REVIEW: ‘Iron Man,’ Issue #17

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Iron Man #17 - But Why Tho

Iron Man #17 is published by Marvel, written by Christopher Cantwell, art by Ibraim Roberson and Angel Unzueta, colours by Frank D’Armata and letters by Joe Caramagna. After defeating Korvac, Iron Man now has the power cosmic. He is the Iron God and proceeded to bless everyone in New York with a vastly increased IQ. As his self-control dwindled and the fallout of his actions increased, Hellcat turns to Doctor Doom for help. With Doom and the rest of the team on Hellcat’s side, they unleash a plan to remove his godhood. Even with assistance from other cosmic greats, it may not be enough when the Iron God pays a visit.

Nearing the end of the 19-part arc, the structure of these later issues has been fantastic. Iron Man #17 is no different as Cantwell sets up a dangerous trap for the heroes and villains. A brief period of exposition catches the reader up with events, showing that there has been a small passage of time since what happened in the last chapter. Much of this comic centres around preparing this plan, building up to something perhaps everyone sees coming. There is a slow pace that makes the waiting beautifully excruciating. Everything about the mission is unstable. When a battle does take place, the writer doesn’t hold back and it is an absolutely astonishing final act of the comic.

The characters and the dialogue are phenomenal here. Tony has become the villain of the piece, hidden away in his new headquarters. Even as a beloved hero, the fact that the readers know him so well makes him all the more terrifying. But this Stark is different than even the one that landed back from space, as the good intentions are dwindling. It is becoming easier for him to reshape reality without considering the cost.

His friends and some enemies have amassed to stop him, and this is where the script shines. Hellcat as the leader is incredible. She feels guilty about what she is doing, but is utterly focused and decided on taking down Tony. Doctor Doom is an excellent inclusion as he is a genius but in a very different way to Stark. Everyone else in New York has now been altered, so it takes an outsider to defeat him. Cantwell has crafted these characters in a way that we care about each member of the little group. War Machine and Jim Hammond are existing figures who may already be adored, but characters such as Halcyon are truly amazing. Which makes this issue such an emotional trainwreck.

The art is brilliant. There is a lot to design within Iron Man #17 as the city and planet have been reimagined, and Roberson and Unzueta manage this superbly. It was actually slightly disappointing to see Tony out of his new cosmic armour, a concern that was quickly vanquished. With so many characters involved in a big setting, the artists do a great job of remembering where they are in regards to each other. Large rooms of individuals have intricate details on each and every person, giving life to each panel. Doom looks majestic and superb.

The colour works fantastically, even with a change in the line artists. D’Armata has consistently provided stunning shades that fit any style. Armour gleams and glistens as it should and the lighting is remarkable. The demonstration of powers is fascinating, in particular the manifestation of energy. Each character has a different tone and effect so their abilities have a difference.

The lettering has some dynamic and impressive SFX, and the word balloons are generally easy to follow. The only time this is not the case is for Iron Man’s speeches, where a blue background and thin font can lead to confusion. This font is also used for Halcyon.

Iron Man #17 is an outstanding comic. This is one of the longest single arcs this format has seen, so to keep the reader hanging on every word still is an incredible achievement. This is down to the brilliant writing of Cantwell and the various tremendous artists. It has reached the pinnacle of cosmic potential and yet it remains a human story. Although the trajectory of Tony’s story is at its peak, the slope down has begun. And we can only observe with fear and giddy excitement. 

Iron Man #17 is available where comics are sold.


Iron Man #17
4.5

TL;DR

Iron Man #17 is an outstanding comic. This is one of the longest single arcs this format has seen, so to keep the reader hanging on every word still is an incredible achievement. This is down to the brilliant writing of Cantwell and the various tremendous artists. It has reached the pinnacle of cosmic potential and yet it remains a human story. Although the trajectory of Tony’s story is at its peak, the slope down has begun. And we can only observe with fear and giddy excitement.