Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Superior Iron Man #1 Review (Tom Taylor, Yildiray Cinar)


Following what happened during the latest Marvel event (THEY WILL NEVER END!!), Axis, Tony Stark’s personality has been altered to become a bit… darker. Now, Tony Stark is the Starlight Express Tron Superior Iron Man! 

Who do you get to write the evil version of a good character? The ultimate writer who writes bad versions of good characters: Tom “Injustice: Gods Among Us” Taylor! Thankfully, Superior Iron Man is better than that dismal DC series but it’s not without its flaws. 

The Superior Tony - who’s now off the wagon and drinking again - decides to unleash Extremis 3.0 onto the San Francisco populace. It’s an app that turns the user into a supermodel! But the Marvel Universe’s most famous blind person, Daredevil, is the first to see its problems. Elsewhere, Tony teams up with She-Hulk to battle a new enemy and Pepper brings out the contingency plan to face this new and more dangerous Iron Man. 

I haven’t been a fan of Kieron Gillen’s Iron Man series so I’m glad a new writer - anyone else, really - has stepped in for this series, and that he’s chosen to ground Tony on Earth rather than have him banging about in space. I also liked the fight between Tony and Teen Abomination - you’ve never seen a headbutt like that before! 

But the issue does have a few let-downs. The main one for me is motive: money. That might be the weakest motive for Tony Stark, aka the richest man in the Marvel Universe, ever. What does he need money for that he can’t already do with his existing billions? And yet that’s why he’s created this Extremis 3.0 app - which transforms its users into supermodels, how again? 

The other one is the angle of the series itself. Try as it might, I don’t see this version of Tony as evil, per se, only vaguely more transgressive. Ooo, he’s womanising and drinking… like he did when he was “good” Tony. He’s making money off of his inventions… like he did when he was “good” Tony. I suppose the way the app works is a bit, um, disappointing for its users but it’s not like its hurting anyone and its fulfilling their desires at the same time. 

No, this “dark” Tony reminded me less of Superior Spider-Man and more of jiving Peter Parker in Spider-Man 3, wearing black, thrusting his pelvis at passers-by in a bizarro imitation of what a bad boy is. It’s comical more than anything. 

But Superior Iron Man #1 isn’t that badly written or drawn and I appreciate that they’re attempting something different for the character. I just feel like they didn’t try hard enough and have been a bit too hasty to exploit the Superior connotation in the title. It’s definitely not as good as Superior Spider-Man but it’s the most interesting Iron Man story I’ve read in recent years - though that’s not saying much!

Superior Iron Man #1

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