Iron Man: Titanium #1: Review

Dec 2010
Adam Warren, Salva Espin

Story Name:

Railguns, Power Ties and Titanium Men

Review & Comments

4 stars

Iron Man: Titanium #1 Review by (September 17, 2022)
Comments: One-shot. First story: First and only appearance of Huang Qiaolian as of 2022. Tony calls A.I.M. the “yellow peril” because of the color of their uniforms but the term originally referred to the racially tinged idea from the early 20th century that the Chinese were plotting to conquer the world and subjugate the white race, which is why Pepper objects to Tony using the phrase. Second story: Tony Stark does not don the Iron Man armor in this tale. The Mauler’s sole appearance was in DAREDEVIL #167; his armor has shown up in many more comics. Third story: A note mentions that this takes place before CIVIL WAR. Only appearance of this new Ultimo. Fourth story: Tony’s alma mater MIT is the prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology, of course.

Review: Four stories of adventure (most) with a comic edge. The first tale introduces “girl genius” Huang Qiaolian and she is pretty funny dueling with Tony Stark as her complex plot spins out of control. The bad guys in the second story, disgruntled engineer and his two laid-back brothers who are constantly needling him, are likewise a hoot in a tale that shows us Pepper can be an action hero too. True, as Rescue she refused to employ weapons but sometimes you just have to go there. This tale is marked by an odd elongated art which looks a bit comical but also suits the action. Third story: Grittier art and a more serious tone underlie the banter between Tony Stark and Maria Hill and we learn that Tony is very responsible when it comes to dangerous alien weapons. The fourth tale brings us back to a more comical territory with angular cartoonish artwork that makes Iron Man’s thrashing look quite funny.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Iron Man: Titanium #1 Synopsis by T Vernon
Tony Stark and Pepper Potts are joined by representatives of other tech firms for a meeting at the corporate HQ of Designed Intelligence, who are unveiling a new invention. Their Chief Technological Officer Huang Qiaolian greets the assembled businesspeople and we learn that Tony has slept with the girl genius so he could swap her glasses for a pair that would allow him to spy on her work; it turns out she only wears them for show so nothing results. Huang then says the magic words, “Activate Titanium Man!” and a bootlegged version of the Russian armor appears; further, it has a Matryoshka mode, revealing successively smaller versions within. Huang then reveals that she is part of A.I.M. and they are all to be held for ransom. Tony reveals that his accompanying lawyers are actually robot shells containing the armor. Tony suits up and Iron Man battles the large Titanium-Man drones while the smaller one herd the hostages into elevators which are fired into the sky by railgun tech and sent to splash down in the Pacific Ocean near an A.I.M. ship. Iron Man follows and Huang activates the pulse mite she hid in Tony’s hair during their affair. It shuts down the armor and the Titanium-Man drones try to cut it open. But Tony has two surprises: a) Huang’s substituted glasses can emit an EMP which shuts down Huang, revealed to be an LMD and b) Tony’s tie contains the software to reboot the armor. Pepper, in one of the elevators, uses Huang’s phone to shut down the evil drones while Iron Man steers the elevator with Pepper to wreck the A.I.M. ship. Back home, the real Huang is frustrated that Stark has foiled her plan to be a billionaire by age 22.

Story 2:- “Killer Commute” 4/5

Writer: Mark Haven Britt. Art: Nuno Plati. Colors: Nuno Plati. Letters: Jeff Eckleberry.

Pepper Potts must deliver an important prototype to Tony Stark’s big meeting with a foreign team. Her chauffeur has a breakdown and the Brooklyn Bridge is gridlocked so she decides to take the subway. She does not know that a disgruntled former Stark engineer has recreated the Mauler armor and needs the prototype Pepper is carrying to complete it and use it to pay off a gambling debt to a gangster; to that end, he and his two brothers have arranged Pepper’s delays and set a trap on the subway. The baddie in the Mauler armor attacks her on the train and she escapes to a platform; cornered, she takes out the prototype, which is a weaponized gauntlet and clobbers the guy in the armor and his two brothers surrender….

Pepper, disheveled, arrives at the office a bit late but with the prototype.

Story 3:- “Heavy Rain” 4/5

Writer: Mateo Casali. Pencils: Steve Kurth. Inks: Allen Martinez. Colors: Sunny Gho. Letters: Dave Sharpe.

A giant robot is terrorizing Nevada and Iron Man is fighting it while communicating with Maria Hill as SHIELD evacuates the area. Shellhead identifies the creature as related to Ultimo; this one seems to have been discovered and accidentally activated by an A.I.M. splinter group. Iron Man’s armor is losing power while he fights a losing battle. He has a risky protocol he can use but he is reluctant. Soon it’s all he has and he rains down plasma energy on the robot, destroying it. Tony reveals he had reverse engineered an alien weapon and Hill calls him irresponsible for using it. Tony defends his use of the alien WMD and fears what would happen if it fell into the wrong hands. He invites Hill to dinner but she refuses.

Story 4:- “Hack” 4/5

Writer: Tim Fish. Pencils: Filipe Andrede. Inks: Rick Ketcham. Colors: Andres Mossa. Letters: Jeff Eckleberry.

Tony Stark attends a reunion at his alma mater MIT where he encounters an old female pal Jules. He also runs into Miles, the guy who always came in second to Tony, and the embittered Miles reluctantly shakes his hand. Miles then hurries home, having planted a microchip in Tony’s ring which will hack the armor and give him control of Iron Man. Tony dons the armor in Jules’ lab and so Miles takes control, having Iron Man thrash around, wrecking her lab, then seize Jules and fly high into the sky and drop her. As Tony tries to reroute power in the armor he swoops down to catch her then drops her again, this time saving her and depositing her on the ground. Miles makes the armor thrash around some more in the sky and finally Tony is able to contain the virus in a gauntlet then removing the gauntlet and blowing it up. Iron Man bursts into Miles’ lab but the bad guy can’t stop laughing at how he bested his great rival, even as the police are taking him away. Tony vows to wear only a tuxedo to the next reunion.

Salva Espin
Salva Espin
Rachelle Rosenberg
David Yardin (Cover Penciler)
David Yardin (Cover Inker)
David Yardin (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Tom Orzechowski.
Editor: Michael Horwitz. Editor-in-chief: Joe Quesada.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

> Iron Man: Titanium: Book info and issue index

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