Now that Secret Empire is over we know what is going on with these Generations books; apparently, heroes are meeting alternate versions of themselves (more or less) to impart a bit of knowledge and help their other selves grow a bit. Brian Michael Bendis gets his stab at Iron Man meeting Ironheart in this issue out today.
So what’s it about?
The official summary reads:
Riri Williams is given a once-in-a-lifetime chance to meet Tony Stark…Sorcerer Supreme! Join Ironheart as she discovers things about the Iron Man legacy that will change her forever in a beautiful, unique look at the first step into a new era of Iron Man!
Why does this matter?
Aside from Riri getting to chat with Tony Stark, this issue is also drawn in a painterly way by Marco Rudy, Szymon Kudranski, and Nico Leon. Colored by Rudy, Dean White, and Paul Mounts, this book is gorgeous. Seriously you need to flip through it just to see the pretty pictures.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
Awesome first page.
Opening with a shocking layout of shards first with a blip, then a close up of an eye, this issue is disorientating in more ways than one. Riri awakes to a new place and time and from there the issue plays around with time in interesting ways. The art is gorgeous and hyper realistic at times, but also great at capturing the weird. It’s no spoiler to say this issue takes place in the far future and the art team does a fantastic job capturing the amazing nature of the far-flung future.
The story isn’t bad either. These “Generations” titles (Thor, Hulk, Hawkeye, Wolverine, and Jean Grey have all had their chances so far) give writers the chance to have two characters (usually of the same heroic status/nomenclature) chat, fight, and above all else bond in some way. This issue is no different. Bendis has Riri discuss with Tony Stark topics he probably shouldn’t reveal seeing as it’s the future and all.
By the end of the issue Bendis has hinted at interesting developments yet to happen and knowing him you know they’ll most likely pop up in years time in his future stories. These tantalizing hints at what is to come give the story a bit of energy as if you’re in on a joke. Along the way the characters bond in one way or another and they even go up against a great threat. It’s interesting to see this version of a future Tony Stark–in part because we’ve seen him over in Infamous Iron Man–since he’s very different than we last saw him. There are many out there that hate on Riri, but it’s hard to argue Bendis has created a well rounded and fascinating character. This issue does well to make you want more.
It can’t be perfect can it?
As far as “Generations” stories are concerned, the actual team up in this issue isn’t on solid ground. There’s certainly some bonding, some good dialogue, but the actual conflict doesn’t require Riri at all. She’s more a person who is just there to hear the things she needs to hear. That gives the work a pep talk feel that doesn’t allow Riri to spread her wings or show off her heroics. She gets a moment in the very end and Bendis certainly imparts a feeling of hope and greatness for the character, but it’s more telling than showing.
Is It Good?
Marvel has hit a home run with these “Generations” stories and this is yet another. Though it’s great for different reasons–and it would have been nice to see Riri be the hero she is–it’s still an enjoyable comic that hints at some interesting future stories.