Review – Iron Man #9 (Marvel)

Publisher: Marvel Comics
Writer: Christopher Cantwell
Artwork: CAFU
Colours: Frank D’Armata
Release Date: 9th June2021

After taking a month off with the “Heroes Reborn” Avengers crossover, Iron Man is back!

With our team scattered, Tony Stark lost on an unknown alien world and Hellcat and War Machine having barely survived their battle with Korvac’s ship, the series gets a chance to breathe for an issue. The focus of this issue is on Korvac himself as he moves his plans forward for universal reorganisation. But what does he need for his plans to be complete, and how does it relate to his whole story?

In an interesting move, the entire issue comes from Korvac’s perspective, exploring his past and present with the same blend of fantastical sci-fi and hard-hitting character trauma exploration that has made this series the masterpiece it is. Christopher Cantwell has filled this series with complicated people, and Korvac is absolutely a complicated character worthy of a some extra examination. Throughout this series, Korvac has been trying to find someone to share his vision of the universe with, and in this issue he finds someone he thinks will finally understand him, only to face rejection again. The fact that you end up almost feeling bad for him is a sign of just how strong this series, and Cantwell’s writing, is.

Away from the usual spectacular action, CAFU and Frank D’Armata do great work as usual. There’s a flashback scene this issue that allows CAFU to go full ’70s, and it’s a joy to see such classic designs in his excellent style – an approach which is further added to by D’Armata’s great use of colour, adding mood and atmosphere to this dark chapter.

The fact that this series is still going strong after two issues with the title character not even present shows just how great it is. With a lesser creative team, this book would have potentially collapsed trying to deal with such raw emotional themes, but this series always manages to find some glimmer of hope along the way. For its depiction of mental health alone I think this book will go down as something truly important, and as an Iron Man series it continues to become the gold standard with each passing issue. It’s raw, emotional, beautiful and painful, and every issue is nothing short of a delight to read.

Rating: 4/5.


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

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