Writer: Jim Zub
Artist: Paco Diaz
Colorists: Rachelle Rosenberg & Andy Troy
Letterer: VC’s Joe Caramagna
Cover Artists: Stonehouse; Ron Lim & Israel Silva; Ryan Benjamin & Rain Beredo; Brandon Russell & Crystal Dynamics; Todd Nauck
Release Date: December 11th, 2019
It’s the first tie-in book to the highly anticipated “Marvel’s Avengers” video game, MARVEL’S AVENGERS: IRON MAN #1 by Jim Zub! What are Tony Stark’s motivations and mindset leading up to the events of the game? Let’s find out!
The issue opens in the middle of a fight on the docks, with Iron Man, Black Widow, Thor, Captain America, and the Hulk having some trouble with C-listers the Beetle, Absorbing Man, Titania and Whirlwind. Even with numbers on their side, the Avengers have to pull out all the stops to win the day, including the “Jade Wall” maneuver. Jim Zub does a good job making the Earth’s Mightiest Heroes feel like a team, even if they have to go all-out for the W. Some of the quips throughout miss, but Zub weaves an interesting tale overall.
Not to be outdone is the art by Paco Diaz. The characters are clear and always recognizable, and Diaz’s action work has a kind of kinetic energy that truly conveys the tempo of the fight scenes. Even the quiet moments and close-ups are rendered well. Really the only wonky bit is seeing how much room Tony has in his suit in one panel- maybe he scored some Dr Who tech, because it looks like there could be a party in there, and EVERYONE’S invited!
The gist of the story is that Iron Man finds out the reason they had such trouble with the Lethal Legion is that the Beetle had somehow managed to get his hands on some of Tony’s tech. Stark runs diagnostics on his own lab and determines the leak couldn’t have come from his end. He heads to a SHIELD lab and questions Bruce Banner about whether SHIELD has been spying on him, and whether Bruce himself had helped. Luckily Banner doesn’t Hulk-out at being so blatantly blamed, but Tony is no closer to discovering the leak.
Or so we think. Apparently Iron Man had set up some spy stuff of his own in the lab, and confronts an employee on his way home. An employee who turns out to be Spymaster. Jeez, SHIELD really needs to up their screening process for new hires! During the ensuing brawl and before ultimately getting his butt kicked, Spymaster brags that he got Iron Man’s tech by spying on SHIELD, who had indeed been spying on Stark.
The issue ends with Tony confronting Nick Fury at Fury’s home. Rather than fight, Iron Man simply tells Fury he’s wiped the info SHIELD collected on him, and learned to be more cautious with his own security. Nick asks if that means he quit the Avengers, but Iron Man never quits baby! He just does things his way, or the highway!
MARVEL’S AVENGERS: IRON MAN #1 does something somewhat rare for a tie-in comic to a video game— it’s actually good. Jim Zub tells an entertaining story, and Paco Diaz’s art is some of the best you’ll find for a video game tie-in. We’ll have to see how this story ties into future issues and eventually the game itself, but MARVEL’S AVENGERS: IRON MAN #1 stands on its own merits.