Tony Stark has been through a lot lately. He died, came back sort of, died again, and is back? Whatever, it’s information that’s not needed to enjoy the brand new Iron Man #1. The newest volume is a flag planted in the ground giving us a clear idea of this latest iteration of the character and what his focus is on.
Written by Christopher Cantwell, Iron Man #1 is the mid-life crisis of a superhero. It’s a fantastic debut that’s new-reader friendly but also should be engaging and interesting for new readers. The issue has Tony Stark going back to basics. He’s divested himself from Stark Unlimited and wants to focus on simpler things. As he states it “machines should be building machines now,” and he wants to remember what it’s like to be “human.”
Tony is trying to find his role and what he should do next. He’s street racing, moved across the country, and attempting to connect with people. I say attempting.
Cantwell does an amazing job at the mid-life crisis of the white male. There’s so many interesting things and small details in this comic. As someone who might be about Tony’s age and in a similar headspace (without the money) I can’t help but connect and relate to where he’s at. There’s a complication in life that has compounded and there’s a want to focus on those things that bring enjoyment and create fulfillment (woe it is to be a while middle-aged man).
Cantwell delivers that very human aspect to the character in a story and direction that’s familiar. Tony has lost his fortune before and gotten “back to basics” multiple times. But, it’s that focus on the individual that makes the issue interesting. This is a very human Tony Stark. Cantwell has been a master of this type of storytelling giving a similar focus on Doctor Doom, one of the best new series to debut recently.
The art by Cafu is fantastic. With color by Frank D’Armata and lettering by Joe Caramagna, the art has a painted style that’s reminiscent of Adi Granov’s work in the modern classic Iron Man: Extremis storyline. Much like Cantwell’s story, there’s a focus on the small details like a look of the eyes and body language. These tell as much as the dialogue being spoken. There’s also an interesting use of social media visually giving us quick hits of information that again layers on the rich worldbuilding of the story. The team does a fantastic job of mixing action and quieter moments. The comic has some great action moments. It also has some very human moments as well.
Iron Man #1 is a Tony Stark that I can connect to. It’s not for everyone but it delivers a man who was on top of the world and is trying to find purpose. It’s a comic that realizes that there’s a man within the suit and Tony Stark has to be more than just his company and fancy toys. There’s a person that looks to be facing a mid-life crisis. It’s something that’s relatable for many. It also reminds us that many of those that are super are also very much like us underneath.
Story: Christopher Cantwell Art: Cafu
Color: Frank D’Armata Letterer: Joe Caramagna
Story: Art: Overall: Recommendation: Buy
Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review
Purchase: comiXoloy – Kindle – Zeus Comics