Review – Iron Man #2 (Marvel)

Publisher: Marvel Comics
Writer: Christopher Cantwell
Artwork: CAFU
Colours: Frank D’Armata
Release Date: 21st October 2020

Series writer Christopher Cantwell spent the first issue of Marvel’s latest Iron Man series tearing down everything that Tony Stark used to stand for. So now with a new location, a new supporting cast and a new set of armour, it’s time to see what this new world means for Tony and what the hell he is going to have to endure in order to survive it.

So, with our new status quo firmly in place, where do we start the story? With Korvac, of course.  Starting the story with a man who thinks (and practically is) a god coldly examining his new body is an introduction designed to draw comparisons to Tony himself. As I said many times in my review of the last issue the reason this book has worked so far is the humanity and vulnerability at its core. Both the armour and Tony take damage from every encounter, a wrinkle which provides a real sense of danger in every fight. Unlike in previous runs it is also clear that Tony can’t just get a new suit created while getting his morning coffee. As a result of this, even “lesser” antagonists like Absorbing Man and Cardiac feel bigger when the cost to Tony is shown so clearly.

However, all this pain Tony is going though is not merely just to show the stakes, because what Cantwell has done here is far more interesting. He uses the pain Tony endures to show just how warped his view of the world is as Iron Man, with Tony suggesting that if he dies doing something heroic then that’s all that matters. In a world of grey, Tony’s still trying to make it black and white, a nuance which is vital here because both minor antagonists having sympathetic traits in this story shows that as much as Tony wants to be the hero someone is always going to think he’s in the wrong.

Of course, this new approach is helped tremendously by CAFU who makes every scratch and cut on both Tony and his armour count. From small side panels to full splash pages, CAFU really sells the impact of the characters and their actions throughout the course of this issue. He is the perfect artist for this book and use of colour by Frank D’Armata continues to heighten the atmosphere of book to even greater heights.

So bear with me, because I know that what I am about to say might seem hyperbolic but if you’ve been fortunate enough tyo read any of this series so far, I doubt you will disagree. If this book continues with its current level of quality, we will be talking about it for years to come. It’s rare to see a creative team not only completely understanding a character the way they do Tony here, but also understanding superheroes in general. This is probably my favourite comic of the year so far, and it makes me trust Cantwell and CAFU completely to give us the best look at Tony since Matt Fraction. I honestly cannot recommend this book any higher. You should all be reading this.

Rating: 5/5.


The writer of this piece was: Jonathan Mullen
Jonathan Tweets from @JonathanDMullen ‏

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