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Iron Man #1: Review

Sep 2020
Christopher Cantwell, Cafu

Story Name:

Rest your brains

Review & Comments

4 stars

Iron Man #1 Review by (September 18, 2020)
This is a 32-page initial issue for the new team of scribe Christopher Cantwell and artist CAFU. Cover artist Alex Ross designed the new armour.

Wasp is the last element of the previous 2 series to be discarded by the new scribe.

Tony Stark has abandoned his Company and opted for a simpler life before, in Iron Man (1998) #41-45 which we've just finished synopsizing on this site. There he'd been brainwashed by a villain and he gave away all his money. I don't know if a villain's behind it this time as well, but at least writer Cantwell lets him keep the cash.

Terrax has never been an Iron Man villain. He was 1 of the Heralds of Galactus and has mainly been involved in 'cosmic' stories. He was last seen in #29-30 of the current Avengers series teamed with fellow ex-Heralds Firelord and Silver Surfer to stop the birth of the new Starbrand.

Glory Grant followed in Betty Brant's shoes as a secretary for J Jonah Jameson who progressed to being a reporter for his Daily Bugle.

Patsy Walker has never been as close to Tony Stark as she suggests here. Iron Man was 1 of the Avengers when she became Hellcat in their #144, but she didn't stay long and spent most of her time with the Defenders. She was later part of Iron Man's post-Civil War Initiative.
Her latest apps have been scattered:- A bit part in a Howard The Duck tale in the War Of The Realms: War Scrolls anthology. Her own section in Marvel Comic #1000. Her own tale in the Fearless #3 anthology

Fuller Teilhard is an obvious pseudonym combining Buckminster Fuller and Teilhard de Chardin. The issue is top-and-tailed by quotes from the polymath Fuller, the 2nd 1 'defining' God. de Chardin was a Jesuit philosopher who devised the idea that the Universe was evolving to become God at the Omega Point.

The solicit for this issue mentions a threat to the Universe arising from the past. Unicorn says he's working for 'God'. Fuller Teilhard is pretty obviously meant to be both of these things. His starry face reminds me of Korvac, so that's my prediction.

Unicorn *was* an IM villain dating back to Tales Of Suspense #56. His claim to have been 'called from the sea' by the Other makes me think his last app is supposed to have been IM#135 where he walked off into the ocean. But he's made lots of apps since then (without any explanation of how he was saved from drowning). However if the big bad here is Korvac then he's a time-traveller and could have plucked Unicorn from that time. The guy does seem to be wearing his old uniform with the mental problems he had then.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Iron Man #1 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
The 1st 3rd of the issue has a voiceover duologue by a car dealer discussing with Tony Stark various cars he might buy.

We open on a Monday with a fight between Iron Man and Terrax The Tamer for no explained reason. IM finally flies him out into space and supposedly blasts him out of the Solar System. Along the way he discusses finances with his new AI BOSS. Tony Stark has been separating himself from Stark Unlimited. He's resigned from the board and sold all his stock for 65 billion dollars. Tony leaves it to BOSS to reinvest a 3rd of the money. Also along the way the fight damages a building and destroys a COM-TV satellite. When he posts his success online he gets angry messages from COM-TV users and a legal threat from COM-TV.

On Tuesday Stark does a TV interview at home. Tony says he's backing away from technology, leaving it to machines to build machines. The interviewer says his financial manoeuvres have caused chaos on the Stock Market. She also mentions his 14.8 million dollar Malibu mansion and his Iron Man suit. She asks if he's quitting because of all the lives his inventions have taken. The Internet still isn't happy with him.

Wednesday. Stark puts the mansion up for sale and asks James Rhodes to clear the contents out. (Especially presumably all the IM armours in there.) He then goes for a road trip in a Shelby Cobra with Daily Bugle reporter Glory Grant, expecting her to write it up as an article. But when she tells him she's going to write a book about him he crashes the car (a bit).

Thursday starts with the car dealer who eventually sells him a 1978 Dodge Aspen, expecting Stark to customise it himself. We learn that Tony has bought a historic brownstone on the Lower East Side. The Internet still has it in for him. The last bit of the voiceover has Tony asking where he might really test the car's limits, and the dealer advises him to go to Amsterdam Avenue. Wasp flits in to tell Tony their relationship is over and she's moved on. Tony agrees it's for the best. That night he takes the car to the Avenue to take part in illegal street racing. He antes up 5 grand and they match him against a deaf guy named Halcyon. Who beats him by a test of nerves.

The next night he hosts a party in his brownstone. Various people approach him with business propositions, but he turns them all down in favour of chatting with Patsy Walker. He tells her he's trying to get back to a simpler life, but she suggests this party isn't the way to do that. They are interrupted by a guy named Fuller Teilhard who wants to interest Mr Stark in his superconductor that can capture and store lightning as an eco-friendly energy source. Tony brushes him off ...

... and takes Patsy to the basement to show her a large briefcase with his latest Iron Man armour inside. It's very old-style and has to be put on manually (although the boots and gauntlets do magnetically extend into position). Patsy confirms she has her Hellcat costume so they leave for a jaunt through the NY sky, Hellcat using her claw-line. As they exit an EMP is triggered in the building to fry the guests digital devices (just to delete their data on him?).

Sitting on the Empire State Building Tony confirms that he's going back to his roots to find out who he is. Patsy lightly accuses him of still feeding his ego. Luckily Tony spots a helicopter on the roof of the Public Library and they go to investigate where they find his old foe Unicorn stealing a much older book, a Gutenberg Bible. The villain says God, who he calls the Other, told him to do it after 'calling him back from the sea'. IM's retro-armour doesn't fare well against the possibly enhanced blasts from Unicorn's helmet, and BOSS crashes. The baddie escapes in the helicopter until our hero flies through its rotor blades, bringing it down. But then lightning from the sky strikes IM and destroys the Bible. (Tony gets stick for that on the Internet too, and cancels his social media accounts.)

Finally we see Fuller Teilhard looking out of a window. Marvel Fandom Wiki suggests he's in Bellevue psychiatric hospital. But we see half his face transformed to a starry sky.

Frank D'Armata
Alex Ross (Cover Penciler)
Alex Ross (Cover Inker)
Alex Ross (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Joe Caramagna.
Editor: Tom Brevoort. Editor-in-chief: C. B. Cebulski.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.


(Patsy Walker)
Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)
James Rhodes
James Rhodes


(Janet Van Dyne)

Plus: Glory Grant, Halcyon, Unicorn.

> Iron Man: Book info and issue index

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