Dan Slott’s excellent run with Iron Man continues, and this week he’s aided by writer Jeremy Whitley. This series has breathed new life into the character due to its ingenuity with science-related technology that is creative and fun. In this latest issue, Whitley and Slott (who gets a story credit) explore the eScape, an online massively multiplayer world where you can do anything. Problem is, what if it gets hacked and protections can be removed so people can get hurt?
So what’s it about?
Read the preview.
Why does this matter?
This has been one of the more innovative “fresh start” Marvel series this year. Slott has infused it with creative ideas in a sci-fi realm that is quite exciting. Valerio Schiti has done a great job with the imagery matching that creativity.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
This issue has three strong elements in play. The first is Tony’s mom wanting to connect to her son. It gives the story an emotional core and some stakes for Tony’s character. The second is the exploration of internet rage culture and the last is how a video game could possibly become so valuable it’s worth more than gold. Tony is at the top of his game in this story, not only delivering a technology everyone wants but something that can change the world. It’s too bad a villain infiltrated his tech from the first issue.
This issue also has fun action customary of a primo superhero like Iron Man. The action splits between online battles and real-life ones with some nice Wasp moments. It’s fun to see Tony romantically tied to Wasp even if it’s only a wrinkle in this issue during an action scene. Her positivity plays as a nice contrast to Iron Man’s cold exterior as he blasts the bad guys.
Valerio Schiti draws this issue with excellent energy. Wasp looks positively elastic in her scenes, and wacky, anything-goes eScape characters have plenty of energy too. The eScape protector that boots players is also incredibly impressive — huge and hulking as Iron Man attempts to get some kind of control over his game. Jocasta’s continued turn at being more human is an interesting element thanks to the subtle clothing choices and the hilarious boyfriend moment here too.
It can’t be perfect can it?
The science behind the tech gets a bit lost here. Why did Tony Stark make this Matrix like the world so people can get hurt? How can that even work if they’re just wearing a mask? Shouldn’t there be protections in place to avoid this? Shouldn’t Tony be smart enough to know a villain would exploit it? He comes off naive and a bit stupid for not thinking any of this through.
Is it good?
Tony Stark: Iron Man continues to be one of the more interesting sci-fi superhero comics on the stands. It not only showcases innovative ideas but does so with great art and action. If you’re interested in technology you’ll love this series.
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