REVIEW: ‘Iron Man Annual,’ Issue #1

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Iron Man Annual #1 - But Why Tho

Iron Man Annual #1 is published by Marvel Comics, written by Jed Mackay, art by Ibraim Roberson and Juan Ferreyra, colors by Rachelle Rosenberg, and letters by Joe Caramagna. Moloids are loose in Brooklyn! But this seems less like an invasion and more like some bizarre version of spring break.

While this issue starts on the light note of Iron Man and Miles Morales having to wrangle a bunch of wild Moloids who are hungry to see the sights and sounds of NYC, the story quickly hits a heavier note. When Tony nonchalantly asks Miles if there is anything he might need his help with, Miles opens up about a run-in he had some time ago with a villain named The Assessor.

While captured by The Assessor, Miles was forced to undergo some horrible torture as his captor apparently took notes about the young hero’s limitations. Miles’s story thoroughly upsets Tony, and the ironclad Avenger decides to look into this unknown villain.

When I started reading Iron Man Annual #1 I wasn’t expecting a deeply emotional ride into Tony’s past and the many traumas he’s accumulated over the years. But that is the story that writer Mackay pens here. While Tony confronts the challenges The Assessor throws in front of him his mind is taken back to the cave where everything to do with Iron Man began. We are also given some candid insight into how Tony views his former self and that cave that trapped him so long ago. But while this story delivers a deep dive into Iron Man himself, it also begins a new multipart storyline called Infinite Destinies, which is set to reveal a new truth about the iconic MacGuffins: the Infinite Stones.

First revealed in 2019’s Captain Marvel #11, the Infinite Stones have begun to bond with hosts. In that issue, it was shown that the new villain Star had been bonded with the Reality Stone. Iron Man Annual #1 begins a series of stories that will reveal not only who has the other stones, but why they have begun to act this way.

The art in this story does a solid job of delivering Tony’s emotional state. His frustration, anger, and determination are all put on full display within these panels. This emotional expression though isn’t limited just to Iron Man’s face, however. Artist Roberson does a great job weaving Tony’s many strong feelings throughout his person. Which certainly helps sell the character’s emotional state, seeing as he is hidden in his suit the entire story.

While the emotion in the book is given plenty of time to land, the action moments in Iron Man Annual #1 also land well. This is in no small part due to colorist’s Rosenberg’s work. Every energy beam and explosion is given a vibrant look that helps bring energy to the combat panels of this book.

Wrapping up this book’s presentation is a clean performance on letters by Caramagna. The dialogue placements keep the text from ever interfering with the art.

When all is said and done, Iron Man Annual #1 delivers a multifaceted story that serves a lot more than I expected. It does a good job as a starting point for something bigger, while also providing a fulfilling narrative of its own.

Iron Man Annual #1 is available June 2nd, wherever comics are sold.

Iron Man Annual #1
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TL;DR

When all is said and done, Iron Man Annual #1 delivers a multifaceted story that serves a lot more than I expected. It does a good job as a starting point for something bigger, while also providing a fulfilling narrative of its own.