Written by: Christopher Cantwell
Art by: Cafu
Colors by: Frank D’Armata
Letters by: VC’s Joe Caramagna
Release Date: 11/11/20
Christopher Cantwell’s approach at Tony Stark’s God complex confuses me as a reader of Marvel, and I’m unsure at this point if it’s truly the fault of Cantwell or the idiotic concept of who Tony believes himself to be. Tony sees himself as a Godlike being to the normal citizens of the world, even though he has met actual Gods, been beating and broken by literal Gods, it just doesn’t make sense. Can Cantwell humanize a fifty seven year old narcissist? And if so, should he? In these hard modern times, change is the fundamental reaction to something that just doesn’t work. In this instance, Tony. Tony Stark is the definition of White America. Something that in recent years if not months has been a giant talking point, and those talking points have not been so gracious. So what is there to do with a character that should be loved by everyone, that has this not so great label attached to him? Cantwell seems to believe that in order to make this character relevant, Tony must confront his privilege and act “normal?”
So what’s normal to a narcissist? Normal to Tony would be stooping down to another level which is still not very helpful in his transition to whatever he would like to become or what ever this transformation ideally creates. Therefore we have Patsy Walker, still unsure why Cantwell has chosen a character like Patsy to tag along in this solo series with Iron Man, but we do get a moment even if it’s for a single panel, Patsy gets Tony to sympathize. If this is Cantwell’s way of chipping away at Tony until he changes his way, we’re most likely in for an infamous “one hundred issue story arc” (I’m looking at you Tom King, and Joshua Williamson).
Marvel has trained it’s readers to expect about a third of it’s titles to be rebooted at least twice every year to year and a half, and because of that, I can’t confidently expect this series to be longer than eight to twelve issues. Taking that into account, Cantwell can not take his time creating some intricate story that needs thirty plus issues. Cafu and Frank D’Armata make a great artist team and will most likely keep the sales up for only so long, but Cantwell needs to give readers a cohesive story and a story that is exciting to read. Now to Cantwell’s credit, this issue was more cohesive than the last two, although there is still clearly a big reveal to be made, Cantwell was able to write a story from beginning to end that connected the with the first issue. It wasn’t the greatest story I’ve ever read but the story is getting traction and hopefully on the up and up from here on out.
I’m less interested in Tony’s ego and privilege, and more interested in the story of the villains attacking Iron Man, Tony learning a few life lessons along the way is great, but I want to read an Iron Man comic so that Tony Stark can be Iron Man. I want the tech, I want maybe a new variant of the suit, but most of all I want a good story.
3 thoughts on “Iron Man #3 Review”
Coming from a fiction writer myself, the problem isn’t Tony Stark at all. The problem is Cantwell and Marvel creators overall. Cantwell writes Tony as if he’s never went to the movies, rode a plane, hung out with friends at a bar, or did anything remotely normal when he has over 50 years of evidence in comics that prove otherwise. This is one of the worst kinds of comic book writing: where the writer sacrifices established characterization for story. This is not Tony Stark. This is not Iron Man. This is Cantwell trying to write a “topical” take on the character and failing miserably.
Also, Tony Stark doesn’t have a God complex. He has a lively egotism to be sure, but nothing bordering on narcissistic except in the worst comics. Ironically, Dr. Doom has a God complex, and because he’s writing both super geniuses, Cantwell seems to think Iron Man does too.
Marvel creators have had an axe to grind with Tony and tried to show readers how unrelatable he is, but they only achieve the opposite. Patsy’s little rant at Tony just proves how she’s more unrelatable than he is. Especially, when it comes to the nature of suicide and how hostile social media, cyberbullying, online harassment, and aggressive mainstream media all play a part in doing so. I don’t blame the characters at all. I blame the writer.
I apologize for the small rants, but this book is simply awful. It’s just part of the same old problem: great comic art wasted on terrible writers trying to be topical.