Writer: Vita Ayala and Danny Lore
Art: David Messina, Mattia Iacono, VC’s Joe Caramagna, and Woo-Chul Lee
Release Date: Wednesday, June 17th, 2020
Price: $3.99 (digital-only)
As the last issue came to a screeching halt, Riri’s artificial intelligence N.A.T.A.L.I.E. took control of the Ironheart armor and went after Andre Sims who was experimenting on artificial intelligence and sabotaging self-driving cars. In what appeared to be a fit of rage, N.A.T.A.L.I.E. emerged ready to kill Andre for everything he’s done and has perpetrated on artificial intelligence to this point. Can Riri and Xavier make it to N.A.T.A.L.I.E. in time before she murders Andre and in turn gets Riri sent to prison? And, does this story have absolutely anything to do with IRON MAN 2020? Let’s fly into IRONHEART 2020 #2 by Vita Ayala and Danny Lore and find out!
Readers, before this two-issue mini-series began, I was under the impression that this story tied into the IRON MAN 2020 event. I was under the suspicion that its purpose was to get the perspective of the Robot Revolution from Riri’s point of view. But after having the sheer honor of reviewing this mini, I can unequivocally tell you that this series has indeed nothing to do with the IRON MAN 2020 event and has absolutely nothing to do with… anything at all really. After rereading this issue three times searching for some time of purpose behind the existence of this mini, all that comes to mind is to give IRONHEART fans a quick little story while earning a bit of cash from the diehard IRONHEART fans on the side. However, I have a feeling that even IRONHEART fans will leave this issue extremely disappointed.
IRONHEART fans will realize that this mini barely saw Riri using the suit at all. Plus, almost 90% of the interactions with the armor had N.A.T.A.L.I.E. in the cockpit instead of Riri. Furthermore, the art team drew N.A.T.A.L.I.E. overtop the armor to emphasize the point that Riri wasn’t inside and thus took away a majority of the time the actual suit was being used within the story. Readers, David Messina’s “overlay” showing N.A.T.A.L.I.E. on top of the armor simply looked disproportionate, unfriendly, dull, gaudy, and unnecessary. Every panel involving N.A.T.A.L.I.E. and the armor completely threw this reviewer out of the comic making it extremely difficult to pick back up and gain the flow of the story again. Who wants to read an IRONHEART story without really seeing IRONHEART in it at all? Not me.
Furthermore, there was practically zero action, way too much dialogue and discussion, a villain that genuinely didn’t feel like a villain, and an overly aggressive A.I. that, in my opinion, felt out of character and overblown since issue one. This story was more about N.A.T.A.L.I.E. than IRONHEART or Riri. But the oddity is that N.A.T.A.L.I.E. is more of a holographic A.I. and without a physical body like many that are in the Robot Revolution. Sure, she’s a ”robot” (I guess) but I can’t understand where the drastic switch in behavior was coming from. At first, I thought Andre put a virus in her through the self-driving car. But it turns out, there was never a virus at all. So, I still wonder where N.A.T.A.L.I.E.’s aggressive behavior originated from, especially since Andre was merely experimenting with self-driving cars and not A.I. enslavement.
Look, we can hammer home character motivations within the story until the robot cows come home. But, it won’t change the fact that this mini had nothing to do with IRON MAN 2020 and barely showed Riri as Ironheart within two issues. Ayala and Lore oversaturated this issue with conversations and dialogue, gave readers little to no action, and basically created a comic about… nothing. Honestly, the entire series was like the SEINFELD of Comics this week, except without the humor or aspects that make a comic an entertaining escape. If you’re an IRONHEART fan, I still wouldn’t recommend this. If you’re an IRON MAN fan who wants to collect every issue and tie in from this event, then I guess spend the money. However, it’s only out on digital so you won’t be able to physically collect it anyway. Readers, I would just stay away. If you don’t read this issue or series, you’ve literally missed nothing other than a stronger relationship between N.A.T.A.L.I.E. and Riri. If that’s what you’re reading IRONHEART for, have at it!
If (for some odd reason) you want to get your hands on this week’s issue of IRONHEART 2020 #2, click the Amazon link HERE. Additionally, if the IRON MAN 2020 event is your jam, click HERE to grab some issues and trades from this run. Moreover, if you’re looking for some really good IRONHEART stories from the past, click HERE to get your hands on some real gems. And finally, if you’re looking for something else to read, check out my Amazon Online Comic Shop by clicking HERE. Thank you all for the read and continued support. Stay safe and stay healthy.