The Next Chapter
By: Andrew Hines
I was hesitant to pick this up because I love Iron Man so much. I didn't want there to be any huge changes, especially to the suit. The thing is, that once I started reading it, it was really fun. I actually really like the new suit. It's a mix of Iron Man and War Machine armors, which is awesome. They're really making Tony more like he was during the Extremis story, very aware of what his armor could be used for, rather than making him the arrogant douche, though somehow lovable douche we've seen in the movies. This is a switch that needed to happen lot sooner. When I first heard about the Marvel NOW! titles, I didn't have a whole lot of faith in them, but that may change in the next month, starting with this title.
The writer we have here is no stranger to the Marvel Universe. Kieron Gillen is a wonderful writer and while he doesn't shine quite as brightly as he did on last year's Uncanny X-Men, he's still starting off pretty well. He gives us a new look and fairly classic insight into the mind of Tony Stark. The greatest part of the writing is that we see all of the reasons we love and hate Tony Stark and the reasons that the Marvel Universe can't live with or without Iron Man. As many things as he's made to aide the world, he's got an equal number that may destroy it. Gillen reminds us of that from the start. He pulls no punches, though he may have started swinging a bit before the bell.
Artist Greg Land has contributed to the pencils on this first issue. There are a lot of great moments, but one of the first pages, with Pepper Potts in the club, just doesn't feel right. It's mostly the facial expressions and Pepper in a dress. Then there's the inks from Jay Leisten that work well. The inks are good, though the issue doesn't require a lot of it, unless you count the black parts of the armor. The colors from Guru Efx are just fabulous. I mean, look at the metal forming the suit like that. That's just freakin' awesome. Really, the only bad thing about the art is the weird facial expressions I mentioned earlier.
This is a surprisingly good issue, considering. I give it a "B+". The writing is great and most of the art is awesome. Having whole pages that look off, however takes a bit away from the grading of the whole issue. I recommend it if you're not too weirded out by the change in armor.