Sunday, November 11, 2012

WGTB Reviews Iron Man #1

Marvel NOW! rolls on with Iron Man #1 hitting the shelves this past Wednesday. To begin, I should say I've never been a big Iron Man reader. I like the character but have never seemed to pick up his books. I know it's shameful, especially given the cinematic success Marvel/Disney has had centreing their universe (largely) around Robert Downey Jr. playing the role.  But for some reason Tony Stark is just someone in Marvel that has never caught my eye in the comic book store. I tell you this because my review may seem a little light in content and a detailed understanding of Iron Man's rich history in the medium. I'm also telling you because I'm using this first issue of Marvel NOW!'s Iron Man as an opportunity to get a fresh start on Tony Stark and frankly see this as a reason why these relaunches and reboots are a good thing for ignorants like me. On with the review.
Marvel NOW!'s Iron Man #1 (January 2013) Story by Kieron Gillen, pencils by Greg Land, inks by Jay Leisten, colours by Guru eFX and letters by VC's Joe Caramagna

(Spoilers Below)
Having enjoyed Kieron Gillen recent runs on X-Men and Journey Into Mystery, I knew I was going to like this book to some degree. Gillen is a very skilled writer and has a knack for taking long established characters and making them his own. My initial thoughts were that tonally, Tony Stark was very similar to his cinematic counterpart and this was helpful I immediately liked him and knew this was a fellow I could follow regularly. The story begins in a posh New York bar with Tony working his magic with a beautiful woman. After he takes the party home and is about to seal the deal, he gets an urgent and distressing call from Maya Hansen who says that the 'Extremis is loose' and she's already 'probably dead'. We then fast forward to see a bad infomercial type of television program where Extremis' are being sold to regular folks. Iron Man subsequently crashes the party and learns there are four models loose on the world.

Extremis models and Iron Man from Iron Man #1 (January 2013)
I enjoyed the book and it wasn't without some solid humour. Probably the best line was when Tony went undercover at the Extremis sale by simply shaving off 'the world's most famous mustache'. Very Clark Kent. I'm not sure if the four Extremis villains will be long-term antagonists for the book -- this first arch is five books and that would match quite nicely with there being four out there. But it would be cool with a model popping up every now and then and this could lead to some long-term problems for Iron Man. The story also has a significant international dimension and it would will be neat seeing Gillen taking Tony to different locales around the world. I loved what he did with Sinister and London in Uncanny X-Men  
Iron Man armour in Iron Man #1 (Janurary 2013)
Unfortunately, while I enjoyed the early stages of Gillen's work on this book, I can't say the same for the art. In places Greg Land's work was very good: the below shot of Iron Man hovering over the cityscape is an example of the awesomeness that is Iron Man. But by and large his human depictions didn't have any stand-out qualities to them and while it doesn't look bad, there really isn't anything to grab the readers and make us say 'Wow!'   
Iron Man hovers over the city in Iron Man #1 (January 2013)
That said, it was a reasonably good comic book and because it has a very 'one-shot' feel to it, I think it's a great start for any new or lapsed Iron Man fan. I'm certainly going to find some Iron Man TPBs and get caught up on him, and will probably keep up with this particular comic for the next little while.  3.5/5 STARS 

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