Saturday, 28 February 2015

Superior Iron Man, Volume 1: Infamous Review (Tom Taylor, Yildiray Cinar)

In Superior Spider-Man, a dying Doc Ock successfully switched his mind with Peter Parker’s, putting Peter into his body and himself into Peter’s. While retaining some of his super-villain mindset, he nevertheless became an extremely effective Spider-Man – the Superior Spider-Man. Some Spidey fans objected to the radical change but most readers enjoyed it, secure in the knowledge that Peter would inevitably return and the dull status quo reinstated (which it was). Superior Spider-Man, critically and commercially, was a resounding success.

Which brings us to Superior Iron Man, which is not. Marvel are using the goodwill and integrity of the “Superior” label to draw readers into this far crappier title – “Superior” apparently meaning “superhero gone temporarily bad”.

Spinning out of the Axis Marvel Event, Tony Stark’s personality has been warped so he’s no longer the good guy. What does that mean? It means he’s a selfish, arrogant prick who enjoys his booze and women. Um – how is that different from old Tony? Well, this new Tony has a Starlight Express Iron Man armor and he’s all about the Benjamins (and I suppose he was sober before).

This is the pitiful and baffling setup to Superior Iron Man: Tony’s developed Extremis 3.0, an app that somehow turns you into a supermodel version of you – for a limited time. Because if you don’t renew your subscription daily for a hundred bucks, you go back to regular old you. It’s not quite as extreme as Spider-Man executing his foes in public or building a robot army and demolishing enemy strongholds, is it? (That said, writer Tom Taylor does use the city-wide surveillance network of drones idea from Superior Spider-Man for his story.)

Seriously, money? That’s what Tony Stark’s interested in – the richest dude in the Marvel Universe? What could he possibly need money for that he can’t already acquire? And why is every single opening Iron Man story in a series about Extremis!? If you’re wondering how on earth an APP you click on your phone could possibly transform you physically, a half-assed explanation appears towards the end of the book that’s totally unsatisfactory.

Other non-highlights include Daredevil (the story is set in San Francisco, Daredevil’s current residence) getting repeatedly beaten because he’s written out of character, while a terrible new character, Teen Abomination, has his name mocked numerous times because isn’t it hilarious how lame his name is?! Let’s make fun of it constantly because the readers are laughing hysterically every time we do! 

I can’t say I’m a fan of Yildiray Cinar’s art either. Not only does Tony’s new base actually look like an upside down toilet, but the way he draws ordinary people vs their “extremis” selves is barely distinguishable. And why would a perfectly fine-looking teenager need Extremis 3.0 – surely the appeal to look younger and trimmer would be aimed at the older crowd rather than those who already look that way?

Tom Taylor seems to be the go-to guy for “superheroes gone bad” storylines, like his DC titles Injustice: Gods Among Us and Earth 2. His Superior Iron Man though is utterly lame. “I’m gonna make money from a sinister app, bwahahaha!” isn’t exactly as heinous as Superman murdering a pregnant Lois and deciding to take over the world!

Bad writing and plotting, uninteresting story, mediocre art - Tom Taylor’s Iron Man series is anything but superior.

Superior Iron Man, Volume 1: Infamous


  1. But.. but... Robert Downey Jr!

    Seriously, is it just me or are Marvel's best titles the ones that have no/very limited connection to the MCU?