Iron Man #20.INH (Marvel)

Iron Man 20

Rating: 2.5/5 – Great ideas with poor execution.
by ComicSpectrum reviewer Shawn Hoklas.

Writer Kieron Gillen has come up with a lot of big ideas for this Marvel Now Iron Man series.  Tony Stark has been to space with the Guardians of the Galaxy, he’s just uncovered a family secret that he was actually adopted and has had a long lost brother, and now with his newfound brother he’s attempting to build a city of the future in this most current Iron Metropolitan storyline.  The ideas have been creative and at times controversial, but the execution of those ideas have not always been met with success and the promise of their potential.  This issue is a prime example of this.  A solid idea that unfortunately falls flat with the writing as well as the art.

Spoilers ahead, necessary to make my point about why this issue fell flat for me…
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In this twentieth (INH) issue of Iron Man, not only are Tony and his brother still working on the city of tomorrow, but Tony also has to deal with the Mandarin’s rings finding new hosts and causing him all sorts of trouble.  You can’t help but compare this story with an issue of Green Lantern as two of the rings are looking for suitable hosts to fit each ring’s personality.  We learn that the rings of the Mandarin are indeed sentient, but all share a common hatred of Tony Stark.  It could be a pretty neat idea…but the execution fails.  The way the rings speak to one another is just one example of the poor execution.  As the rings speak to one another in a nexus where the rings gather, they joke with each other about speaking in third person, they’re snarky and sarcastic, and the Nightbringer Ring when leaving the conversation actually says “Nightbringer out”…  The fact that the Mandarin’s Rings have some sort of sentience is a great idea.  Seeing that sentience play out in the way that it does, and having one of the rings speak like Ryan Seacrest, well, that’s unfortunate.  Following this scene the Nightbringer ring looks for suitable hosts and goes through characters like the Hulk, Medusa and Venom.  It plays with the themes found in Green Lantern, but to much lesser success.

The art in this issue by Agustin Padilla regrettably isn’t much better than the story.  Having the last few issues with Joe Bennett’s art was a great fit for this title.  It’s not that Padilla’s art is bad, I’m just not sure that his style fits the story.  Padilla draws a strong Iron Man in the suit, but his human characters and other heroes in the book look rushed.  His lines are a little more fluid and loose.  Again, not bad, but not the best fit to my eye.  I’m not sure after reading this issue that I’ll still continue with this series, which is disappointing as I really like the Iron Man character.

Reviewed by: Shawn Hoklas
(shawn@comicspectrum.com
)
https://comicspectrum.com/ Covering the full spectrum of comics culture

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