Comics Anonymous


A new four-parter for Tony Stark kicks off in the Ultimate Universe in a breakaway story from the Ultimates line.  Great cover by Frank Stockton plus a Dell’Otto variant out too.

An action-filled opening where Tony intervenes in an attempt to prevent a train robbery and from here we ease into the first of a series of flashbacks that tell of a simpler time when Tony wasn’t interested in the company or the money that went with it.  With big plans of starting out a new, simpler life away from his father’s corporation with the girl in his life, Josie.  We then skip forward to today and the life we recognize of the limo-life that Stark leads.

I think this is actually my main quibble with this opener, it seems to jump around quite a bit between modern day Stark/Iron Man to different stages of his previous life.  Although this does keep us up-to-date with the goings-on of an apparent sub-plot to hack something of Tony’s it made me wonder which story was trying to be told.

The gradual step away from his dream life with Josie as his father influence negotiates Tony’s involvement in the family business acts as the back-story to the issue but it all felt rather short and could have been a story in its own right.  Once the back n forth is finished, though, we’re onto more details about the plot against Stark as a security breach on one of his sites sees Iron Man step up to the plate in typical movie-sequence style.

This breach turns out to be nothing more than a diversion as a secondary, and much more serious, attack is underway – Tony’s suit itself has been hacked and that’s all being triggered from a truck on the move.  High-tech meets high-tech as he tracks it down and discovers its passenger dead with mobile phone suitably left for him to answer……here enters the Mandarin…..or at least the voice of the Mandarin.  Probably fitting with this character appearing in Iron Man 3 but his obvious hatred of Stark steps up a notch as the issue closes out.  Initiating the self destruct sequence of the Iron Man armour sees us reach the countdown from 10 to 8………and a smart cliffhanger for this first issue.

My own flashback issues aside, this was a solid opener from Nathan Edmonson with a good vibe to each of the different elements of the story unfold, from the relationship between Josie and Tony, to the relationship between Tony and his father and right through to the espionage/action sequences.  Artist Matteo Buffagni and colourist Andy Troy also give us pages full of energy with the ability to switch that to capture some of the deeper moments too.  In fact, it’s that combination of writing and art on this and previous Ultimate Iron Man arcs, which makes me wonder why Iron Man doesn’t have his own on-going series in the Ultimate Universe???

More of the Mandarin in the remainder of this series and I sure hope they don’t blow-up Stark…..that Iron Man suit is cool as hell.



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