Tony Stark is starring in his second series, International Iron Man — which attempts to give readers a different look at Stark than its Invincible sister-series.
Is it good?
International Iron Man #1 (Marvel Comics)
Brian Bendis and artist Alex Maleev portray a younger Tony Stark, twenty years in the past and far before he ever put on the iron suit. Despite being younger, Bendis still maintains the same Stark wit and arrogance we’re used to seeing. It’s a classic story of boy meets girl; Tony, currently just a college student studying in London, meets Cassandra Gillespie, daughter of a high profile mother with an entourage of several brutish body guards. After discovering the fact that the two college students come from similar, but opposing worlds, they decide to push the issue and have Tony meet Cassandra’s family which doesn’t go swimmingly, partially due to outside variables.
This first issue is dependent on establishing the relationship between Stark and Gillespie which is full of witty banter and quips and classic intellectual flirtation that will make any hopeless romantic hipster’s heart ache. It’s amusing to read and despite my jabs it’s very well written, but that alone couldn’t sustain a series. Bendis makes a point identify Tony’s personal distaste for his “father” as their relationship, or lack thereof, appears to be one of the focal points of the series, along with Gillespie’s role in Tony’s life. The issue begins and ends in the present day so from this point on it seems as though there will be a balance of the current timeline and recollections throughout the series.
While everyone loves seeing Stark in the iron-clad hero role, this issue was refreshing in its depiction of Tony as a college student. These recollections will serve as the primary timeline depicted to make it distinctly different from Iron Man’s other series, but we’ll still be getting doses of the suit. I love Maleev’s artwork with his shadow-heavy imagery. Aesthetically the issue looks great and we know Bendis can write, it’s just going to be a question of whether the creative team can make the storyline unique and appealing enough to warrant a second Iron Man series. Currently, I’m on board.
Is It Good?
I haven’t kept up with current Iron Man series or events as well as I should have lately, but this series doesn’t appear to be dependent on any prior reading so it’s a great jumping on point. Bendis and Maleev are collaborating once again and they produced a solid first issue to kick off the series, but I have a feeling it’s going to be an uphill battle trying to prove the necessity for an additional Iron Man story. So far I like what I’m seeing though.