Saturday, 18 April 2015

Iron Patriot: Unbreakable Review (Ales Kot, Garry Brown)

Jim Rhodes was War Machine but he changed his superhero ID to the less threatening Iron Patriot even though it kinda makes him sound even more like a tool. He’s also decided to focus his attention solely on problems in America – and it’s about goddamn time America got some superheroes of its own! All these freakin’ French and Honduran superheroes clogging up the Marvel Universe - hey, there are other countries besides France and Honduras that need superhero attention, Marvel, help out the poor Americans for once! 

Anyway… as Jim juggles being a surrogate father to his niece Lila and fighting formless blob monsters and personality-free villains, he’s going to learn blahblahblah, yaddayaddayadda, snooze, snore, zzz…

I’m gonna dip into some spoilers here so if that’s a dealbreaker for you, so long! I wonder though if spoilers should be reserved for bigger books than these piddling little B-list superhero books. I mean, a spoiler for a standalone Iron Patriot book? Who’s gonna be pissed about that? (Oh, here comes the internet to shout me down…)

Appropriately for an entirely average and uninspired superhero (it’s black Iron Man!), this short Iron Patriot book is also average and uninspired. Ales Kot seems to be the go-to guy for mindless action stories - his Image series, Zero, is basically a Jason Bourne covers album. Jim fights some giant clay things in the ocean while bland terrorists attack (and blow up the Washington Monument, gasp, this is a big deal guys!), and then literally has to save the President because he’s a Patriot. Whaaaaatever!

It’s actually not terrible. The story flows smoothly, perhaps because it’s so predictable, offering up rehashed, unchallenging material, and Garry Brown’s art isn’t bad. A little blotchy in places but otherwise fine. It’s just that the pieces that make it move so quickly are so, so stupid. 

Our villain is Arbitrary Bad Guy #23948, fresh for the conveyor belt and hot for the trash heap! He’s got an armour from somewhere and he’s going after the George W Bush-type former president because he didn’t agree with his unjust war. The book is only five issues long so I understand Kot not spending too long developing the villain but even so, something a little less clich├ęd would’ve been appreciated.

Jim’s niece, Lila, should be called Convenient Plot Device. She’s 12 or 13 and she’s a Tony Stark-level genius. She can take apart and re-programme armours already - hell, she can do whatever the plot needs her to! Then later she takes some guy’s laptop - just an ordinary laptop - and, using a coffee shop’s wifi, hacks into an armour to send it to where it’s needed. Say whaaat! And what was that nonsense about the Iron Patriot armour actually coming with an instruction manual?! 

Iron Patriot: Unbreakable is an ok but dumb action story. I doubt it’s going to convert anyone who isn’t already a fan into one but then again I’m not sure Iron Patriot fans exist. Like the majority of Marvel’s books, this is quick, forgettable consumption and nothing more – but sometimes a Big Mac hits the spot. Marvel: the McDonald’s of comics!

Iron Patriot: Unbreakable

1 comment:

  1. This is why Marvel needs to look at critical reception of a movie, not just the box-office sales. There really wasn't enough interest in "Iron Patriot" (I wonder how Jim feels taking the mantle once owned by Norman Osbourne- super heroic, there, Marvel) to justify his own ongoing. What's more, what was wrong with a War Machine comic?

    Oh wait, not in IM3... damn, I hate that movie...