The War of the Realms has brought magic to Tony Stark’s backyard. Now, he has to call in reinforcements! Your Major Spoilers review of Tony Stark: Iron Man #13 awaits!
Writer: Gail Simone
Artist: Paolo Villanelli
Colorist: Edgar Delgado
Letterer: VC’s Joe Caramagna
Editor: Tom Brevoort
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: June 19, 2019
Previously in Tony Stark: Iron Man: Recently, Stark Unlimited’s virtual reality wonderland, the eScape, was hacked by the Controller. Tony and his team freed the VR, but the Motherboard AI confirmed Tony’s deepest fear: that after rebooting his DNA to cheat death, he’s merely a simulation of the true Tony Stark. Worse still, the Dark Elf Malekith has incited a war across the Ten Realms and has sent the dragon Sadurang to pay a visit to Tony on Earth… That’s probably bad.
TONY STARK HATES MAGIC
We open with Tony’s cutting-edge armor infected with a strange magical virus that alters it into a traditional Asgardian platemail, leaving him struggling to figure out how to manipulate it’s new magical systems, with no way of getting out of the armor. As Sadurang attacks the Stock Exchange, demanding trillions of dollars out of sheer greed, Iron Man has to figure out how to stop him while keeping the rest of his technology safe from infection. After a couple of unsuccessful attempts to go head-to-head with the monster, his calls for help are answered by Janet Van Dyne, the founding Avenger known as The Wasp. While Tony leverages a different malfunctioning armor to rip open his current one, Wasp holds off the dragon single-handedly. Freed of his new armor and it’s WiFi weaknesses, Iron Man gets back to basics with his original Mark I armor, which lacks wireless system access and it made of cold iron, making it a perfect dragon-beating tank. Of course, there’s still the question of whether or not Tony is going to admit to drinking while in the simulated reality of the eScape and the whole Asgardian invasion thing…
ENTER: THE WASP!
The biggest takeaway from this comic is how much I missed The Wasp, whom Tony is apparently now dating. For a crossover issue with a temporary creative team, this issue holds together the ongoing threads of Iron Man’s continuity while mixing in the Asgardian invasion in an interesting and personal way for our hero, taking advantage of his natural enmity for magic and mystical folderal. The art’s pretty interesting, too, though I’m not entirely thrilled with some of the sketchy faces and facial expressions. The appearance of the Mark I armor (very much retro-designed to look like the 2008 movie version) is a great splash page, though, and all the explosions and fight sequences are dynamic and well-handled. Simone delivers an appropriately quippy and irreverent Iron Man, without ever sacrificing the seriousness of the challenge or of his recent digital fall off the wagon and the final page, where Bethany Cabe arrives with a desperate distress call from the Avengers, makes it clear that the greater threat is still in play. It’s a nice way to redirect people back to the main series, even if I don’t necessarily like having to buy other comics for the full story.
BOTTOM LINE: BETTER THAN MOST CROSSOVER TIE-INS
All in all, this issue pulls off the difficult task of streamlining the giant invasion storyline into ongoing Iron Man threads admirably, with strong dialogue overcoming any weaknesses in the art and a big damn hero moment for both Iron Man and the Wasp, leaving Tony Stark: Iron Man #13 with a better than average 3.5 out of 5 stars overall. If you’ve been upset about the character’s fate in ‘Endgame’, this series might be good place to go for more Tony Stark adventures…
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TONY STARK: IRON MAN #13
This issue's focus on Tony's personal and emotional problems in the middle of a battle with a literal magical dragon works pretty well, and the combination of snappy dialogue and old-school armor makes for a satisfying ending.