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Iron Man #1

Review by Paul Bowler

Billionaire playboy Tony Star’s flirtatious evening with a mysterious blonde woman at MJ’s night club is curtailed when news that Maya Hansen has been kidnapped and forced to reconstruct the Extremis technology. Stark and Pepper begin to realize the horrifying implications of this security breach. In an attempt to prevent this technology falling into the wrong hands Stark decides to infiltrate the AIM presentation headed by Colin Forty Four, where the Extremis V2 is being marketed as Homo-Extremis; a revolutionary new biological fusion of man and technology that will supposedly offer a programmable new era of health and prosperity for the human race.

When Stark hacks into the presentations computer systems he is discovered, fortunately he has managed to smuggle a liquid “smart metal” suit in his briefcase, and is quickly transformed into Iron Man when the liquid putty bonds with his subdermal exoskeleton. Iron Man is attacked the by super strong, and fire breathing, AIM Extremis Enhanciles, but he has come prepared for this eventuality and defeats them with a new armour -piercing taser. After managing to persuade Colin Forty Four to talk – by dangling him in mid air – Tony Stark’s worst fears are realized when he learns that the Extremis technology has fallen into the hands of four different people determined to exploit Extremis at any cost.

Iron Man #1 is a great new addition to the new Marvel Now range of titles. This new issue reintroduces us to Tony Stark’s Billionaire lifestyle, and we learn much more about what makes the Armoured Avenger tick in one issue than we have in recent years. Tony has come to revaluate his place in the world as this issue begins, with Iron Man soaring over the New York skyline as he questions the fundamental points of the decisions that have shaped his life so far.

After his great stint in AvX Consequences Kieron Gillen casts his assured eye over the Iron Man legacy and brings it bang up to date for Marvel Now, causing Tony Star to reflect on the recent events in the Marvel Universe, drawing on familiar Iron Man concepts like the Extremis while skilfully offering a technologic slant on the classic Demon in a Bottle storyline.

One of this issues most striking features is the terrific artwork by Greg Land’s. From the opening skyline of New York to the moment Tony Stark dons his new suit of Iron Man armour, every scene is complemented by Jay Lesiten’s inks and swathed in the gleaming colours provided by Guru EFX. It’s a neat idea to have Tony shaves off his moustache so he can sneak into the AIM presentation unnoticed, it’s a fun interlude, as is the way he sneaks his new liquid metal armour past security in his briefcase. The scene where Tony suits up is of course the highlight of this issue, as is the new Iron Man armour itself. The new suit is a stunning redesign that bristles with raw power and advanced weaponry. I also like how this new suit seems more heavy duty than the more recent versions, bulkier, and with a darker colour scheme that really enhances the organic quality of the liquid metal it’s formed from.

We are still in the very early days of Marvel Now but so far Iron Man #1 has been my favourite title from this new range. There is plenty to enjoy here for Iron Man fans, and this title in particular really showcases the concepts behind Marvel Now, teaming some great writing and top notch artwork with the opportunity to refine the character of Tony Stark and make this premier issue a confident new beginning for the Invincible  Iron Man.