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Iron Man #1

Review by Paul Bowler.

Tony Stark decides to get back to basics in Iron Man #1 as Marvel Comics launches a brand new ongoing series from the all-new-creative team of writer Christopher Cantwell, artist Cafu and color artist Frank D’Armata.

Right from the outset its clear writer Christopher Cantwell is aiming for a more refined and contemporary take on the character. While the opening slugfest with Terrax provides us with the necessary prerequisite of Iron Man action, the real nuts and bolts of the issue follows Tony Stark’s attempt to get his life back on track. Reinvesting his billion dollar exit package from Stark Unlimited, along with all the high-tech toys and equally high-profile image is the easy part, recalibrating his life with a 1978 Dodge Aspen, a new pad, and street racing while every CEO, financier and entrepreneur worth their salt has something to pitch to him proves to be a more challenging balancing act for him. Fortunately Patsy Walker, aka Hellcat, arrives to keep Tony grounded. 

Cantwell ensures the pace of the issue flows smoothly while significant refinements to Tony’s life unfold along the way, one could almost say it reads a bit like superhero mid-life-crisis, and the parallel narrative of social media posts peppered throughout brings the scrutiny on Stark’s world into sharper context than ever before. Patsy Walker is another unexpected surprise, one that that totally blindsides Tony during his most soul-searching moments, and she proves t a perfect foil for Stark’s ego as well. Throw in a D-list villain and a threat with biblical connotations and Christopher Cantwell sets up this new Iron Man series in fine style indeed.

The art by Cafu is a real treat as well, rich with detail, expression, and dynamic viewpoints   it makes this issue a veritable feast on the senses. Full framed, overlapping panel layouts allow scenes to shift seamlessly from one to the next, with media interviews, street racing, encounters with old friends and old enemies are all rendered in Cafu’s distinctly lavish visuals and beautifully complemented by color artist Frank D’Armata’s exquisite use of muted pallets, rich tones, and deep shadows. The new Iron Man armor design by Alex Ross is a glorious reinvention of the characters classic look, it even gets showcased with a good old-fashioned suit-up scene, and the overall aesthetic is pleasingly nostalgic yet sufficiently updated enough to make this relaunch feel all the more special as a result.

Much like Tony Stark, this new series suits-up with an upgraded sense of reflection and confidence, quickly finds it feet, and embarks on a bold new era filled with potential. With its excellent and witty storyline by Christopher Cantwell, great art by Cafu, and superb cover by Alex Ross, Iron Man #1 feels like a much needed breath of fresh air for the character, and I’m really excited to see what this new creative team have in store for old Shell-Head in the months to come.

Publisher: Marvel

Writer: Christopher Cantwell / Artist: Cafu

Color Artist: Frank D’Armata / Letterer: VC’s Joe Caramagna 

Cover: Alex Ross

About The Author

Hi, I’m Paul Bowler, blogger and reviewer of films, TV shows, and comic books. I’m a Sci-Fi geek, a big fan of Doctor Who, Star Trek, movies, Sci-Fi, Horror, Comic Books, and all things PS4.You can follow me on Twitter @paul_bowler,or at my website, Sci-Fi Jubilee, and on YouTube and Facebook