[*Mild Spoilers Ahead!]
Ironheart is in the midst of training in her Chicago lab when she receives a call from the MIT dean. He wants Riri Williams back at her college lab to impress visitors, but Riri is dedicated to her current work in Chicago. Riri is visited by her mom next, and the two have a heart-to-heart. After her mom leaves, Midnight Fire arrives, who attacked and tried to kill Ironheart not too long ago. He wants a heart-to-heart with Riri too.
Ironheart #4 is another slower issue for the series. In addition to showing where Riri’s headspace is at, it gives us the backstory of Midnight Fire.
Midnight Fire’s backstory isn’t all that interesting, unfortunately. It’s more mystical in nature and has connections to the Ten Rings of the Mandarin. Now Midnight Fire aims to gain weapons and power, which is a fairly generic villain motivation. What gives him some clout as a rogue is that he believes that Ironheart has a latent thirst for power too, and I’m not entirely sure she’s wrong given how much she modeled herself after Tony Stark and Iron Man.
I didn’t find Midnight Fire’s backstory all that engaging on the whole, though. Given that it’s the centerpiece of the issue, it drags down the issue on the whole. The ending fight is still good, and Riri’s scene with her mother is solid too.
Luciano Vecchio’s artwork continues to impress, and the treatment given to Midnight Fire and his flashbacks are by far the strongest thing in that part of the comic. Vecchio makes Ironheart’s costume look fantastic too. Matt Milla’s color work is vibrant and pops off the page as a good superhero comic should.
Ironheart #4 is the first weak issue of the fledgling series, but it’s still not a bad issue. Riri is a great character and drives the story well, and her emotional investment in the current conflict can keep the reader engaged. This one still gets a recommendation. Feel free to check it out.
Ironheart #4 comes to us from writer Eve L. Ewing, artist Luciano Vecchio, layouts Geoffo, color artist Matt Milla, letterer VC’s Clayton Cowles, and cover artist Amy Reeder.