Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Iron Man: Enter the Mandarin Review (Joe Casey, Eric Canete)


In this dire comic, a baddie called the Mandarin, a Chinese immortal with alien tech and magic, threatens to take over the world. SHIELD approach Iron Man to check him out and see if he's dangerous, which of course he is, but not dangerous enough that Iron Man can't take him down, which of course he does.

There isn’t anything positive to say about this book. Casey writes trite dialogue with conceits in the story that grate on the reader, though maybe most annoying of all were the bad guys. A character who dresses as a scarecrow fights Iron Man and, by unleashing the awesome power of blackbirds (actual blackbirds) he defeats Iron Man(!!). 

Mandarin himself is like Doctor Strange minus the intrigue but with a Green Lantern-esque magic ring from which he gets all of his power. Whatever. I didn’t care one bit that Shane Black changed Mandarin for Iron Man 3, especially given his character in the comics is terrible anyway. 

Canete's drawings of Iron Man are really poor quality. In several panels he makes Iron Man look like he has spindly, ridiculously thin legs; this isn't from a distance, the perspective is right up close and yet his legs are absurdly thin in the armour. In other scenes the suit looks like a set of pyjamas, folded up in a thin briefcase. The entire book felt like a storyboard for a simplistic cartoon for kids, especially as it was coupled with Casey's uninspired story.

So bad guy tries taking over the world with a space laser that targets cities. Yawn. The story is so hackneyed it's amazing it even got published. Marvel's quality control blinked and let this stinker through the net. "Enter the Mandarin" is the worst Iron Man book I've read – and it’s not like there are a lot of great ones around! - and a really poor comic overall. Avoid.

Iron Man: Enter The Mandarin

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