Thursday, 15 May 2014

Iron Man, Volume 3: The Secret Origin of Tony Stark, Book 2 Review (Kieron Gillen, Dale Eaglesham)

Kieron Gillen’s Iron Man run continues to be an absolute train-wreck with the only positive being Greg Land’s absence from this book!
It opens with the finale of Howard Stark’s Ocean’s 11-esque heist of an alien-run casino in Vegas before jumping back to the present where Tony and 451’s great space adventure continues with still more genocide! And then there’s the big reveal of Tony’s secret origin which is one of the worst I’ve read in any Marvel book in a long time.
Gillen takes the central premise of this book from Pacific Rim by making 451’s plan revolve around Tony becoming the pilot of a 5-mile tall suit of Jaegar-esque armour called the Godkiller. The reason? So that Tony can use the armour to stop needless death across the cosmos as he’s been engineered from birth to be some kind of intergalactic saviour. But in order to convince Tony to bond with the armour, 451 is more than happy to kill off an entire planet full of life so… that makes no sense!
Most of the book is set in the Godkiller armour as Tony and 451 drearily play cat and mouse, and for that alone this book’s a failure because it’s so boring. “Get him!”, “Ahhhh, runaway, runaway!”, “Grr, he escaped! Get him!”, “Nyah-nyah, can’t catch me, I’ve got flying armour!” x 3 chapters. But the secret origin part is where Gillen really drops the ball.

(Spoilers after the review)

Gillen’s Iron Man has been one of the worst Marvel NOW! runs – it’s been consistently sub-par since the start and hasn’t shown any improvement over three books. I’ll probably read Iron Man again one day, but not with this writer in the driving seat.  
Iron Man, Wolverine – which Marvel character’s origin can Gillen screw with next?

Iron Man - Volume 3: The Secret Origin of Tony Stark - Book 2 (Marvel Now)

So it turns out Tony is adopted!
The baby we’ve seen in the flashbacks with Howard and Maria is actually someone else: a bedridden man called Arno who can’t speak turns out to be the real flesh and blood Stark heir.
All of those similarities between Tony and Howard – the genius intellect and charm, not to mention the physical resemblance – are thrown out so Gillen can have this stupid, nonsensical reveal. Even all those references to exo-skeleton armour seem coincidental now! And what kind of life did Arno have anyway – locked up in a hospital his entire life, hooked up to machines, waiting decades for this storyline to happen with the longshot that Tony defeats 451 and he’s set free?!
The kicker is that Tony’s real parents – y’know, information you’d expect from a secret origin story – are still unknown!
Wow, I really hope this piece of crap story doesn’t become canon and gets retconned asap!

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