Way back in March, Marvel was teasing a certain Iron feline. This week, a new story arc involving Iron Man makes its debut. How does it all shake out? It almost doesn’t even matter, as Jed MacKay and C.F. Villa are here to set up the heist of all heists you won’t want to miss. For an idea of what MacKay is up to with this series, read my interview with him.
Seriously, the heist vibes are strong with this issue. Black Cat and her team must infiltrate Tony Stark’s home base and it’s fun as heck to see the characters work out a plan. MacKay spreads the love around, reminding us Black Cat is only as strong as her team with each character contributing to the plan. Using some well-timed flashbacks, we get to see the plan take place and how it formulated. It’s a nice bit of back and forth that lets the tension of the scene marinate.
This issue is also smartly written as it pokes fun at Tony Stark. The dude is an egomaniac after all, and it’s fun to see Black Cat and her crew point out his failings. It’s how Tony reacts that sets up the cliffhanger, making it a natural turn in the plot. So often these superhero books play out a certain way that’s unnatural and only serve the plot, but MacKay does enough work to show how we get to where we’re at. There’s also a fun reflective moment for Black Cat which calls back to some dolls she liked as a kid. Hang in for that!
The art by Villa, with colors by Brian Reber, plays to the strengths of the plot, which requires quite a few panels cutting between characters figuring out the plan out loud. It’s strong when it comes to body language, carefully placed angles over shoulders, and matching panels so they crosscut together.
Take for instance a moment where Black Cat is in the mid-ground on the left side panel and Tony on the right side in the foreground. The panel just below this crosscut Black Cat and Doc figuring out the plan and Doc is in the mid-ground on the right with Black Cat in the foreground on the left. It swaps the characters and creates a nice flow, as you see this throughout the book. It’s subtle but does wonders to make the back and forth work at all.
I liked this issue thanks to the playful nature of the heist plotting. It’s also fun to see a few characters give it to the overly inflated ego of Tony Stark. This is great heist comics.