REVIEW: ‘Iron Man,’ Issue #12

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Iron Man #12 is published by Marvel Comics. Written by Christopher Cantwell with Angel Unzueta on art. The colour artist is Frank D’Armarta and the letters are by Joe Caramagna.  Iron Man has followed Korvac into space. Korvac wants Taa II, Galactus’ worldship, to become a god. But he found himself on a planet full of people stranded from their own worlds. He grew to like the commune, but they were frequently under attack from Ultimo robots. The plan was all coordinated by Stilt-Man. Tony and Avro-X defeated the villain and were summoned by the Living Tribunal. The universe is at risk of being transformed, and Iron Man must defeat Korvac. 

Living Tribunal transports Iron Man and his new ally inside Taa II. They try to make their way through the ship, but they have to avoid the hundreds of defense systems inside. Traps, drones and Punishers, all there to annihilate anyone before they even get close to Galactus. But they aren’t the only beings around the ship, as both Korvac and Hellcat’s teams get closer to their destination.

The plot within this issue is brilliant. There is a simple target for Iron Man and Avro-X: get to the centre. Each issue of Iron Man is its own story, full of content and an independent arc. They feel like separate chapters of one long epic story. The constant peril the characters are in escalates and is always exciting, with early injuries suggesting they aren’t safe at all. The readers also know that Tony is very vulnerable, high on morphine and his armour keeping his broken neck stable. The scale of Cantwell’s story is universal, which has been unveiled brilliantly. It has expanded slowly, going from the streets of New York to the Destroyer of World’s home. And yet there are story beats, such as mental health and addiction, that bring the story home. The surprise at the end of Iron Man #12 is sudden as the epicness of the event comes crashing down all at once.

The cast of the series is ever-expanding, but each character shines with their own incredible personality. Korvac’s cult has grown with Jim Hammond joining. In a way, the god complex that Korvac has is diminished slightly when within the Worldship. This is the construction of a real cosmic powerhouse, a true god. Everything is tiny inside this place. Tony’s very talkative and unpredictable inside this issue, perhaps a side effect from the large doses of morphine he has become dependant on. His partnership with Avro-X is a fun one. Another minor character has joined this series in the writer’s mission to show how badass they are.

Cantwell’s writing of dialogue is brilliant but unorthodox within the comic format. The conversations can be very long, spanning pages. Cantwell’s vocabulary makes these pieces free-flowing and poetic. In other issues, they have been ponderous and philosophical. Within this one, it is a beautiful discussion about Canada. It implies that Tony isn’t fully concentrating thanks to his pain relief, but it also tethers this comics story back to reality.

The art is phenomenal. Cafu’s art style is really at home in space. The presentation of Taa II is incredible. The artist shows the incredible scale of the worldship, full of cavernous chambers that are entirely different from the one before. And all contain instruments of death. The Predators are created to look creepy, writhing and shifting among the technology making them seem out of place even there. All of the characters have awesome designs too.

The colours are stunning. The greatest attribute of D’Armarta’s collaboration with the art style is the use of light. Many of the abilities and powers are intensely bright, such as Iron Man’s repulsor blasts of Hammond’s fire. The glow of explosions and lasers is beautiful and the metal surfaces of the various armours within the comic reflect that light back. It’s a striking and captivating technique. 

The lettering is dynamic. There are many custom word balloons as the various armoured characters have unique designs and fonts. Nevertheless, they are always easy to read.

Iron Man #12 is an excellent issue. The last couple of issues have felt like a retreat from the universal threat of Korvac, and this chapter now feels like returning to it with a vengeance. The action is electrifying and the unstable state that Tony is in leaves the reader on edge. The art is perfect for the location as the ultimate destination of this arc has been reached. Cantwell’s epic story is permanently escalating in its drama, so it is exciting to see what the next stage is.

Iron Man #12 is available where comics are sold.

Iron Man #12
5

TL;DR

Iron Man #12 is an excellent issue. The last couple of issues have felt like a retreat from the universal threat of Korvac, and this chapter now feels like returning to it with a vengeance. The action is electrifying and the unstable state that Tony is in leaves the reader on edge. The art is perfect for the location as the ultimate destination of this arc has been reached. Cantwell’s epic story is permanently escalating in its drama, so it is exciting to see what the next stage is.