Serving as the spiritual continuation of one of the backups from issue #650, I Am Iron Man #1 by Murewa Ayodele and Dotun Akande is the beginning of what’s been promised as a love letter to the character, exploring Tony Stark throughout the many eras of his armored adventures. While the exact nature of the plot is not immediately clear from this first issue alone, there is still substance to appreciate here, especially as a celebration of 60 years of publication history.
Mild SPOILERS AHEAD for I Am Iron Man #1!
From the first page, the art is incredible to look at – Akande’s pen is as sharp as it was in the creative team’s debut, showcasing the details of crinkling cloth, shimmering metal, rippling muscle, and crackling energy throughout the pages. In particular, I love how Akande is able to make the Model One straddle the line between technology that is both old to Tony, but still far ahead of anything that most people would be able to assemble, even with his resources.
Ayodele’s voice for Tony is also on point, the familiar mix of snark and heroism coming through whenever he speaks. Whether talking to an enemy or innocent bystanders, fans of the MCU are sure to appreciate the writer’s faithfulness to what is, in many people’s minds, the definitive article of the character as far as portraying the personality of a more-than-slightly narcissistic hero type. At the same time, readers looking for more introspective content involving Tony would be better served by the recently concluded Cantwell run.
In addition, the lettering in this issue, especially on the onomatopoetic effects, is excellent. Rather than relying on a simpler “BAM!” or “POW!”, Caramagna employs the verbs of whatever is happening on the page to inform the sound. The effect is simple but doesn’t go unnoticed, as even actions that wouldn’t necessarily create a sound instantly become more kinetic, and the art complements what are essentially subtitles to create entertaining sequences of action between Iron Man and his opponent.
Finally, and this is a bit of an indirect compliment to the art and artist again, but it’s nice to see Tony employing more than one armor at once. As much as I love the current suit as designed by Alex Ross, it’s nice to see the likes of Silver Centurion, Endo-Sym, and more as Iron Man remote controls his armors to handle multiple situations simultaneously.
However, despite these praises, the narrative left me a bit underwhelmed. While it’s by no means bad, and I will be picking up future issues to see how it unfolds, I am not entirely sure what is going on in the issue. Yes, a time travel plot is an easy way to allow a series to do retrospective work for a character, but the particulars of what the beef is between Iron Man and his guitar-wielding opponent are lost on me. On the one hand, I understand not wanting to bombard new readers with too much information at once in order to make it friendly to them. On the other hand, I think that giving readers a little more to go on from this first issue would be appreciated. On the other other hand, if there wasn’t information missing, what impetus would a reader have to pick up issue #2?
All in all, I Am Iron Man #1 is some fun, light reading for Iron Man fans who crave something outside of Duggan’s run. While the story has yet to blow me away (granted, this is only issue #1), the incredible artwork is more than enough to get me to pick up the next issue. Perhaps it will be an improvement, but time will tell whether this “love letter” is meant to be cherished or discarded.
Join the AIPT Patreon
Want to take our relationship to the next level? Become a patron today to gain access to exclusive perks, such as:
- ❌ Remove all ads on the website
- 💬 Join our Discord community, where we chat about the latest news and releases from everything we cover on AIPT
- 📗 Access to our monthly book club
- 📦 Get a physical trade paperback shipped to you every month
- 💥 And more!