Tony Stark is looking to go back to basics…  but is it that easy to be the Iron Man?  Your Major Spoilers review of Iron Man #1 from Marvel Comics awaits!


Writer: Christopher Cantwell
Artist: CAFU
Colorist: Frank D’Armata
LettererVC’s Joe Caramanga
Editor:Tom Brevoort
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Cover Price: $4.99
Release Date: September 16, 2020

Previously in Iron ManTony Stark is looking to restart his engine.  He decides he’s going back to basics, putting away his high-tech toys and high-profile image so he can get his hands dirty again.  It’s time to dig into the guts of real machines, put on some old-fashioned metal and fly.  But can he really lay that Stark-sized ego down?  Life isn’t that simple, something that old friends and frustrating foes are quick to point out.  If you strip down a billionaire to his bolts, does he run solid or just overheat?


Our story begins in New York, as Iron Man and Terrax suddenly crash through a storefront, then a building, then into orbit, where they crash into a satellite.  Iron Man makes short work of the former herald of Galactus, but finds that the public is more angry about the loss of their satellite TV than anything else.  The story shows us a Tony Stark in transition, leaving behind his company, breaking up with his latest girlfriend (or having her break up with him) and buying a 1978 Dodge and a brownstone on the Lower East Side.  He loses a drag race, teams up with Hellcat, debuts a new armor and finds his old foe The Unicorn, all of which is met with derision from the general public, so much that he deletes his Twitter account in frustration.  Oh, and he also blows off a man who wants to bottle lightning in order to make a clean new power source, which seems like something that’s going to come back and bite him, if the last page is any indication.


First and foremost, the art in this issue is lovely.  CAFU does really impressive work in this issue, especially with the new Alex Ross-designed Iron Man armor, which has design elements that hearken back to the classic Mark V armor from the 1970s.  The battle sequences are impressive as well, although the digital coloring effects are a bit overdone for my tastes, and there’s a real range of expression to Tony Stark’s face that you don’t always get from comic art.  The cars are also well-done, though the El Camino that beats Tony in the street race has some odd dimensions here and there.  The story is somewhat less successful for me, as there are a couple of moments where Tony’s motivations are weirdly unclear, and the breakup sequence feels oddly perfunctory.  I’m also kind of glad that the Twitter framing sequence ended the way that it did, as it was feeling very forced even only halfway through this issue.


All in all, Iron Man #1 has some puzzling story moments, but excellent art and works more often than not, with a cool new armor design putting it over the top for 3.5 out of 5 stars overall.  It’s nice to see a Tony Stark who doubts himself again, and the idea of finding a way to go back to basics could make for some really effective drama, so I’m in for at least three issues based on this debut.  Also: Tony has shaved his goatee and is back to the David Niven pencil-thin mustache, so that alone should be worth a little bit of amusement for the casual reader.

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A Fresh Start

A new armor, a new attitude and a new car make for an interesting fresh start... but that breakup was brutal.

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Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture! And a nice red uniform.

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