Iron Patriot #1 (Marvel)

Iron Patriot1
CREDIT: Marvel Comics

Rating: 3/5 – Getting the character back to basics…slowly.
by ComicSpectrum reviewer Shawn Hoklas.

James Rhodes has donned a more traditional Iron Man suit; he’s been War Machine and now he’s the Iron Patriot. He’s also been turned into a cyborg, been cloned, and has died…then had his consciousness transferred into the cloned body. So with this first issue of Iron Patriot, I’m glad to see that writer Ales Kot is simplifying and getting back to the core character. It’s something that needs to be done with this rich character. Unfortunately that simplification was carried out throughout the issue, making this an unexciting and somewhat dull first issue.

The first couple pages of this issue places us two days in the future. I’m usually OK with stories opening up with where we’ll be getting to, but when the story doesn’t get the reader back to that same moment within the same issue and we need to wait for #2 to get there, well that’s a miss. The first couple pages of this issue were the most exciting, but we don’t get the payoff as Kot is choosing to slowly build Rhodes back up before getting to the big action. That build up focuses on his family life and his relationship with his father and niece. There’s some nice moments here, and it’s clear that Kot wants to make you feel for Rhodey, but it all feels so slow and the action towards the end of this issue lacks the same intensity that the issue opened with.

Artist Garry Brown who’s work I enjoy from the wonderful series The Massive at Dark Horse pencils this title. His line work is very simple yet tells a great story. I’m not sure if he’s the best artist for this type of book, but I’m willing to wait and see more. There are some really great panels and flow to the story, but the action at the end fell a bit flat. That may be due to Jim Charalampidis’ colors as he uses a darker and what seems to be a more subdued palette. The Iron Patriot doesn’t leap off the page, and the “mud” monsters in this issue come off looking bland and boring. In the end, I’m happy to see that this long time Marvel character is getting back to basics, but I’m hoping that it doesn’t take too long in getting him there and into more action-packed stories.

Reviewed by: Shawn Hoklas
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