REVIEW: ‘Iron Man 2020’ Issue #4

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Iron Man 2020 #4

Iron Man 2020 #4 is the next installment of Marvel Comic’s event of the same name. Written by Dan Slott and Christos Gage. Art by Pete Woods, who is also the color artist alongside Celeste Woods. Letters by Joe Caramagna. Arno Stark continues his fight against his adoptive brother Tony, now going by the name of Mark One. Mark One has revealed he is actually artificial intelligence and the real Tony Stark is dead. Mark One now leads an A.I. rebellion against humanity with a host of familiar robotic faces. In this issue, Arno and his business partner Sunset Bain must think of another plan to defeat their mechanical foes while an injured Mark One has an identity crisis.

There is a lot to unpack within this issue, as this chapter feels like a turning point in the event. In my first read through it was difficult to process the many scenes and locations, but the issue became more powerful each time I returned. There are multiple twists, many of which were unexpected. The ones that may be considered more predictable were enacted in really well-written methods. One of these twists was incredibly uplifting, while the other signaled a dark path for one of the characters. The two suggest a switching of roles between two characters and a severe change in the direction this event was going.

All of the characters are written well, but Arno Stark is fantastic in this event. Slott and Gage masterfully alternate between making the audience afraid of him and loving him at the same time. Arno is completely arrogant and narcissistic, wanting things to always be under his control. This theme of control that follows him through the crossover peaks at a terrifying height in this issue. 

The other characters that are really brilliant to read are the robotic rebels. Part of it is my love for minor characters within comics. But Awesome Android, the huge, slab-headed robot with the power of mimicry has always been a favorite. And a sweary, feisty H.E.R.B.I.E., previously of the Fantastic Four, is a delight.

The dialogue is grand and effective, but there is too much within some pages. There’s a lot of ground that needs covering in Iron Man 2020 #4, but part of the reason why the first readthrough is challenging is due to how much time the characters spend talking. Caramagna manages to space it out for much of the issue, but there are some pages where the size and amount of word balloons are overwhelming. Which is a shame, because so much of the dialogue fits the characters. But with the large amount of dialogue in this issue, a reader may gloss over jokes and powerful lines.

The artwork by Pete Woods is fantastic, in particular his design of Arno in his armor. There’s something about the line weight and his posture that makes him seem… wrong as Iron Man. Like he’s awkward inside that metal. I saw this as a benefit to the issue, as it created an uncomfortable feeling within myself whenever I saw him in armor throughout the comic. 

The color by Celeste and Pete Woods is gorgeous too. There were several instances where the main subject of the panel would be a completely different color than everything around it. This was very useful in pages where so much is happening, as it made figures easily stand out. An example of this happens late in the issue, within a lab. The background of the panel is a dark blue, while the cat in the foreground is ginger/orange. In other panels, there are bright green stasis chambers highlighted against the blue. These features are really beautiful and make the panels easy to process.

Iron Man 2020 #4 is an exciting issue for Iron Man fans and will take the reader a long time to read. The character development that takes place within this comic is fantastic. Arno is given a personality that really makes him different from other main characters. He is an unpleasant person, but so gipping to follow. Parts of the book may appear daunting and hard to keep up with due to the switching between locations, but each one looks amazing. And the last few pages is one of my favorite character moments of the year. 

Iron Man 2020 #4 is available where comics are sold now. 


Iron Man 2020 #4
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TL;DR

Iron Man 2020 #4 is an exciting issue for Iron Man fans and will take the reader a long time to read. The character development that takes place within this comic is fantastic. Arno is given a personality that really makes him different from other main characters. He is an unpleasant person, but so gipping to follow. Parts of the book may appear daunting and hard to keep up with due to the switching between locations, but each one looks amazing. And the last few pages is one of my favorite character moments of the year.