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Review: International Iron Man #1

Patrick HealyWith Brian Michael Bendis doing what the does best, creating natural and engaging dialogue and another beautiful reunion with artist, Alex Maleev, International Iron Man #1 starts right.

Before whatever total chaos is going on in the Marvel Universe these days, Tony Stark was a student abroad. As you might imagine, he spent more time trying to learn about women than he did the subjects at hand (or, at least, that’s what the narrative would have you believe). If I were to tell you much more than he meets one whom he finds to be particularly interesting, I’d spoil the story. Fortunately, this issue is not really story-heavy.

Anytime you see the names Bendis and Maleev appear on the same cover, it’s natural to hope the book will recapture the mature themes, dark tones and refreshing character portrayals that characterized their Daredevil run. While their work on Moon Knight lent itself more to confusion and Scarlett a bit more monologuing like a third-act villain, this book seems primed to recapture their golden era.

The charm of Bendis’s dialogue with its fast-paced back-and-forth is what makes his comics fun even when his characters are just living their normal lives. It allows the reader to become invested in the tone and setting rather than quickly bore them as often happens when a writer chooses to lead with establishment and introduction. It also makes the book more accessible to people who may not know the character and would have a difficult time jumping on otherwise.

Alex Maleev’s work is always interesting and perfectly matched to a story compelled by intrigue and the human experience. He has shed some of the grit of his previous work for a cleaner look, one more suitable to the life of a playboy rather than the grunge of Hell’s Kitchen. Paul Mounts colors go a long way to capturing the beauty of the world, off-setting Maleev’s love of ink with vivid gradients and lovely hues. Mounts’ work truly bring the pages to life.

Again, this issue is almost entirely backstory so there’s not a lot of room to review plot or even conflict, but given the quality of what’s on the pages and the reputation of the creative team, this book is perfectly executed and is highly recommended.

Feel like I missed something? Still upset about what I said about Negan from the Walking Dead? Tell me in the comments below or on Twitter!

Story: Brian Michael Bendis Art: Alex Maleev
Story (well, script): 8 Art: 8 Overall: 8 Recommendation: Buy