International Iron Man #1 (Marvel)


CREDIT: Marvel Comics

Rating: 4.5/5 – The Focus This Issue Is On Tony’s Past…
by ComicSpectrum EiC Bob Bretall

Another monthly Iron Man book.  But one that, so far, feels different enough from Invincible Iron Man that I don’t mind reading both.  This debut issue had very little of Iron Man in his armor, just enough to satisfy the minimum costume ‘quota’, but Tony has some exciting action going on in the flashback to his college days that kept my interest just fine.

This issue has pretty much what I’ve come to expect from a Brian Michael Bendis penned story.  It’s heavy on dialogue and character exploration, so if that is not your cup of tea, you’d best move along to some other comic.  Alex Maleev turns in outstanding work in his standard loose/sketchy style.  If you are a fan of his collaborations with Bendis on series like Daredevil or Scarlet, you should enjoy this just as much, I know I do.

The opening shot of this issue is a two-page spread with Iron Man and 5 overly-wordy armored foes in Maleev’s hometown of Sofia, Bulgaria.  From there we jump back twenty years to Tony Stark’s college days at Cambridge and Tony’s meeting and his nascent relationship with Cassandra Gillespie.  I can easily see a reader who craves super-hero stories where people in costumes are walloping the living hell out of one another finding this issue to be slow and boring.  I found Bendis’ character work here outstanding and it kept my attention from start to finish.  I have confidence that this will ultimately all wrap together and have a greater level of meaning when taken in the context of the entire story arc, but as it stands right here as a single issue I was thoroughly entertained.

Bendis and Maleev are kicking off what could be a very key run documenting Tony Stark’s status quo after the fairly recent storyline where it was revealed that Howard and Maria Stark are not his birth parents.  If you like the development of character and backstory more than wall-to-wall battles, this could be the book for you.  At a minimum, if you have been a fan of any of Bendis & Maleev’s other collaborations, I’m guessing you’ll be on board for this one too.  I am.

Reviewed by: Bob Bretall
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