IRON MAN NOIR #4! EXCELSIOR!

Flaming Fists of Fury!

 

So here it is! The final issue in the four-part series that has been keeping me on my toes for the past quarter of a year, and what a ride it has been! We have been from the mountains of Norway to the depths of the Mediterranean Ocean, to the skies of New York, all to punch up a bunch of nutcase Nazis! So what happened this month?! Shitting hell, it turns out Baron Zemo is just a pseudonym used by the head of the Nazi research program, carried on by each successive victim of the ZEMO compound, and the latest victim is dear ol’  Tony’s dad! 

Then, as Tony gets smacked about like a ragdoll by Nazi robot ‘Arsenal’ its revealed his mechanical heart is finally giving up, with its dropping power levels flashed up in each panel and dropping steadily with each Iron fist to the face of the SS! Then Bang! Pepper Potts is smacking a lady up in the head, and Tony transforms into a damned great motorcycle, and they smash out of the castle onto a zeppelin! Naturally its on from there to victory via more jetpack fun, oricalchum trident lightning vs Zeppelin fleet experiments and submarine rescues. And then right as we think it’s all over, Tony is called in to face the one and only Dr. Doom!!! 

Writer Scott Snyder and artist Manuel Garcia have managed to achieve the impossible and have looked into the imagination of a 13-year-old boy, and pull out the most perfect comic book story of all time. And make no mistake, any one who reads comic books has the brain of a 13-year-old. Its 22 full colour pages of enormous robot suits punching at each other, while everything flammable blows up, and the only victims are Nazis, so it’s all absolutely guilt free! And man, the art is utterly superb! There is one panel I was looking at, and I couldn’t work out why it was so evocative and harrowing, and then I  realised what it was. While all the explosions and chaos is going on, Tony Stark has red rimmed and blood-filled eyes, a tiny detail added by the colourist to show that this man is fighting in a suit of armour while in the middle of a massive heart attack, yet still standing! 

The whole series has been coloured with these sort of brown and yellow sepia tones, so the blood and the fire stand out as these great bright streaks of vibrant colour from the page, and the red-headed Pepper Potts is similarly depicted as bright, clear and flawless, the literal clean bright center of each panel she is in, ready to carry Tony through despite is rusty, dented and lumbering suit and failing heart. So good on Marta Martinez (colourist extraordinaire) for brilliantly capturing the flavour and the feeling of a 40’s pulp adventure mag. 

Man Adventures!

 

I’m terribly sad this mini-series is over. Its been a jolly little indulgence in a sea of overly serious and overly self-important series. With every issue, every page, and every panel, this story knew it was a comic book. A little ten minutes of escapism with robots and fantastical lands and impossible escapes and happy endings. It appealed to the 13-year-old inside me, and I know I will read, and re-read this series, and it will be always as exciting and dynamic and enthralling as every classic adventure story should be.

Published in: on August 4, 2010 at 10:11 pm  Leave a Comment  

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