Writer: Christopher Cantwell
Artist: Angel Unzueta
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: April 14, 2021
I have been up and down on this Iron Man run. I like that we are getting to see “the man behind the mask” more as Tony’s flaws are exposed, and he deals with what that means to those close to him. Sometimes, though, I think Christopher Cantwell gets lost in that concept, and it gets a bit heavy-handed. This issue shines a light on this more than any other in the series so far.
This is a Patsy Walker issue. There is no Iron Man, and even Patsy seems to question that at the end. I’m sure some will be more bothered by that than I am but, as long as we get a strong story that progresses the overall plot, I have no problem with it. Unfortunately, it doesn’t do that either.
This week, Christopher Cantwell went on Twitter to tell everyone this is a story focusing on mental health and that it is a one-shot that anyone can jump in and read. He was right… unless you have no background with Patsy, that is. Without that, this issue isn’t going to hit the way it might for longtime fans who suffered with her and believe me, she has suffered. The problem is, I don’t know if her fans will get a ton out of it either, beyond having the focus on a character that deserves more time in the spotlight.
So, what happens in the issue? Patsy ends up communing with Moondragon, who takes her on an “It’s an Awful Life” tour to help her work through her problems and come out stronger. I wish there were more to the actual scenes, but we zip through them in a way that makes any progress or recovery seem too easy. As someone whose life is touched by a family member who has a severe mental illness from past trauma, this issue made me a bit mad. Now, I realize that not everyone has the same experiences, so I have no right to tell you to like or dislike an issue, but it just didn’t work for me.
Without going into too much detail, it all felt rushed and just surface-level overall. People who suffer from trauma have no problem reliving their horrible moments – they do it every second of every day! Being told to “free it” and “accept it” is way too oversimplified.
I will stop there and get back to the real problem with this issue. Not much happens overall to keep the plot going, and while the issue looks good, you can skip it. Hopefully, Christopher Cantwell will get back to storytelling because this series has been pretty good up to this point.
Christopher Cantwell shifts the focus entirely on Patsy Walker, and while her fans may appreciate it, it was a miss for me. Stories focusing on mental health are challenging since we all have different experiences, but this felt rushed and oversimplified. Besides that, it didn’t progress the overall plot much, and as Patsy said herself, “Where the Hell is Tony?”