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How many times has the Armor Wars story been told?  According the Wiki, there have been three previous tellings of the Armor Wars, but according to Marvel, and apparently the people buying Marvel comics, there haven’t been enough tellings of the tale, so why not weave it into the Ultimate universe?

111_ULTIMATE_COMICS_ARMOR_WARS_1.jpgI will give Warren Ellis credit for taking the tale of Stark tracking down those that are stealing his tech for their own use and making it fit perfectly into the Ultimate (Comics) universe.  If it hadn’t been for Ultimatum, Tony’s fortune wouldn’t be in jeopardy, and it wouldn’t have prompted him to seek out certain items that could restore his credit rating and reputation.  I’ve read little of the Ultimate (Comics) Tony Stark, so this is a nice way for readers to jump into the opulent world of the drunk superhero.

There’s plenty of great character development in this first issue, as readers are presented with a hero that shows little regard or remorse for the death and destruction that he encounters in Manhattan.  It’s really off putting that he would rather record a flippant podcast while he walks across and around the dead bodies that litter the streets.  That perception is then reinforced as he makes suggestive comments to Justine Hammer as she bleeds internally while he takes her to get medical attention to stabilize her powers.

Throughout it all; battling The Ghost, dealing with the damsel in distress, and trying to secure his fortune, the story simply moves at a brilliant pace.  There could certainly have been really dull moments as Stark made his way to his Manhattan offices, and the battle sequence could have been hyper-explosion after hyper-explosion, but even there, the fight plays out in well timed reveals that cause Tony to go from a complete dick to a complete dick who’s just been one upped.  Still the only thing that detracts from it all is Tony’s complete disregard for his situation and those around him.  Or at least that is how the character comes off – more concerned about his money and his precious than humanity.

I’m a bit concerned that Marvel may have to regroup its Ultimate (Comics) creators and figure out a timeline that doesn’t cause confusion for readers. Ultimate (Comics) Spider-Man takes place months after the reclamation, while Ultimate (Comics) Armor Wars takes place just a day or two after the events of Ultimatum.  Those who are reading everything Ultimate (Comics) may get a better understanding of Tony’s disposition by having read Ultimate (Comics) Avengers, but then there’s also a disconnect in time there too.  What Marvel really needs is a timeline, and better yet, bring back the freaking Editor’s Notes that say when these events occur in relation to the other comics in the universe.

Steve Kurth’s pencil work in this issue is really solid.  He’s a skilled draftsman who can bring the Wow Factor to the surrounding architecture and Iron Man suits.  And while he can draw the human form, there are a few times, when perspectives and panel sizes cause the faces to seem a bit off.  In this day and age when art is subjective, I really don’t mind the occasional slip here and there, but it is something that I notice when it happens.

As far as Marvel comics go, I’m an Ultimate (Comics) fan, in it for the long haul – or at least until the next cannibal scene where a bloated villain is feasting on the remains of a dead super-heroine.  Ultimate (Comics) Armor Wars #1 is a solid start to reinventing/rebooting the Tony Stark character, and I hope the next three issues hold up as well.  For now, I’m a satisfied reader, and think others will be too, earning Armor Wars #1 (I’m too am getting tired of my Ultimate (Comics) dig) a solid 4 out of 5 Stars.

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The Author

Stephen Schleicher

Stephen Schleicher

Stephen Schleicher began his career writing for the Digital Media Online community of sites, including Digital Producer and Creative Mac covering all aspects of the digital content creation industry. He then moved on to consumer technology, and began the Coolness Roundup podcast. A writing fool, Stephen has freelanced for Sci-Fi Channel's Technology Blog, and Gizmodo. Still longing for the good ol' days, Stephen launched Major Spoilers in July 2006, because he is a glutton for punishment.

You can follow him on Twitter @MajorSpoilers and tell him your darkest secrets...

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1 Comment

  1. September 26, 2009 at 9:48 am — Reply

    What I don’t understand is, if you’ve gone to the trouble of proving this is not your father’s Oldsmobile with the events of Ultimatum, why immediately segueway back into continuity by reprising a moment of old 616 continuity?

    Why not call it something entirely different than “Armor Wars” to continue establishing your new and different Marvel U?

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