REVIEW: ‘Iron Man,’ Issue #14

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Iron Man #14 - But Why Tho

Iron Man #14 is published by Marvel Comics. Written by Christopher Cantwell. The art is by Cafu with Angel Unzueta. The colourist is Frank D’Armata and Joe Caramagna is the letterer.

Iron Man has been chasing after Michael Korvac, who wants to reach godhood. To do this, he has been heading for Taa II, the worldship of Galactus. Iron Man was unstable, trapped in his suit with a broken neck and self-medicating with morphine. On the ship, a brutal battle led Iron Man to defeat his enemy. Weakened, Korvac managed to activate the worldship’s transmutation chamber and accessed the power cosmic. Iron Man followed Korvac, exposing himself to the same energy.

In this issue, Iron Man has been transformed. He has more power at his disposal than ever before. More than that, the Power Cosmic is altering every atom. He foresees his past and his future all at once in a moment of reminiscent. He has the ability to be anything, see anything. But it wasn’t just him who has reached the level of a god, because Korvac has too.

This issue has the air of an intermission about it, and yet so much happens within. This is such an important chapter in the life of Tony Stark as he ascends to a level of power he has never seen before. Iron Man #14 is slow and introspective, taking place on an abstract plane of existence. The rate of escalation of the comic has been superbly guided by Cantwell. This has been a 14-issue arc so far and it isn’t even close to the conclusion. And yet we have remained invested all the way. The scale has now reached universal, a mind-blowing situation considering where the characters and the story were at the start of the series. By the end of the comic, Iron Man’s transformation is drastic and rewarding.

To see Stark at this level is rewarding due to how the character has been put through hell by the writer. Before his transmutation, he was at an incredibly low point. He was broken physically; his armour being fused shut was the only thing standing between him and potential death or serious injury. And his addiction to morphine has made him seriously unstable. So to now see him okay, in fact far beyond okay, is a relief. In Iron Man #14, he is still unstable, but it is speculative. He goes from shrinking down to the size he was as a child, as his mind travels to Stark Tower. But then he grows as the magnitude of his newfound capabilities are discovered.

Cantwell also explores Iron Man’s understanding of the responsibility of the power he holds. As an Avenger, he has seen the corruption of said power threaten the sanity of many people before him. He also knows that if he tried to create peace using his power that his friends would rise up against him. There is a beautiful narration throughout the issue that details how brilliant Tony’s brain is. His intelligence and ability to comprehend what is happening makes the discussion fascinating to read. But as he is taken on this journey, the Power Cosmic appears to want to explain his flaws to him. This is an issue that required a lot of character development, and Cantwell brought that magnificently.

The artwork is amazing. In the beginning, Iron Man is in space. There is a general sense of emptiness, and yet Cafu and Unzueta make it look beautiful. After this Tony begins his existential, cosmic journey. Each building and location Stark enters is resplendent. In Stark Mansion, the interior is gorgeously designed. Whether it be inside a stately home or out in a city, there is stunning detail. And yet, Stark is indisputably alone in all of these places. When his body changes, the shifting looks unnatural but technical. When there is action, the abstract nature of his being still gets involved in physical, intense combat. By the end of this issue, Iron Man looks awesome in a brand new design.

The colours are extremely pretty. During Iron Man’s first exposure to the Power Cosmic, there is this lovely purple glow in the stars behind him. It helps make the scene tranquil and peaceful. When inside the mansion, the shades are muted, like a memory. But the armour is still powerful and red. When other heroes make cameo appearances, the vibrancy of their costumes remains true to form. And as the issue progresses, the colours appear to get brighter, as if Iron Man is adapting and starting to flourish in his ascension.

The lettering is inventive. As Iron Man decreases and increases in size, so does the font. Sometimes this happens in the middle of the word balloon, creating a real sense of dynamism to the dialogue.

Iron Man #14 is a fantastic display of a man in a suit or armour transforming into godhood. Cantwell delivers an extremely detailed, well-written, and visually stunning evolution. That has been a recurring aspect of this run so far. Events don’t happen slowly—there is a process to things. This may be one of the most pivotal moments in the history of Iron Man, for after this issue he will never be the same again.

Iron Man #14 is available where comics are sold. 


Iron Man #14
5

TL;DR

Iron Man #14 is a fantastic display of a man in a suit or armour transforming into godhood. Cantwell delivers an extremely detailed, well-written, and visually stunning evolution. That has been a recurring aspect of this run so far. Events don’t happen slowly—there is a process to things. This may be one of the most pivotal moments in the history of Iron Man, for after this issue he will never be the same again.