Any comic that can put Space Jam’s “Y’all ready for this!” in my head, and not drive me mad, is a success. Dan Slott (Amazing Spider-Man and Silver Surfer) and Valerio Schiti (Ms. Marvel and Marvel Two-in-One) have given us an Iron Man that people can understand while staying true to the character’s over the top super science and critiquing the recent continuity from Bendis’s run. Dan Slott looked at Iron Man and asked “what can I do with this character?” He then proceeded to answer that question in the form of holograms, multiple Iron Man suits, and a cast of new and classic characters that can make old and new readers happy. He also hints at the villain for further stories while creating a solid one-shot first issue of a new series.
Valerio Schiti’s art, along with Edgar Delgado’s color work, of Iron Man, Tony, Jocasta, Bethany Cabe, and Slott’s new character Andy Bhang, truly shines in all the background pieces. The tiny robots in Bhang’s garage, the talking animals, and the tiny Iron Man key chain to Tony’s flying car are all beautifully crafted world building details that makes me wonder if Slott pointed those out in the script or Schiti’s just a genius in his own right.
So, as I said before, this issue features “Y’all ready for this!”, but it’s as Andy Bhang says toward the end, it wasn’t about flair or style- it was a feature. That’s the whole story in this issue. Tony Stark is a genius and that often comes off as showing off. This happens when he turns out to be a hologram the entire first act of the book and when he fights Fin Fang Foom, but the genius also gives Tony an ego and that blinds him. This is pointed out by Bhang at the beginning of the book the character say he’s learned from that mistake and understands he needs help now. He does, that’s how he wins. Bhang, now part of Tony’s team, solves the problem with the Space Jam theme at the end. As Tony points out at the press conference Iron Man isn’t just him it’s an idea, which is cheesy and cliché, but works. If this one issue was adapted into an Iron Man movie that film would be the best Marvel movie to date. Readers, young and old, can see that Slott loves the Marvel Universe and understands the world he’s writing in. My only complaint about the issue is that Jocasta puts on clothes at the end for the press interview, does that mean she considered herself naked the whole time? Who knows?
What makes this comic different than other Iron Man comics in recent years is that it’s happy. That sounds like an oversimplification, but look back at modern Iron Man. Matt Fraction had him dealing with alcoholism and insecureties then Kieron Gillen did a retcon that made him question his entire existence. Then Brian Michael Bendis split it into two series one a coming of age story for a young hero and a redemption story for a classic villain. Dan Slott’s Iron Man is just super science fun and that’s a refreshing change of pace for the character. Anyway, Tony Stark: Iron Man looks to be on its way to become an instant classic if the series keeps up this level of quality.
Verdict: 4.5 out of 5