Writer: Dan Slott / Artists: Valerio Schiti and Alexander Lozano / Marvel Comics
Tony Stark: Iron Man #1 is cute. Like, hella sweet, and family friendly. After a long twisty and winding road: Tony is back in his body and running things at the newly minted Stark Unlimited! But who is Tony after everything that’s happened? Let’s do a flashback to figure it out!
This comic attempts to bring the character back to his MCU self — a lot less darkness, a lot more snarky pop culture references. Issue #1 opens with a young Anthony at a robotics competition. Against a grown ass man! Tony Stark embarrasses Andy Bhang, and here we get the core plot of issue #1.
Cut to twenty-five year later, as Tony pulls up on the one-garage robotics company belonging to one Andy Bhang. Bhang is working on an operating system that allows fully individual AI to work together to achieve a goal. You know, the opposite of Tony’s core ideology? Tony loves the idea and absorbs the Bhang Robotics company into Stark Unlimited. Bhang gets the tour of the place and meets several of the obviously recurring characters that will be used to humble Tony Stark over the course of the arc.
In a moment best described as ‘Deus ex Villainy’, Fin Fang Foom randomly shows up from the late 80s to hassle New York City. Tony debuts two new armor sets: one is a straight-up Megazord sized suit with a Voltron-type faceplate reveal.
Which is almost cool. Right up until the point Tony starts calling out his moves a la Japanese everything. The second is a remote nanotech suit: filled with millions of little Iron Men (insert innuendo here) that won’t cooperate with one another because Tony is made of ego.
Bhang applies his operating system and even adds a little flair he got from young Tony twenty-five years ago. “And the day is saved. Thanks to…” This is some very saccharine exposition and a cliche ‘last-minute save’ brought to you by an uninspiring view of a beloved and complex character. The last few panels riff off the press conference of the Jon Favreau’s MCU-creating Iron Man movie, leaving off with the idea that everyone at Stark Unlimited has a hand in Iron Man’s destiny. This is an awkward and sanitized comedic take on a very nuanced and layered title.
4 Fin Fang Foom soliloquies out of 10
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