Iron Man #9 by Christopher Cantwell

Iron Man #9 (Iron Man (2020-))Iron Man #9 (Iron Man by Christopher Cantwell
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I finished my review of #8 by hoping we’d get back to Tony in the next issue…we do not, which is a shame. I mean, this is an Iron Man book, and Iron Man only briefly appears in a flashback. It’s fine to do that occasionally, but I’m not sure that it works two issues in a row…especially when we’ve had to wait two months between issues. At least we know that we’re going to finally catch up with Tony next time.

Meanwhile, we delve into the origin of Korvac, and everything’s a bit muddled. I found this issue exceptionally hard to follow and it seems to expect a level of familiarity with the character that I don’t possess. Plus, the original Human Torch is here. And they’re related…sort of. Korvac builds him a new robot body to replace the robot body Tony built for him in an issue of the Invaders at some point, apparently, and Korvac things the Torch will understand his plan to usher in a new utopian age and join him. Which doesn’t exactly go to plan.

The art is as good as it always is in Iron Man at the moment, but the writing here feels a little disjointed. It’s odd. Hopefully this issue is just a blip in what’s been an otherwise outstanding run.

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Iron Man Annual (2020) #1 by Jed Mackay

Iron Man Annual (2020) #1 (Iron Man 2020 (2020))Iron Man Annual (2020) #1 (Iron Man 2020 by Jed Mackay
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was surprisingly good. I say “surprisingly” because Marvel’s annuals have a tendency to be utterly pointless. But this was a decent story, with Tony getting angry about Miles Morales being kidnapped and tortured and so going off on a mission to bring down the guy who tortured him.

For the first part of an annual wide crossover, this was also refreshingly self contained, as I won’t be getting any more of this story because, well, you can’t buy everything, right?

The art was decent, although I do wish Marvel would get their artists using a consistent model for the Iron Man armour, but that’s been a problem for years now.

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Iron Man (2020-) #8 by Christopher Cantwell

Iron Man (2020-) #8Iron Man (2020-) #8 by Christopher Cantwell
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Moondragon shows up and takes us on a roller coaster ride through Patsy Walker’s psyche in this Iron Man free issues of Iron Man.

And given that this issue contains exactly 0% Tony Stark and eff all Iron Man, it’s still pretty damn good. Although I do kinda’ have a soft spot for Hellcat, so maybe that explains it. It just fascinates me that despite being a fairly minor character she actually has one of the longest histories of all the characters in the Marvel Universe, outside of Captain America and the Sub-Mariner. She’s been around since the Golden Age. Seriously, look it up, she first appeared in 1944!

So, I appreciate it when stories draw on her history in Golden Age teen comics. And that’s exactly what this comic does.

Of course, it’s worth noting that we still don’t know where Tony is…and neither does he…but hopefully we’ll get back to him in the next issue.

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Iron Man (2020-) #7 by Christopher Cantwell

Iron Man (2020-) #7Iron Man (2020-) #7 by Christopher Cantwell
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Everything gets a bit metaphysical as the team have a discussion about the nature of god.

Meanwhile, Patsy, Tony and Korvac discuss Korvac’s utopia in their minds.

And then…well…that would be a spoiler, but this story has a twist in the tail that’ll leave you reeling.

The art is magnificent, the writing is superb, and this is some classic Iron Man in the making.

I absolutely love it!

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Iron Man (2020-) #6 by Christopher Cantwell

Iron Man (2020-) #6Iron Man (2020-) #6 by Christopher Cantwell
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Tony, Tony, Tony…you’re really not in a good place, are you?

Trapped in your own armour again. That’s never a good sign. But that’s what happens when Korvac breaks your neck.

I like the juxtaposition between Tony’s fractured neck and Patsy’s fractured mind, but let’s be honest, Tony’s not exactly the poster boy for mental health right now, either.

It is VERY good to see Rhodey back in the armour, let’s get him back in THE armour now. He’s extremely overdue a spell as Iron Man. Maybe that’s where this is headed? After all, Tony’s going to need some time to recover from that fractured neck…although this is comics, so maybe not.

This is good stuff. I think Iron Man’s always worked best when exploring Tony Stark’s nature as a deeply flawed human being, when the villain has got the better of him and he’s running on empty and just surviving on sheer willpower…pushing his body beyond its limits. Because, you know, Tony’s self destructive tendencies manifest themselves in more ways than one.

Anyway, we’re off to space next time! Exciting!

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Iron Man (2020-) #5 by Christopher Cantwell

Iron Man (2020-) #5Iron Man (2020-) #5 by Christopher Cantwell
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

There’s something deeply satisfying about seeing Tony Stark get out smarted. Although, that said, I’m hoping that Tony has an ace up his sleeve and will come out on top. I mean…he’s the hero…he’s bound to win in the end, right?

But at what cost? That’s the real question, isn’t it? Everyone surrounding Tony gets hurt, and that’s very much at the heart of this story. It’s demonstrated very literally in regards to the make shift team that he puts together to fight Korvac…including Frog Man (who actually DOES have an action figure now, believe it or not). But it’s also demonstrated far more painfully in the breaking of Patsy’s mind. And, oh, poor Patsy…it was a big mistake to get close to Tony Stark…and he isn’t even afforded the time to truly realise what he’s done.

The art, by Cafu, is utterly gorgeous, especially during the scenes which take place in the rain. These scenes have a real atmosphere about them and the visuals combine with the events to make you feel…well…despair.

I’ve seen Tony broken before, left lying on the ground, suit devoid of power and seemingly out of options, but I’ve never seen it done quite so effectively as it is here. Before I’ve always been hyper aware of the fact that he’s the hero and he’ll get out of it somehow…but I don’t see a way out for him here…

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Iron Man (2020-) #4 by Christopher Cantwell

Iron Man (2020-) #4Iron Man (2020-) #4 by Christopher Cantwell
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is still very good stuff, but I’m not sure if this month sees a slight drop in quality or if I’m just tired.

Or maybe I’m not all that interested in Korvac as a villian? Or I’m a bit tired of super villains with messianic tendencies?

Who knows? It could just be that I’m full of cheese. Anyway, I’m still loving the dynamic between Patsy Walker and Tony Stark, and it’s good to see Rhodey again, of course.

The art is as lovely as ever, but I find myself eager for this arc to end and for us to move on. Not sure why. It’s probably the cheese.

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Iron Man (2020-) #3 by Christopher Cantwell

Iron Man (2020-) #3Iron Man (2020-) #3 by Christopher Cantwell
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I’ve read a LOT of Iron Man and this is really, really good Iron Man.

Tony is not in a good place, and, arguably, Tony’s at his most interesting when he’s not in a good place. He’s feeling completely detached from regular people and this is clearly leading him towards a state of mind not too far away from that of Homelander in The Boys (although, thankfully, he’s got a long way to go before he ends up like that and Patsy Walker is here to keep his head straight).

The art is gorgeous and I’m loving the use of classic Iron Man villains like the Unicorn and Blizzard.

This is a beautiful, well written comic and I thoroughly recommend checking out this run.

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Iron Man (2020-) #2 by Christopher Cantwell

Iron Man (2020-) #2Iron Man (2020-) #2 by Christopher Cantwell
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was good, though not as good as #1.

I’m really enjoying the dynamic between Patsy and Tony, they make good foils for each other. Tony trying to go out in a blaze of glory so that people will remember him fondly and not as the raging asshole he really is is very Tony.

I would have liked the mystery of who was plotting in the background to have lasted longer than a single issue, but what you gonna do, eh?

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Iron Man (2020-) #1 by Christopher Cantwell

Iron Man (2020-) #1Iron Man (2020-) #1 by Christopher Cantwell
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is exactly what this book needed, a return to basics, in a sense, for both Tony and the book itself.

As someone who’s been reading Iron Man for over thirty years, and has read a good slice of the back issues before that, this feels like Iron Man, in a way that the book hasn’t for a long time. It also looks like Iron Man too, with Tony in a new suit that manages to be both retro and futuristic at the same time. It looks like the classic suit without looking outdated, which is a tough thing to achieve.

And while we’re talking about looks…Cafu’s art is simply stunning. Not only does he draw the suit beautifully, but also the regular human people, the locations and the vehicles too. Talking of those regular humans, teaming Tony up with Hellcat was a great idea and works really well.

As a long time Iron Man fan I really appreciated the appearance of the Unicorn. That’s a real old school Iron Man villain, and it was a lovely touch having him working for a secret, villainous mastermind too. Again, some classic Iron Man shenanigans reminiscent of the Black Llama! (There’s a throw back for you!)

So, this is a cracking start to this new series that has me excited for Iron Man all over again!

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