Iron Man #23
Operating in stealth mode with Jim Rhodes, Iron Man has landed in Macau and immersed himself in SOURCE CONTROL - the worst black market of stolen and illegal technology - all in order to organize a backroom buy of THE MANDARIN'S RINGS. It's going to require Tony Stark-level capital and strategy, but SPYMASTER may have a different buyer - and a wicked double cross - at the ready in order to pull the rug out from under Iron Man's boots. It seems someone else is willing to pay top dollar for those rings and is ready to pull them out of Iron Man's dead hands if they have to…THE COBALT MAN.
The race is on for Tony and Rhodey to get the Mandarin’s rings before they’re on the black market. Can they do it? How will this play out? Why was I shocked by the villain’s reveal? The answers to all, well most, of these questions can be solved tomorrow when the new issue arrives in your pull box to find out.
Cantwell’s run has been a rollercoaster ride with some super high highs and some not-so-great lows, but it feels like the run has been on an upward climb since the end of the Korvac saga, and now it seems like it’s a shame that there are only two more issues of this run until the end. I’m not mad, just slightly disappointed, but I’m hopeful that we’ll get some A+ material from Duggan and Frigeri when they relaunch the book later this year. One thing’s for certain; it’s going to be gorgeous.
Cantwell’s Tony has been pretty pensive this run, yet also incredibly arrogant, and this might be Cantwell’s biggest strength so far. With this characterization and dusting off Tony’s under-appreciated rogues, there’s a lot of mileage that could be worked here, given the time. Unfortunately, time is something we have very little of, and that might be the biggest L that these characters, and their fans, are subjected to. Alas, I’ll take what I get (but would it have killed you to get Courtney and/or her father, Count Nefaria, involved???). One thing I’ve noticed is that Tony’s mistakes come back to bite him in the ass, and the bite is pretty hard. Tony’s burned a lot of bridges in the past, but somehow when it happens during this run, it feels like this is far more personal for Tony. Could it be that Tony’s friends are over his BS, and this might actually stick? It probably won’t, but hey! A fan can dream.
Angel Unzueta is on art duties, and he’s been great thus far. His style seems reminiscent of CAFU’s, yet still uniquely his own. Tony looks like he should, a spoiled rich kid who thinks he knows what’s best. Damn anyone who is there to support him because he’s right, and he’ll lose everything in order to prove just how right he is. Unzueta definitely plays up his strengths, as his style is better suited for the more technical moments with the various armors, but his character work feels just a tad stiff at certain points in the juncture. Nothing to worry about because he saved the best for last. Like with the Titanium Man last issue, Angel’s Cobalt Man is menacing and exudes a Bronze Age threat that we often lose with Iron Man’s rogues. Like with the last issue, the final page is absolutely killer and has me super hyped for the next issue. What else are these guys going to throw at us? Who knows, but I’m ready for it.
With only two issues left Cantwell’s pulling out all of the stops, bringing in loads of old Iron Man rogues, putting a new coat of paint, but who’s pulling the strings here? Is [redacted] really in charge of Source Control? Or is it something far more dark and menacing? Cantwell’s really channeling his inner Cold War era Tony stories, and it’s just a lot more fun because of it.
Iron Man #23: I will be your father figure, put your tiny hand in mine…
- Writing - 8/108/10
- Storyline - 8/108/10
- Art - 8.5/108.5/10
- Color - 8/108/10
- Cover Art - 8.5/108.5/10