Comic Book Review: Iron Man Volume 1: Believe

STK517530 Comic Book Review: Iron Man Volume 1: Believe

Iron Man is probably the character who’s popularity has benefited most from the MCU and its pretty understandable, both of the Iron Man films are pretty good and Robert Downey Junior is an amazing Tony Stark, this huge spike in popularity made me interested in the character and with the announcement that one of my favorite writers, Kieron Gillen would be writing a new ongoing series, I was understandably excited but sadly with the first story arc over, Marvel Now’s Iron Man is probably the weakest book of the entire initiative.

Kieron Gillen is a character writer, while he can do a wide variety of stories, its the characters and their interactions between each other that make his series truly enjoyable and yet here it feels like he either doesn’t get Iron Man and his supporting cast or he was forced to make them as similar to the movies as possible due to the unfounded belief at Marvel that if they make the comics more like the movies, people will buy them more.

Hey Quesada here is a hint, comic book movies have never increased sales of the comics, they never have, they never will so spare us the readers and your own writers the bullshit and give them total creative freedom or don’t even make release the book, you don’t lose any money and we don’t have to see a good character be ruined by a painfully mediocre series its a win, win situation!

The movie versions of Tony Stark and Pepper Pots simply don’t have any business being in a long existing universe like this, its understandable that Tony would act like an witty, charming asshole (because that’s why we love him in the movies) however he’s been doing this for about 7-10 years now, he’s gone through so much and I really cant see him acting like that after experiencing so many things in all that time.

Pepper Pots also doesn’t work because she’s also been made like the movies, however even I a person who’s read next to no Iron Man comics knows that Pepper was married to Happy Hogan and I believe he died some time during Fear Itself, in comic book time that’s probably like 3 to 6 months max, and yet she and Tony constantly flirt and play around like they did in the first two movies, that’s an awful quick time to get over a husband who you’ve been married to for 10 years.

Also Tony seems to have split personality disorder considering he goes from being witty RDJ to dark and brooding Batman while in fights he shouts jokes and insults like he’s Spider-Man, the writing of Tony is just all over the place and it’s an incoherent mess.

However I cannot blame Marvel editorial for this practice and I do think that if the main plot was actually good it could make up for the sup bar characters, unfortunately Gillen immediately shoots himself in the foot by making this kind of a sequel to the brilliant Extremis story line written by Warren Ellis a few years back.

Iron Man 004 Zone 000 Comic Book Review: Iron Man Volume 1: Believe

Extremis is one of the few Iron Man books I’ve read and all the praise is well deserved, so when you try to make a follow up to a highly acclaimed story line that you better bring you’re A game and anything else wont cut it, however Believe lacks EVERYTHING that made Extremis as good as it is.

Real world commentary on weapons manufacturing, the danger of the Iron Man suit and technology becoming to powerful for as to control among many other things made Extremis a blast, Believe is basically this, 4 bad guys (who we’ve never seen before) have gotten their hands on the Extremis serum and its up to Iron Man to stop them. That’s it, that’s the entire main plot of the first five issues.

What follows is Iron Man beating up a bunch of one dimensional bad guys, and I use that term loosely because calling them one dimensional is a compliment considering they have the depth of a road killed cat, and a bunch of dialogue ripped straight out of the movies between Tony and Pepper, one villain in the second issue particularly stood out for me not because she was interesting or original but rather what her back story is and how it was presented in the issue itself.

Basically she made this machine, became famous, Tony blew it up and then she swore revenge on him forever…. Yes my friends, the writer of Journey Into Mystery wrote this, I shit you not, this is her whole goddamn back story and it is literally shown in 4 panels that if you put on a single page couldn’t cover even a quarter of it!

But the first issue is probably the worst, not just because jack shit happens until the last 2 pages and the rest is just filler and a waste of money and paper, but also because of this woman Tony hits on, she herself says that she knows that Tony is bad boyfriend material, he’s egotistical, an asshole, pretty much a man child with a 30 billion dollar power suit that can take on a Norse god and that he’s just using her for one night of sex with no intention of ever calling her again but she’s gonna sleep with him anyway because he’s rich and handsome………….

Now I know comic book publishers think all women are just tramps, sluts, bimbos and whores and can only wear clothes that covers 25% of their bodies most of the time but Jesus Christ, how the hell has this not sparked any controversy?! This one meaningless character made me want to throw my book away in disgust, DC got a lot of crap for Catwoman and Starfire when the New 52 started and rightfully so, but this is just as bad.

The very idea that a woman who knows the kind of guy Tony is and knows that hes just using her for sex and goes along with it just make me cringe even now as I write this review, im a guy and im offended by this! Is it too much to ask to read one issue a month without a female character just basically there to act like a whore, dress like one and show off her tits, its completely tasteless and frankly im sick of it.

Iron Man Zone 037 Comic Book Review: Iron Man Volume 1: Believe

But on the 4th issue the book just goes completely off the rails with Tony fighting Lovecraftian zombies in his Hulk Buster Armor…. Yeah because Extremis has the power to create zombies and summon the mythical god Cthullhu from another dimension so he can kill Justin Bieber, if you didn’t notice I was being sarcastic because Extremis does not make zombies! And the last page pretty much hints that these zombies are going to come back later, Marvel the supernatural stuff didn’t work for Venom and it has even less business being in an Iron Man book.

The one positive thing I can say about this fist story is the art work, Greg Land does a fantastic job with the environments and the actions scenes and while the Lovecraftian zombies were total BS at least they were drawn in a creepy and disturbing way, however he pretty much draws every character the same and im not joking when I say that, there are pages where im just scratching my head wondering who the hell this character is that im looking at.

So is in conclusion is this book bad? Yeah its pretty horrible, its a pathetic Iron Man book that just rips off the movies for the sake of being like them due to editorial BS, its a god awful sequel to Extremis and the first issue alone has set women back 80 years, kinda like how Jar Jar Binks set black people back 50 years with the Phantom Menace.

Since this stinker tries to be like the movies I can say this with certainty, just watch Iron Man 1, 2 and the Avengers, forget this book even exists and if you buy it may you die a slow and painful death for actually giving Marvel money for what’s already a huge contender for worst comic book of 2013 and collectively making all comic book readers look like huge gullible  suckers.


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