REVIEW: ‘Iron Man,’ Issue #16

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Iron Man #16 - But Why Tho

Iron Man #16 is published by Marvel Comics, written by Christopher Cantwell, art by Julius Ohta, colors by Frank D’Armata, and features lettering by Joe Caramagna. In this issue, Iron Man has become a god. Following Michael Korvac, both men became imbued with the Power Cosmic, now possessing unlimited potential. He entered into a gigantic battle with Korvac before banishing the megalomaniac inside a dead universe.

Now, Iron Man has returned to Earth. His friends that followed him to Taa II have already made the journey back and informed the planet’s heroes of what Tony had done. So when he lands they are ready for him. But this is a hero, and he may not want to fight. However, he has plans to change the world, but not everyone is going to like it.

The plot of this issue is fantastic, especially considering its place in this run. The last couple of chapters have celebrated Iron Man’s ascendency, letting him absorb that power. But after the initial excitement, there is a trepidation towards what comes next. Cantwell brilliantly subverts audience expectation by making direct implications of regarding what happens next. The Avengers and the other heroes on Earth have been briefed and are ready, and there is a resounding consensus towards the outcome. The anticipation of it happening is almost unbearably strained, yet the writer consistently switches things up. The end of the comic sets up a next chapter that may shatter another planet.

Iron Man #16 is a beautiful examination of Tony Stark and the way other people in his universe view him. The majority of those that are present in this comic freely accept that they love him and his willingness to do the right thing. But they also know he is fragile and that granting him more power is not a good idea. His actions are not what you might expect, and yet they are still unequivocally Tony Stark. Well-intentioned but with not much consideration. The dialogue in this issue is awesome, acknowledging the length of time all of these figures have known each other. 

The art is incredible. It is fascinating to see Iron Man’s cosmic redesign through the lens of another artist. Ohta really demonstrates how much the suit has now become part of Tony’s body. His ribs and muscles can be seen in the metal, actually a disturbing sight. And his head gets covered by the helmet, but the mouth moves like normal. It’s a weird evolution from what we are used to seeing, occluding his humanity at the same time There are a lot of heroes in Iron Man #16 and all are drawn spectacularly. A nice detail is an unease that the Avengers have whenever Iron man moves a muscle.

The colors are tremendous. The shades used are very unconventional in a superhero comic, making it a really interesting visual display. Jim Hammond, the original Human Torch, wears a magenta top, whilst Frog-Man’s costume is a pastel yellow. The experimentation with colors by D’Armata gives the issue a unique look.

The lettering for the normal word balloons is easy to read. However, the word balloon and font used for Iron Man’s new cosmic voice may be more difficult.

Iron Man #16 brings the space opera home. The script and the storytelling of this series, in particular after the events on Taa II have been mindblowing. Cantwell has demonstrated a terrific understanding of the character and his perception by the rest of the Marvel Universe. The writer has remained several steps ahead of the audience, always baiting them into knowing what is going to happen before completely changing the cause. There is a tense showdown that contains both fabulous art and remarkable writing and there is a constant sensation of being on the precipice of something huge.

Iron Man #16 is available where comics are sold.


Iron Man #16
5

TL;DR

Iron Man #16 brings the space opera home. The script and the storytelling of this series, in particular after the events on Taa II have been mindblowing. Cantwell has demonstrated a terrific understanding of the character and his perception by the rest of the Marvel Universe.