Thanks to the something-something brain-wave Axis plot point blah, Anthony Stark has a whole new attitude.
And it’s a bad one. What does this mean for Daredevil?. Your Major Spoilers review of Superior Iron Man #3 awaits!
SUPERIOR IRON MAN #3
Writer: Tom Taylor
Penciler: Yildiray Cinar
Inker: Ruy Hose & Juan Velasco
Letterer: VC’s Clayton Cowles
Editor: Mark Paniccia
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
Previously in Superior Iron Man: After the events of Axis, during which The Scarlet Witch cast her “Inversion Spell” to defeat Red Onslaught (Ugh), Anthony Stark has come to realize that he’s been holding back all his life. Moving to the West Coast, Tony has begun distributing a new smart device app, one which grants the user access to Extremis 3.0, allowing them to reshape their bodies using his special nanite magic blah blah phlebotinum. Meanwhile, Pepper Potts has begun working on her own counter-plan, one that Tony himself put into place in case his mind was ever compromised. She, along with a mysterious someone wearing old-school Mark II Iron Man armor (with the pointy-mask helmet) has begun trying to bring down the Superior Iron Man…
PAPA TONY GOT A BRAND-NEW BAG
This issue opens with a really startling moment, as Iron Man awakens Matt (Daredevil) Murdock with a surprise. “You get to see again,” he tells his fellow hero, “and the first face you get to see it this one.” DD is suitably shocked, but his surprise slowly turns to horror as he realizes not only that Tony has dosed him with Extremis against his will, Tony has created a short-term strain that would force Matt to keep paying him each month for the ability to see. Their confrontation shows us exactly how much Iron Man has changed, as he berates Daredevil for his ungratefulness, slaps him down (while in full armor) and flies away in a rage to fight another threat. Superior Iron Man is a giant jerk, and he’s not at all afraid to show it. At the same time, Pepper Potts and her mysterious ally analyze what Tony has become, and the parallel of selling Extremis to selling illegal drugs is made perhaps a bit TOO overt for my liking. At the end of the issue, Tony has hired the villain he set out to fight, his best friends are out to destroy him…
…and Matt Murdock has made the trek to visit his best friend, so that he can see Foggy with his own eyes one time before the effects of the Extremis fade.
This issue a mixed bag for me, with some excellent art from Yildiray Cinar, including a lovely new armor design, and some really nice facial expressions from an angry/resentful Tony Stark. With the bulk of the issue being a point-of-view shot from Daredevil’s perspective, there are a number of really neat visual bits throughout the issue. Unfortunately, Taylor’s script isn’t quite up to the task for me, with some moments hammered home far too enthusiastically, and a lot of drawn-out foreshadowy moments without resolution or progression. It’s a serious “third issue” third issue, making it clear that this series will be digestible in six-issue TPB-ready format, and that the overtones of addiction in parallel to Tony Stark’s existing drinking problems will be clearly spelled out in dialogue and on-panel. It’s certainly not a bad issue, but in some ways, it’s trying too hard to show us the depths that Stark is capable of sinking to, all spinning out of a plot point of the big crossover that they hope we’re all up-to-speed on.
THE BOTTOM LINE: NEW-SCHOOL TONY IS TERRIFYING
In short, this book has a lot of style, but I’m still a little concerned about how much substance there is behind the shiny visuals and new-Apple-style design work. I love the building of a secondary superhero city in San Francisco, with She-Hulk and Daredevil in evidence, and I really LOVE the Stark Tower headquarters (although being built on Alcatraz Island seems a bit… off?) but all in all it’s a passable reading experience. Superior Iron Man #3 may be stretching a bit beyond it’s skill-level, but it is at least stretching, and the art team is up to the challenge, leaving us with 3 out of 5 stars overall. I’m interested to see what all the noise about January Marvel books is really about, and how this all ties together…