The new Iron Man is trying to turn over a new leaf, but the old Tony Stark is struggling. Your Major Spoilers review of Iron Man #3 from Marvel Comics awaits!
IRON MAN #3
Writer: Christopher Cantwell
Colorist: Frank D’Armata
Letterer: VC’s Joe Caramagna
Editor: Tom Brevoort
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: November 11, 2020
Previously in Iron Man: Tony Stark is getting tired of apologizing for being himself, especially when as Iron Man he’s more powerful than most any other human being on Earth. As he wears himself out trying to do everything he can to be a force of good in the world, he’s beginning to chafe at the idea that he really owes anybody anything. Is it too much to ask for a thank you?
Our story begins in Oklahoma, as The Unicorn races through a thunderstorm ranting and raving about how he has come to serve, only to be annihilated in a bolt of lightning. Elsewhere, Iron Man is having an identity crisis, realizing that no matter what he does, the public doesn’t seem to take it well. Even when he’s taking down his old foes, the response seems to be negative. He tries to drop in for a meet and greet with a group of schoolkids, only to be dressed down by the teachers for disrupting the school’s structure. When The Melter arrives to melt his car, Tony snaps and nearly drops the villain to his doom. Fortunately, there’s a distraction in the form of his latest investment, an energy farm… in Oklahoma.
Bad things transpire.
A DARK AND BROODING HELLCAT
Probably the most shocking part of this issue is Hellcat, explaining the story of how she killed herself once and had to fight her way back from the afterlife, a story that gets forgotten quite a bit in the presentation of the happy-go-lucky Hellcat. It’s also a reminder that, whatever Tony’s going through, it could all be worse, which I appreciate. There are some recurring problems with this series’ insistence that Tony Stark can do nothing right, but it’s a take we haven’t seen a lot of since the MCU film version took precedence. I expect that this run won’t be a permanent new take, but I appreciate how it builds on the previous issues and the end of the Slott run without overtly “putting all the toys back in the box.” The art is quite nice as well, with CAFU delivering an impressive Iron Man, but the inking is very dark and the coloring doesn’t really help on that front. Korvac’s attack is really visually stunning, though, all puns intended.
BOTTOM LINE: SOMEWHAT SURPRISING
In short, Iron Man #3 serves as a well-done middle chapter that wobbles just a little bit but never quite loses its balance, showing us a side of Iron Man we haven’t seen for a while and making me worry for poor Hellcat, with art that succeeds in spite of the darkness of the production, earning 3.5 out of 5 stars overall. If nothing else, I appreciate this creative team taking a step back and giving us a look at a different side of Tony Stark, and want to see where this story is going.
The cool retro armor doesn’t hurt anything, either.
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IRON MAN #3
Tony Stark is having problems figuring it all out, but this issue mostly isn't. I'm not sure I love it, but it's a fresh take on Iron Man when we really need one.