Superior Iron Man #1
w. Tom Taylor
a. Yildiray Cinar
4 out of 5 Space Monkeys
Honestly, I didn’t want to like this book. I haven’t been steadily collecting Iron Man for a while now, but the redesign of his armor, and the DC imported creative team had me interested. Injustice: Gods Among Us was a great video game adaption/tie-in by Tom Taylor, and his writing skills and fandom really shown through during his run on Earth 2, seamlessly replacing James Robinson as the scribe. Cinar has been on my radar since his Legion of Superhero Days, and possesses the clean, fluid pencils perfect for depicting high-end technology. I was already following AXIS, so I was intrigued.
And while were being honest, the only time I found Iron Man interesting is when he was portrayed as more of a villain. Check your history, it happened a lot more than you think, in What if’s,various possible Marvel futures, Exiles, the Crossing…even currently in Hickman’s run.
First, a little back story that leads into this number one..
During the AXIS event mini series, a large group of Avengers and X-men teamed up to stop Red Onslaught, a psionic being comprised of the Red Skull’s personality and Professor X’s vast mutant powers.Red Onslaught was sending worldwide psychic waves, driving the population of earth to acts of hatred and malice. Through use of technology and a mystic spell casted by Doctor Strange and the Scarlet Witch was supposed to invert ( hence the sub-title Inversion ) the Red Skull’s personality, making Professor X ‘s the dominate one. But when Doctor Strange fell in battle, Doctor Doom, an accomplished director himself, stepped up to take his place. Something went wrong.
Red Onslaught was shut down, but a psionic feedback from the spell had strange effects on those present. The villains have become… less villainous and the heroes, well they’re acting like a bunch of douchebag fratboys, with Stark being the Jim Belushi of the bunch. Last seen in AXIS #4 showing up at a Giants Stadium in San Francisco not only does he start boozing it up a bit, Stark giving out a new version of Extremis, free to the public via a phone app. Extremis 3.0 allows it user to change their body to what they believe is the ideal version of it via the apps technicalities. Needless to say, people downloaded it like crack and took advantage.
Superior Iron Man opens up with your standard run of the mill superhero team up with She Hulk. Iron Man, in his gold and black armor takes on the Teen Abomination ( don’t worry they address the stupidity of the villains name ) with his fellow Avenger, when things go a little wonky… like Iron Man getting his head knocked off his shoulders kinda wonky!
But alas, do not fear…. Tony Stark is fine. More than fine actually,he’s sipping martinis in a pool full of Extremis enhanced babes, taking the sun..Stark was remotely controlling the armor. While Tony basks in the limelight, Pepper Potts is pretty pissed! She confronts Tony, about millions of people suddenly turned into super models, making the city of San Fran into one big drunken orgy. Stark laughingly dismisses her, and her fear of ramifications while showing off his sleek and sexy new endo-sym liquid smart metal chrome armor. Stark assures her things will fix themselves……when the free trial period expires! Across San Fransisco, people are reverted back to themselves, the Extremis shutting down. No one is taking it well, but that $99 a day subscription alert on their phones might be able to help them out…. if they can afford it! Stark’s new moneymaker is here!
While Stark flies off in his new armor to go see what the Chaos he sowed be reaped across the city, Pepper has another meeting with a pointed-masked person, we’ll all find familiar….very familiar,.to discuss taking down the now obviously villainous, possibly mind controlled meglomaniacal Iron Man ( see why it’s Superior now!), What is the Contingency? ( and what a surprise final page reveal it is!)
Taylor moves Tony Stark into his Superior phase quite seamlessly, let’s face it Tony Stark ‘s personality was about asclose.as you can get to a villain without actually being one, and Taylor tweaks his personality and actions ( as Cinar does with his facial expressions and mannerisms) so that he is still recognizable as Tony Stark, to the readers and his fellow characters, but something is just off… A well done debut, bringing a new interest to an old character while showcasing both creative team members obvious skills. A good jumping on point for new and lapsed fans, and a natural progression for character, coming off the events in AXIS.
A real fun read.