Iron Man has been a great slow build towards the clash between Korvac and Tony Stark. Along the way, Tony has found love with Hellcat, simplified his life, and — *checks notes* — had his neck and spine broken in a confrontation with Korvac. Now very angry and ready for a little vengeance, Tony Stark and his ragtag group of heroes are chasing after Korvac into space before he can become a literal god. There’s kind of a lot riding on this!
This issue opens with War Machine and Iron Man prepping their suits for battle. Halcyon is flying a ship that’s going faster than light and they should overtake Korvac shortly. Over the first three pages, writer Christopher Cantwell and artist Cafu hammer home the sense that Iron Man is very much willing to kill Korvac if it comes to it. Through some scientific-sounding dialogue (it certainly sounds legit!) Iron Man explains he’s increasing the newtons his suit can punch at to dangerous levels. Through the eye slits, Cafu shows us a very scary-looking Iron Man whose eyes are dead yet unwavering. He means business. War Machine gets that sense too, and on the third page to open the book it’s quite clear both men are taking risks they wouldn’t normally take.
Never without levity, this leads to a scene with the ragtag group buckled in and waiting for their orders. That’s Scarlet Spider, Frog-Man, Misty Knight, and Gargoyle. The discussion is about what their superhero team would be called, which includes a few terrible ideas, leading the conversation to gods in the Marvel universe. A few valid points are made and Gargoyle is good for some solid wisdom.
The relationship between Iron Man and Hellcat continues to develop as well, with a key scene between the two. It’s clear they’ve both been through hell and back, and likely their current state is in no way a good place for the confrontation coming, but given their state of mind the dialogue is natural and believable. Once again, Cafu lends strong emotion through Patty’s facial expressions even with her mask covering her eyes. These two characters are being forced into some serious emotional trials thanks to Korvac, but they’ll see it through because on some level they have each other.
The meat of this book takes place at the halfway point, which focuses on a confrontation before the big climax. It’s a clever way to have these characters spar, converse, and go over Korvac’s plan. From this scene, the stakes are raised even further, the conceit of Tony and Korvac’s egos continue to be probed, and there’s some beautiful art to go along with it. Seriously, check out the full page splash in this scene to see for yourself. Colored by Frank D’Armata, it’s a gorgeous page that shows the cosmos hanging in the balance due to the triptych that makes up Hellcat, Iron Man, and Korvac.
This issue also ends very well thanks to a lot of mystery and a crazy final page. If you’re a fan of space operas like Flash Gordon you’ll dig where this story may or may not be going. It’s cool sci-fi stuff.
Depending on tastes, and despite the usual problems with single-issue storytelling, this is a near-perfect comic book. It has humor, incredible stakes, great dialogue, a surprise ending, and many personal character moments. You’ll need to have read the entire series to get the full scope of each moment, and this is slower, more cinematic storytelling, but for what it’s trying to achieve it works impeccably well. Iron Man #7 efficiently juggles spectacle, stakes, sharply written characters, and sci-fi.
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