REVIEW: ‘Iron Man 2020,’ Issue #6

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Iron Man 2020 #6

Iron Man 2020 #6 is a Marvel Comics issue and is the last issue of the Iron Man 2020 event. Written by Dan Slott and Christos Gage, with art and colours by Pete Woods. The letters are by Joe Caramagna. The event began with Tony Stark announcing that he is actually artificial intelligence and that the real Tony is dead, subsequently leading a resistance army of A.I. in an uprising against humanity. Arno Stark took control of his adoptive brother’s company with the aim of robbing free will from A.I. and humans alike, enslaving them all. A mortally wounded Tony Stark rediscovered his true self and was granted a new body and armour, taking the fight to his brother. Iron Man repossessed his company and chased Arno to a space-station above Earth. In the middle of their clash,  they were interrupted by something much, much bigger; an Extinction Event Entity. The thing Arno had been trying to stop all along.

In the final issue, Arno and Tony finally join forces to try and defeat the entity, trying to put aside their differences to push back against the oncoming force. But they can’t do it alone, they must request the help of all their allies to stop the planet from being obliterated. Or so we think…

The plot is a huge battle, with the full cast of the event being enlisted to stop the entity. The battle itself is exciting and intense. I initially had huge doubts about how quickly the change of heart from both Starks was, but that is addressed and explained within the story. The huge team-up may seem cliched, but there is a reason for it. This twist, which can’t be described fully as it is a huge spoiler, does link up well with some of the technological themes that have been woven into the crossover. And while I did not expect it at all, the way Slott and Gage wrap up feels bittersweet. 

The battle itself is superbly well drawn and laid out.  Woods has been exceptional at illustrating these technological battles throughout the event, and Iron Man 2020 #6 is no exception. The armoured and robotic heroes all flying in formation made me smile with satisfaction. The entity is littered with insane details as he hangs in the air, sparking similarities between it and Unicron within my mind. The cameos of other Marvel characters, summoned by Iron Man to assist their desperate plight, were all drawn fantastically. The emotions etched onto Tony’s face, from smug smirks to terror, are exquisite.

As with his lines, Woods is superb at adding a huge spectrum of vibrant colours to scenes filled with figures. There is a distinct shine that glints off the metal from the majority of the characters, but the texture clearly changes when other heroes get involved. The holographic armour Tony wears is yet to grow on me, but I am impressed at the way the colours result in it stands out so much against anything else on the page.

Iron Man 2020 #6 also ends the conflict between the Stark brothers. In many ways, it feels like the end of Arno’s story, and how it was written has resulted in mixed feelings. It was great seeing Tony’s reaction when he realizes his brother was right, as well as the change in Arno’s demeanor when he has the full support of his family. Slott gives him a hero moment, and it allowed the character to fulfill his destiny. But his final destination seemed abrupt and unfinished, and I would have liked some form of an epilogue. 

The letters by Caramagna are excellent. One aspect I enjoyed was the occasional changes in front size in the word balloons, as it suggested a change in volume and the text felt dynamic. This is bolstered by the way the entity’s speech is printed. The words are large and balloon-less, simply appearing in the air. To me, it created an illusion that the voice was incredibly loud and all-encompassing.

Iron Man 2020 #6 is an initially exciting end to a great event that eventually feels deflated. There is absolutely nothing wrong with the art, Woods has been incredible throughout, but the ending that Slott and Gage chose to round out an epic tale like this left me feeling cold. And while there were loads of enjoyable cameos, their involvement ultimately didn’t seem important to the story as a whole. Which is disappointing, as the rest of the event really was a fun and exciting ride.

Iron Man 2020 #6 is available where comics are sold.

Iron Man 2020 #6
3.5

TL;DR

Iron Man 2020 #6 is an initially exciting end to a great event that eventually feels deflated. There is absolutely nothing wrong with the art, Woods has been incredible throughout, but the ending that Slott and Gage chose to round out an epic tale like this left me feeling cold. And while there were loads of enjoyable cameos, their involvement ultimately didn’t seem important to the story as a whole. Which is disappointing, as the rest of the event really was a fun and exciting ride.