REVIEW: ‘Iron Man,’ Issue #13

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Iron Man #13

Iron Man #13 is published by Marvel Comics, written by Christopher Cantwell, with art by Cafu. The colourist is Frank D’Armata and the letterer is Joe Caramagna.

Hellcat and the rest of Stark’s team have landed on Taa II, with their enemies deep in the ship to fulfill their destiny. Tony is in a terrible condition, still overmedicated on morphine and in a lot of pain. He and his group split up to search for ways of stopping the extremely powerful Korvac. Weakened and overpowered, even if they find the androids, there is no telling whether they can defeat them.

This next chapter of the story is very much a last chance for the heroes. The journey has been long and arduous, filled with detours and asides that have pulled the characters away from their goal. And yet, here, there is no more hesitation. The pace is quick. After the initial plan of action is laid out, the heroes have separated and are in combat. Cantwell has drawn the plot out to an appropriate level, making the conflict between Korvac and Tony epic. A lot of pain and suffering and trauma has been inflicted, so the sense that an end is an insight raises tensions. The action is violent and exhilarating. Iron Man #13 ends with a decision that may change a character forever, one that was absolutely unexpected.

Cantwell is an expert in dragging characters through hell during an arc. Both Iron Man and Hellcat have been put through intense trauma, to the extent that they were even distressing for the readers at points. This is Tony at his most frail. His neck is broken, kept sturdy only by his armor. He is entirely dependent on morphine which has made him completely unpredictable. And his friend has just been murdered in front of him. One wrong energy blast or metal-plated punch he takes could kill or paralyze him. He is falling about, and the writer has made the readers care deeply for him. This may not have been the case at the beginning of the run, but now we are yearning for him to succeed.

In addition, it has been a few issues since Iron Man’s crew have been all together. Despite the fact that the universe hangs in the balance, this is a vital factor of this chapter. War Machine, Frog-Man, and Misty Knight all have moments of brilliance, as does Jim Hammond.

The art is awesome. Still, within the mindblowing enormity of Taa II, the ship is beautifully rendered by Cafu. The sheer size of it is captured expertly. All of the characters within it as superb as well. The armor and technology look sleek and powerful. But there is an acknowledgment of the ridiculous nature of some of the characters. Frog-Man is ultimately a comedy figure, with his giant head and costume, and the Scarlet Spider suit is lodged in the ’90s. 

Another factor that the artist gets right is the action. The violence is brutal and can almost be felt on the page. Each blow looks painful. With the reader so aware of the precarious state Stark is in, their eyes are glued to where he is hit or how he lands. Even when he stands without being attacked, he looks uncomfortable and unnatural.

The colours are stunning. There are very bright tones that D’Armata. The photo-realistic art style makes these stark shades look like bright light, created by intense energy blasts or power sources. With the background being so white, the characters in the foreground tend to have darker shades, varying from black to dark red.

The lettering is very efficient and easy to read. The SFX that Carmagna implements are dynamic, following the action and often providing a scene with a sensation of motion or momentum.

Iron Man #13 is a nail-biting issue. With the characters being so vulnerable, those reading are incredibly nervous regarding the threat they are facing. Cantwell has already shown in this series that he is not afraid to damage beloved heroes, so there is no comfort in their status within the Marvel Universe. The story has an ending that is rewarding after taking us on an adventure to the other side of the cosmos but may result in that cosmos being changed permanently. 

Iron Man #13 is available now wherever comics are sold.


Iron Man #13
5

TL;DR

Iron Man #13 is a nail-biting issue. With the characters being so vulnerable, those reading are incredibly nervous regarding the threat they are facing. Cantwell has already shown in this series that he is not afraid to damage beloved heroes, so there is no comfort in their status within the Marvel Universe. The story has an ending that is rewarding after taking us on an adventure to the other side of the cosmos but may result in that cosmos being changed permanently.