Dan Slott’s first story arc on Iron Man comes to a close today, punctuating a tech-heavy take on the character. Customary of Slott, the series has looked at being human and integrating social aspects into the tech-centric storytelling. In this fourth chapter dating apps are weaved into an already chaotic world.
So what’s it about?
The official summary reads:
STUNG! You wanted to know who the book’s love interest is going to be? Here you go. The one, the only…Janet Van Dyne! A love not seen since AVENGERS #224 is about to be rekindled. And what’s going on with Sunset Bain’s new dating app? Some of these online matches are just a little too good to be true… Rated T
Why does this matter?
This series has built off the return of Tony Stark after he literally recreated himself. That has given this a fresh start feel, since the character can change while shedding any baggage of previous stories. New readers can also jump in since a cast of characters never before seen in an Iron Man comic are on full display.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
This issue is all about romance on a few different levels with the main one being a new dating service and the calamity that occurs when it all falls to pieces. While this is happening, Tony Stark has sparks flying with multiple characters, his mother sees the value in dating again, and a lot of people learn the hard way if it’s too good to be true it probably is. This is a good end to the first arc since it builds up a romantic relationship for Tony you may not see coming. This sets up the next arc nicely, as most of the pieces are in place for Slott to go ham next arc.
This issue is punctuated once again by the interesting dynamics of robot ethics. Jocasta continues to be the HR for robots so to speak and her role continues even when an entire swarm of robots is attempting to kill everyone. Slott does a good job resolving this with a clever “superpower” of Tony’s that should make most at least smirk. Her relationship with Tony gets an interesting twist this issue too that takes place in a clever scene involving the two sharing brains. It’s the kind of scene that has the originality and cleverness that you hope it’ll end up in a movie someday.
Drawn by Valerio Schiti with color by Edgar Delgado, the art continues to have a grounded, appealing look that somehow contains all the color and creativity of the tech as it progresses. Schiti manages to stuff a few iconic love story moments from cinema into this issue — like Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, to name one — and that adds a level of romanticism to the book. There’s also a rather cool Transformer-like costume Iron Man sports that’s quite cool, as well as other creative touches (like the dating app logo) that remind us Schiti is capable of many different types of art.
It can’t be perfect can it?
The relationship Tony builds comes way too easily, especially given the history of the characters. I’m all for it, don’t get me wrong, but when the issue ends it seems like we’ve slingshotted everything months into the relationship rather than a day or two. Aside from physical attraction there isn’t much done to show their connection has any meat to it. Speaking of which, a lot of the romance in this issue appear to be merely lust, further putting into question what is really going on. I think if this story had another issue to develop it could have been stronger with its deeper meaning, but as it stands it’s very superficial. Then again, maybe that’s the point given how things end up.
Is it good?
A good issue that punctuates Dan Slott and Valerio Schiti’s first arc on their fresh start take on the character. This series has been full of great ideas involving technology and it’s safe to say it has made a strong statement.