‘The Future Is Now’ Is Not A Cliché In Tony Stark: Iron Man #2

by Tony Thornley

Sometimes as a fan, you hope for a new writer to give you a specific take on a character. It’s a lofty hope, and I really don’t think I’ve ever seen it in almost thirty years of reading comics… until Dan Slott took the reins on Tony Stark: Iron Man.

In this second issue, by Slott, Valero Schiti on line art, Edgar Delgado on color art, and Joe Carmanga on letters, Tony’s new status quo is established, a mixture of old and new that clocks really well. We also get a great deep dive on some of the supporting cast, with James Rhodes in particular getting some great face time. ***Some spoilers follow!

Rhodey is dealing with PTSD. In a stunning opening page, we see that the armor has been a death trap for Rhodey, and he’s still dealing with that. As he tries to tell Tony about it, Bethany Cabe sends Tony and Rhodey to recover some pirated tech. This leads to the revelation of PTSD, and that Rhodey is unable to cope with the enclosed armor. Tony saves Rhodey, and Rhodey returns the favor, coping better with a different piece of tech.

This is an incredibly complex book in a really good way. Though the paragraph above is the basic plot, Slott has taken his years writing Spider-Man, and put the principles into Iron Man. This is a superhero soap opera. Every character has a plot line–Andy Bhang is getting used to the insanity of Stark, Jocasta is trying to fit in, Bethany Cabe is trying to find a mole (who is… Bethany Cabe).

Beyond that, all of the characters are CHARACTERS. No one is wasted, no one is window dressing. Even background characters are going interesting things. It’s an exciting, fast paced issue, with not a single wasted moment.

Valero Schiti has been flying under a lot of radars at Marvel the last few years. He’s done some phenomenal work, but I really think this will be the series that makes him a superstar. Dan’s character work would not land without what Valero has done in this issue. The action looks great, and he actually makes the armor ACT, which I think is so hard. At the same time, he just makes each character beat feel so real.

One genre that color art really comes out is science fiction, so Delgado had his work cut out for him. While the line art makes tech occupy a physical space, the colors here turn it from a really good drawing to something I can believe exists. Add some great effects, and Delgado does a fantastic job.

As a full package, this is exactly the Iron Man book I have dreamed about since I became an Iron Man fan. One thing I’ve always wanted to see is an Iron Man series that showed how the world is changed because of the fully realized tech that’s just science fiction to us. Here Slott, Schiti and team make it feel like a reality. It’s not the world outside our window. It’s the world outside our window IF we had people like Tony Stark living in it.

This isn’t just a series for an Iron Man or a Marvel Universe fan. Any sci-fi geek would love what the creative team is building here. You need to check it out today.

Tony Stark: Iron Man #2 is available now in stores and digitally.

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