Tony Stark’s new start has hit a rather large snag…  a cosmic snag named KORVAC!  Your Major Spoilers review of Iron Man #4 from Marvel Comics awaits!


Writer: Christopher Cantwell
Artist: CAFU
Colorist: Frank D’Armata
Letterer: VC’s Joe Caramagna
Editor: Tom Brevoort
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: December 16, 2020

Previously in Iron ManIron Man and Hellcat were lucky to survive their first encounter with Korvac and his new disciples, but finding him and stopping him is proving an even greater challenge.  As Korvac powers down all of New York City in order to try and again go cosmic, Tony’s forced to turn to lesser-known colleagues on the fringe in order to stop him.  One advantage he has: Hellcat is hearing things ever since their last encounter with Korvac…


After last issue’s disastrous confrontation with Korvac, James Rhodes has been captured, Tony Stark has been humbled and Patsy Walker is scarred and hearing voices.  It’s not a great showing, which makes for an awkward conversation between Hellcat and Iron Man when they try to gather their wits and resources.  She calls him out for being a jerk, they discuss how Korvac isn’t who he once was, and then…  they kiss.  And then they do more than kiss.  Having resolved the tension between them, they realize that they can’t involve the Avengers or the X-Men or the Defenders in the plan to bring down Korvac: They have to go underground.  While they gather their troops, including the street-racer Halcyon whom Tony encountered in a previous issue, James Rhodes is held captive by Korvac, The Blizzard, The Unicorn and The Controller, an unholy union of Iron foes with the goal of returning Korvac to his cosmic-levels so that he can take down the ultimate target, Galactus’ worldship!


On the one hand, I’ve been bothered by the fact that Tony and Patsy seemed to be working towards a romance in these first few issues, because I liked the idea of a platonic partnership.  On the other, the execution of their romantic moment in this issue works for me, thanks to subtle art and some incisive dialogue by Cantwell.  His Iron Man is still the arrogant guy of recent years, but he’s trying to be better, and Hellcat really wants him to succeed.  It’s nicely done, especially their expressions and the remaining injuries from last issue’s beatdown.  Patsy also looks haunted, which makes sense, as she’s still somehow tied to Korvac, and the visual representation of it is top-notch work.  There are no big fight sequences, but CAFU’s art is exciting and engaging all the way through, even when Blizzard and Korvac are just having a conversation.


All in all, this issue’s strengths overcome the minor flaws (there’s a really stilted Stephen King reference in the dialogue, and the public’s distrust of Stark feels less motivated than it could), making Iron Man #4 a well-written and well-drawn installation of the exciting new chapter in Tony’s life, earning 4 out of 5 stars overall.  I like this take on Shellhead, reminding me of the O’Neil/Akin days, as well as some of the less popular 70s iterations where the armor may or may not have had a nose.

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Great art, some really well-done dialogue and the reveal of Korvac's plan make for a strong issue.

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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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