Thursday, April 7, 2016

International Iron Man #1 Review

International Iron Man #1 from Marvel Comics -

    Tony Stark is a genius. His cool smoothness masks inner turmoil driven by a feeling of deep isolation and the awkwardness that comes along with it. Twenty years ago, during his time at the University of Cambridge in England, these feelings were shared with another. His first love, Cassandra Gillespie, a woman also from a background of affluence and isolation. Tony fell hard, not knowing of Cassandra's mother's hidden, dark past. Tony's world spirals out of control when he and Cassandra are sucked into her mother's deadly affairs...To save them, Tony may have to kill...Or be killed. Whatever happens, Tony will end up at the mercy of Cassandra, in more ways than one. She has the key to a secret that Tony needs desperately: the identity of his birth parents.

   International Iron Man #1 was written by Brian Michael Bendis, and rendered by Alex Maleev. In itself, International Iron Man #1 has the beginnings of a great story: great character interactions, amazing dialogue, and a great gut-punch ending. Bends is a master at all of these things; he loves those Ultimate Spider-Man-type slow burns, letting the story take off EXTREMELY slowly and picking up the pace in the final pages of the issue. It usually works, but in this issue it was a bit off-putting as almost the entire book was written around a young Tony Stark and his burgeoning relationship with Cassandra Gillespie - it was almost like reading one of those old Young Love comics from DC, or Our Love Story from Marvel. I did love were the revamped origin story - Howard Stark isn't Tony Stark's real father?  Wow. That has been a truth in Marvel canon forever; it will be fun to see how Bendis works this out, and to see how/if it changes any of the essentials of who Tony Stark, and by extension, Iron Man, is. Maleev does a great job on the artwork of this issue, giving us clean lines and toning down his sometimes exaggerated sketchiness that annoys my eyes to death. I wasn't wowed by the issue, but I was intrigued enough to hang around for a few more issues. Maybe Bendis will succeed in giving us Iron Man as we have never seen him before. If anyone can do that, it's BMB.

RATING 8 out of 10.

FUN FACT: This comic features the 1st appearance of Cassandra Gillespie, a seemingly VERY MAJOR addition to the Iron Man mythos.

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