I Am Iron Man #4
IRON MAN, just like every person, has his demons. But when you’re IRON MAN, director of S.H.I.E.L.D., your demons are war-bringing demons that you must face covered in iron armor and a handful of secrets. Jump on with this penultimate episode set after the events of "Civil War"!
Tony Stark had it rough in the early 2000’s as he became the centerfold character for multiple Marvel events that often hinged on the betrayal of friends and the secrecy between them, and as such generated an air around him that was almost villainous. As the decades of exploration ramble on, I Am Iron Man #4 finds itself picking up the pieces of a post-Civil War Tony Stark.
The issue opens with Tony Stark and Doctor Strange having lunch with one another, Tony suffering from demonic hallucinations. After a string of murder related to his extraterrestrial immigrant program ensues, Tony and Strange work alongside Maria Hill to connect the dots between his hallucinations and the murders at hand, all of it coming back to Tony’s paranoia.
This is a difficult era to celebrate and explore, as Tony wasn’t the greatest hero during this time, but the team did an excellent job showcasing off Tony’s paranoia stemming from a place of trying to over extend his abilities as a hero. This issue explicitly examines how he fears his friends, and he had run so far down the rabbit hole of being prepared for everything that he slowly developed a mindset that puts him directly at odds with his own friends. In a quest to always be ready to save the world, he had alienated himself from them, and this issue does a great job of exploring that scenario. It’s entirely backdropped by this wonderfully written murder mystery story, the team penning some really engaging dialogue between Tony and Strange that was worth the price of admissions alone. This isn’t just a boring character study. It’s a very interesting one wrapped up in an equal engaging story, where both intersect to tell a really solid Iron Man tale.
Adedotun Akande’s art gets progressively better with each issue, and he’s definitely at his best here. There’s a lot of tonal table setting done with the art, and Akande’s character work is at it’s finest here with all the character’s from the Marvel Universe that make surprise appearances throughout the book. All my compliments from the past remain here, just amplified tenfold.
I Am Iron Man #4 makes a bold choice in how it reflects and celebrates the 2000's era of Tony Stark, but it's a choice that pays off. The team here explores every facet of Tony, whether or not those facets are pretty or ugly, and does so with an expertise understanding as to how one should explore a character's darker corners while avoiding outright vilification.
I Am Iron Man #4: Strange, Both Inside and Out
- Writing - 8.5/108.5/10
- Storyline - 8.5/108.5/10
- Art - 9/109/10
- Color - 8.5/108.5/10
- Cover Art - 8/108/10
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