Writer: Christopher Cantwell
Colorist: Frank D’Armata
Letterer: VC’s Joe Caramagna
Cover: Alex Ross
Release Date: 9/16/2020
Tony Stark is finding himself. He finds himself being a hero, being a billionaire, being in a mid-life crisis. Christopher Cantwell puts Iron Man in a tricky situation, in the same spot he’s been for the last two years. The same spot he’s always been. You can always tell when Iron Man soft reboots, you can always find that sweet Alex Ross art on the front cover, or at least a variant. Generally with any soft reboot a new writer sets a timeline, gives a hint to the readers where exactly this story is taking place. Cantwell does no such thing. Which from the small research I have done is not surprising. It solidifies his story, makes it more of his own. But what else other than the title “Iron Man” is suppose to drive this story?
We follow Tony through a week of unfortunate events, well more sporadic events than unfortunate. There’s no context to why these events have any significance to Tony’s “back to my roots” journey. Now of course we get a small glimpse into what Tony has been thinking as of late, basically not knowing his purpose and I can only assume that is what he is searching for. Unfortunately Cantwell does not portray this very well. This clip show of an issue tells no story. Just, as I said before, a tale of sporadic events, which lead him to a team up with (spoiler). Event that turns into nothing, or at least not in this issue.
Although confused by Cantwell’s story, I was encapsulated by Cafu’s art and Frank D’Armata’s colors. Simply beautiful. The color pallet and panel progression looked great, almost cinematic. Alex Ross’s Iron Man suit design makes a great appearance, very vintage (again really underlines the whole “back to my roots ordeal”) but even the placement of the suit was just shoehorned in for what felt like no reason.
Without getting into too much spoiler territory, a plot point lingers in the final panels of this issue that is suppose to keep us intrigued or question (spoiler) but with the progression of the story, I’m already too lost to necessarily care about the ending. One can always hope that the next issue has all the answers. The bar is not set very high for a better Iron Man story these past few years, as long as I don’t see any A.I.’s or tony lives past issue four. I think it will be okay.
Final Thoughts: I’ve been told Cantwell has written a great Dr. Doom. I have confidence that Cantwell can turn Iron Man into a title that is worth picking up every month, but it definitely needs to be better than this issue.