Friday, 4 March 2016

Warzones: Armor Wars Review (James Robinson, Marcio Takara)


In the Battleworld realm of Technopolis ruled by Baron Tony Stark, the region’s Thor, James Rhodes, must uncover the mystery of who killed Peter Urich aka Spyder-Man. But is his killer in hiding - or planning more murders?

Ho hum, another Secret Wars tie-in that sucked! If, like me, you read his recent Image series Airboy and thought James Robinson’s BACK! then you were sorta right - he’s back hacking out more crappy work-for-hire comics but the Robinson-aissance began and ended with Airboy. I guess the guy’s got bills to pay - a sentiment that always accompanies bad art.

Like most Secret Wars tie-ins, Armor Wars recalls Marvel’s past glory though having never read the original Armor Wars I couldn’t tell you if that was also about a dystopian tech-future and murder mystery (probably not) or how the two compare, but this particular Armor Wars is very boring. It’s not a mess it’s just not a very compelling story. Here’s a character you’ve just met - now he’s dead! Interested in finding out whodunit? Not really… 

It’s super-hard to care about anything that happens in this book knowing that nothing in it is at all relevant or meaningful (assuming you’ve read Secret Wars itself). It has no impact on the main event, familiar faces are killed off but it doesn’t matter because there are multiple versions of these characters roaming Battleworld anyway - so pointless! Some Secret Wars tie-ins were good regardless of their lack of impact because they were entertaining; Armor Wars isn’t because it wasn’t. 

Peter’s girlfriend Kiri is building a giant robot armor for no reason other than to have it fight in the finale - nothing contrived about that! - and Rhodey does little in the way of detective work and basically stands about until the killer reveals themselves. Real edge-of-your-seat stuff in that I kept wanting to get away from the book and leave it on the seat behind me! 

Marcio Takara’s art is ok I guess but it’s got that really obvious digital art look to it that I don’t like. Rough, grainy, even rushed in places - look at the hurriedly-sketched background figures in the fight scenes. Awful! I suppose the grimy, dark colours fit the mechanical city setting but it’s not very pleasant to look at. 

It remains tough to find a decent Iron Man book whichever world/dimension he’s in! James Robinson’s Armor Wars belongs on the comics scrapheap.

Warzones: Armor Wars

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