Continuing on the streak of not issue number ones, here is another Marvel comic that gives the reader a look at one of the biggest names in the MU. It’s odd to think that considering before the movie, Iron Man was just another guy, known by some, but not as popular as Spider-Man, or even the Hulk. This issue is by Fraction, who I’ve mentioned before and usually enjoy.
The recap page tells me a great deal that I wasn’t aware of. Rhodey faked his death and is now (then) Iron Man. The Mandarin was inside of Tony’s head and partially in control of him. And it appears the last issue ended with Stark kneeling to the Mandarin. I’m not sure it’s the best jumping on point from that, but it is part of of a storyline.
So Tony is in some jail in “Mandarin City,” along with criminals and what I’m thinking is Ezekiah Stane. I’m not really sure. I never was big on IM supporting characters. He’s working for the Mandarin, building stuff with “Zeke.” He gives his master a list of supplies and clearly there is something else going on with that list. Probably some secret parts to build something to help him escape. You would think Stark would get his ass kicked every day in jail with villains, but surprisingly, most leave him alone. All except the Melter, who is one of many Melters. I think he is the one from the Young Avengers: Dark Reign miniseries, but I am not 100% on that. Anyway, he uses his power, or tries to, against Tony, almost gets blown up by the security system, and is only saved by the arc reactor in Tony’s chest. Man, that thing can do anything, apparently.
I think the storyline of Stark in jail would be good. I liked Daredevil in jail a while ago. But the other storylines were a bit confusing, at least for someone who isn’t following the series. There was the new CEO or something of Resilient (which I guess is Stark Industries?) giving a speech to shareholders. There was Rhodey stopping a jailbreak with Pepper Potts as Rescue there too. However, even she didn’t know who was in that suit of armor, which was pretty cool looking I might add. I only know about Potts from a couple Dark Reign issues I read years ago. Then there is a part with some boy who is talking with a cast of people I don’t know, including what appeared to be an Asgardian dwarf, since he was small and swore with runes. Not sure what was happening there.
The art itself, done by Salvador Larroca, was good, but I don’t really have anything specific to say about it. It was realistic, but not hyper-realistic. Some peoples’ faces occasionally bothered me, especially the mouths, but in general I found it easy to look at.
Overall, the book was not one I’d reread, and did not make me want to purchase the next in the storyline, which I think is the whole point of the free comics. If it was just Stark in a Mandarin-controlled prison, I’d want to know more. But as far as the other storylines went, I found them boring, and confusing for a new reader. Again, I don’t read IM regularly. Maybe if I did, I would appreciate the rest more. But as a new reader, it just didn’t pull me in enough. Better luck next time.