillen loves evil robots, so I think this 451 guy might not have Stark’s best interests in mind.
Then you’ve got a twist on the old “trial by combat” theme. The hero is always the underdog, right? Facing down horrific, overpowered champions from beyond? Well Gillen flips it. Stark is accused by a peaceful race championed by hobbyists. They have no chance against a Cap-trained Avenger!
And wow, I’m stunned at the next champion. This guy hasn’t been in a comic for years and years, and now he has popped up two weeks in a row. Death’s Head, people! How many readers under 30 even know who this guy is? I’m happy to see him; his crazy cadence and imposing design always make him a neat supporting character.
This is one of the best turnarounds I've read in a comic. I had almost no interest in Space Iron Man last month, and here I am excited for the next issue.
I bet I like this issue more because of the lack of space armor too. That early black and gold armor had me excited, but this sunburst? Bleh! Greg Land is never my favorite artist, but I thought he was doing a good job with the action sequences early in the series. Land doesn’t get to put Stark in the armor for the action scenes, but there is plenty of hand-to-hand combat. The backgrounds are almost non-existent, and the Recorder’s redesign is a bit mundane, but the action is clear enough. And I have to mention Land’s favorite trick. In a flashback, we see Hope and Scarlet Witch defeat the Phoenix. And Hope is butt is naked, but painted green.