Saturday, December 19, 2009
Marvel Adventures Iron Man Volume 1, Published by Marvel Publishing, Inc, 96 pages, $6.99
Part of me still can't believe I'm saying it, though I've been saying it for at least four years, now: What's needed more than anything in superhero comics today is FUN. The stands are dominated by Marvel and DC, whose products seem to primarily be dark, angst-driven, delighted with death, and generally "mature" to some degree. I use the "m" word loosely.
This is why the Marvel Adventures line was/is such a breath of fresh air. In this case, M.A. Iron Man Volume 1: Heart of Steel takes Tony Stark and his iron-clad alter ego "back to formula" so to speak. Thanks to writer Fred Van Lente and artists James Cordeiro and Ronan Cliquet, this is my favorite version of the character since the run of Kurt Busiek and Sean Chen, which began in 1998.
The story puts a slightly different spin on the origin of the character, while preserving the essence of Tony Stark; a once arrogant man, seeking to improve himself on the inside, not just the outside.
Van Lente does a wonderful job of crafting stories and setting a pace which is reminiscent of Marvel in its' glory days. Action a-plenty, sufficient oratory and interesting characters abound. And, happily, these stories are not weighted down with whatever else may be going on in the Marvel Adventures universe.
Cordeiro and Cliquet have artistic styles that are wonderfully expressive, and don't clash with one another. Detailed and intricate, they are well-suited to the high-tech nature of Iron Man stories, without giving an inch on the action necessary for a slam-bang superhero yarn! And, for the record, they both turn in two of the best designs for Marvel villains in decades: Cliquet's Plantman and Cordeiro's Spymaster are aces!
Marvel Adventures Iron Man Volume 1 is ecstatically recommended for all ages.
Review by Mark Allen
Do you have a comics work you would like reviewed? Send it to Mark Allen, P.O. Box 394, Keyes, OK 73947.