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Iron Man: Fatal Frontier #1: Review

Oct 2013
Al Ewing, Lan Medina

Story Name:

(no title given)

Review & Comments

4 stars

Iron Man: Fatal Frontier #1 Review by (August 5, 2015)
This 13-issue series was a weekly online Infinite comic, but I'm writing it up from the hardback graphic novel. The HB isn't divided into issues, but splitting it is simplified by the layout and penciller credits given in ranges of page numbers - and comparing them with the credits for issues given by But that doesn't help divvy up the 1st 3 issues. I have split them at cliff hangers. Al Ewing is the writer for this series, but current Iron Man scribe Kieron Gillen gives him a hand with the plotting, tying things into events in that series. Carmine Di Giandomenico wiil do the layouts for #1-9. Lan Medina will be the artist for #1-3 after which he will start alternating with Neil Edwards. The party here celebrates Tony Stark's return from his space adventures with the Guardians of the Galaxy. This places it after Iron Man's return to Earth at the end of IM(2013)#16, itself after GoG(2013)#7. But it can't be the birthday party he has then because he leaves that to find (in #17) the brother (Arno) he never knew he had. So it must be another party soon after #17. The space armour is what he had been wearing for his adventures in GoG#1-7 and IM#6-16. But for his Earthbound adventures in later IM issues he reverts to the armour he wore in #1-5. Indeed he donned that for his return to Earth during #16.

It isn't credible that Tony only *now* started worrying about alien invasions after his experiences with the GoG. He's been to space many times before, and Earth has been space invaded many times too. Stark developed his current AI during IM(2013)#1-5, but I think he only started calling it PEPPER from #5. He also started using the AI to clothe him in his armour piece by piece during those issues, as it does here. This was probably to make things similar to the films, but the excuse was that the armour was now modular, and the AI/Tony could select necessary components. James Rhodes has just taken on the role/armour of Iron Patriot in Secret Avengers (2013) #6-7. There seems to be a mismatch between the script and the art as Iron Man faces the 2nd missile. The space armour plus talk of re-entry heat suggest the conflict is happening in space, but the visuals show it directly above the Hollywood sign.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Iron Man: Fatal Frontier #1 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
A missile launches from the Moon towards Earth, fired from a giant gun.

Tony Stark is at a party in his Malibu house to welcome him back from his time in space with the Guardians of the Galaxy. He's talking to Cora Birch who's writing a book about him. Their exchange of friendly banter indicates that she's taking a warts and all approach. Stark bemoans the fact that ordinary humans gave up on space travel - all the superhumans like him that have been out there don't count. They see a shooting star, which changes course and heads towards them.

Tony gets a notification from his AI PEPPER that the shooting star is a missile, and there's another 1 following. They were detected by the QUILL network, but too late to do anything. We learn that the network is named after Peter Quill, Star-Lord of the GoG. After his experiences with the GoG Stark created an array of microsatellites to watch for alien invasions. This network should have detected the missiles long before if they came from outer space. So they must have come from somewhere nearby. PEPPER confirms the source is the Moon.

The 1st missile hits the ocean near Malibu, and the underwater detonation sends a tidal wave their way. The AI suits Tony up in his Iron Man Space Armour, and he uses repulsor rays to break up the water. Then he heads up to intercept the 2nd missile in space. This 1 is heading straight for LA.

PEPPER has also alerted the military, so James Rhodes puts on his Iron Patriot armour and sets out as backup. But PEPPER estimates he won't get there in time. Iron Man positions himself in front of the missile to hold it back with repulsors, but it's too big and fast. Meanwhile a close-up look tells him it's old Soviet tech. He gains extra power from the heat of re-entry, but it's still not enough to stop the missile.

Rhodey is on his way, but Shellhead and the missile are now low enough that gawkers can take pictures of them on their phones. Stark detects an extreme power source inside the missile, which will make this a much more dangerous bomb. He gets the AI to take the power that keeps his heart and much of his body functioning and add that to his boot jets. And just as Iron Patriot arrives IM succeeds in pushing the missile back.

Tony gets the bomb out over the ocean. But he doesn't know how powerful the explosion will be so, ignoring the pain in his chest, he keeps moving futher out. Then Jim sees the explosion.

Lan Medina
Dave Meikis
Jesus Aburtov
Paul Renaud (Cover Penciler)
Paul Renaud (Cover Inker)
Paul Renaud (Cover Colorist)


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)

(Peter Quill)

> Iron Man: Fatal Frontier: Book info and issue index

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