The latest volume of Iron Man has been a solid start. For three issues we’ve explored Tony Stark as a person as he attempts to find his place in the world. With Patsy Walker helping to guide him, we get to see different aspects of the character. And, we get to see the start of what’s likely to define him for some time. Iron Man #3 is a fun read and a good chapter in the opening arc but it also isn’t all that memorable. It’s a bit rushed at times getting to its latter half a bit too quickly. It feels compressed in its story.
Writer Christopher Cantwell knocks it out of the park as he explores characters. It’s the dive into the psyche that’s interesting. The first two issues focused on Tony attempting to find his place, a person with unease. Cantwell’s Tony Stark is a Gen-Xer who is at the point in their life they question what they’ve been doing. Did they do what they wanted? What will their legacy be? As someone in that position, it’s something I can relate to.
Iron Man #3 gets us to the next phase of that introspection, we question why others aren’t grateful. With Tony attempting to do the hero thing, he’s noticing how the public is reacting more. It’s something he’s focused on and it’s frustrating him. He doesn’t know how to act. Cantwell could easily take it all down a very dark route but he ads in a lot of humor as Iron Man tussles with various villains. There are truly great moments and a few that got me to laugh.
It’s the latter half of the comic that’s the issue as Tony checks on his investment. That all has reveals that are a bit too quick and feels like a segment better suited for the fourth issue (assuming this is a five issue arc). That “rushed” feeling is compounded by a segment with Tony in coach on an airplane. That part is something that could have been mined for comedic gold and also told us more about who Tony is now and who he wants to be. It’s a quick moment that actually should have played out longer.
It’s a comic that feels like it gets from A to D rushing through B and skipping C. By the end, I felt like I missed something in a previous issue but the reality is the main villain is never really set up well to make readers care. He’s a classic villain, and that’s about what we’ve gotten.
The art by Cafu is amazing though. There is truly great art here and it’s helped by Frank D’Armata‘s color. The early parts of the comic and the end fight all look fantastic with some really interesting visuals and color pops. Iron Man has rarely looked better and his villains are the same. There’s just something about this art that really clicks for me.
There’s nothing bad about Iron Man #3 at all. It’s a solid comic with an interesting story and great art. As a chapter of the opening arc, it’s fantastic. But, the arc so far isn’t anything that’s jumping out as an instant classic. It is fantastic storytelling though. It’s also a great exploration of Tony Stark as a person. If you’re a fan of Iron Man, Cantwell, or Cafu, it’s an issue to check out but for new readers, this isn’t one that’ll hook you.
Story: Christopher Cantwell Art: Cafu
Color: Frank D’Armata Letterer: Joe Caramagna
Story: 7.0 Art: 8.75 Overall: 7.0 Recommendation: Read
Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review
Purchase: comiXology – Amazon – Kindle – Zeus Comics