International Iron Man #1 Review: Inside Tony Stark


With the launch of International Iron Man, Marvel gives Tony Stark a second monthly title, but is it worth your time?

International Iron Man #1
Written by Brian Michael Bendis
Art by Alex Maleev
Colored by Paul Mounts
Published by Marvel Comics

If there was any doubt about who Marvel’s new flagship character is, the launch of the All-New, All-Different Marvel should have answered that question fairly quickly.

Iron Man has been squarely featured in all the press materials in addition to Invincible Iron Man getting a huge media push when the book launched in October. With writer Brian Michael Bendis on board, there was no question that Tony Stark and his alter-ego had supplanted Spider-Man and the character Marvel wanted to be most associated with.

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So of course the next logical step is for Iron Man to get a second monthly title, right?

Unfortunately, while certain characters such as Spider-Man, Batman and Superman have no problem supporting two or ever three monthly titles, other heroes such as Captain America and Wonder Woman have had a tougher go of it.

With International Iron Man #1, we will get to find out if Iron Man falls into the former or latter category.

For their part Marvel is making the book a tough one to pass on. They have Bendis writing it and have teamed him up with former Daredevil artist Alex Maleev, so that is never a bad thing. And while Invincible Iron Man looks at the future and Iron Man’s role in the Marvel Universe, International Iron Man will look to the past, specifically who Tony’s birth parents are, an element left from the previous volume before the Secret Wars struck.

Yep. International Iron Man sure seems to have hit book written all over it.

So why didn’t I enjoy it?

Maybe it’s because the issue, while good, is essentially one very long conversation that happened 20 years ago while Tony was attending Cambridge. We get to follow along as Stark tries in vain to date and romance Cassandra Gillespie, the daughter of a rival arms manufacturer of Howard Stark.

And that’s about it. Other than an assassination attempt by a group of Hydra agents to close out the issue, it’s just a couple of people trying to get into each other’s pants.

Not really a great way to kick off a new series.

And what makes it even worse is that while Maleev is an incredible artist with numerous strengths, Iron Man is not a character that works towards any of them. What made his Daredevil and Moon Knight runs work so well just looks awkward and off when used with a character like Iron Man. The flashback (which is just the type of great work you would expect from Maleev) is framed by events that take place in the current day and his art there suffers.

I’m just not sure how well it will work when the entire story includes Iron Man fighting Mandroids in a city of the future.

More superheroes and comics: Daredevil Season 2, Episode 1 Recap And Review: Bang

The Bottom Line: While the story in International Iron Man #1 is okay, it wasn’t what I was expecting from the first issue of a new Iron Man title. Yes, characterization is great, but Tony being smug and horny for 20 pages is not something I would normally pay $4 for. Throw in art that doesn’t really fit and you have a series that I’ll read the second issue of, put that might be it.