Iron Age #1


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Iron Age #1


  • Words: Christos N. Gage / Rob Williams
  • Art: Lee Weeks / Ben Oliver
  • Inks: Tom Palmer
  • Colors: Matt Hollingsworth / Veronica Gandini
  • Story Title: A Little Help From My Friends / Panic on the Streets of London"
  • Publisher: Marvel Comics
  • Price: $4.99
  • Release Date: Jun 29, 2011

Tony Stark is a man out of time. With Dark Phoenix having destroyed existence, only the time-displaced Iron Man can set things right. Jumping from time to time without the use of his Extremis abilities, Tony must use his knowledge of the past to save his future.

The Iron Age #1 feels like a book that was meant to be something else. As the cover features The Avengers, you'd assume this entire $4.99 book has Tony interacting with the classic Avengers; as the Alpha book led you to believe, Tony would be able to have these adventures because thanks to time travel, he was running around while the regular Tony was swimming through whiskey. Instead, the second half of the book is done by a different creative pair, and features him teaming up with Captain Britain. The second story even credits a cover by Joe Jusko, which is not seen anywhere in the book; instead, the cover credited in the first story is. Effectively, The Iron Age seems to have been planned as a longer miniseries or a set of one-shots, and instead is playing out as two-parters in larger books. It's not something to complain about, but it does come off as a last-minute switch. 

Iron Man's involvement with the Avengers, especially during the era when he was consistently drunk, offers good viewpoints on both the character and the style of storytelling. Even Thor gets an old-school thought bubble of exposition that you'd rarely see nowadays. On the other hand, his involvement with Captain Britain isn't explicitly bad, but beyond some notes of the era (Iron Man being Tony's bodyguard and all), the rapport would have worked fine in the modern age. While Williams does no real wrong, Gage is the one to knock it out of the park by perfectly encapsulating his era.

The pencillers in the book have fun with their subject matter. Weeks thrives in trying to replicate the era of Avengers his stoyr's set in, and Oliver tries his best to break down the standard panel layout. It's almost humorous that Oliver has two books come out in the same week (Flashpoint: Hal Jordan #1 being the other), yet he doesn't seem to be getting nearly the amount of work that he so deserves. 

The Iron Age is a fun story for those who like Iron Man, but it's turned into a two-in-one book. It's minimal, if completely absent, effect on any other book make it seem like a bottle event; there's nothing really preventing this from being a storyline set in the main Iron Man book except that there’s no place for it there with Matt Fraction and Salvador Larocca consistently creating great stories there. While $5 for a book is a high price, it actually turns out pretty fair for $2.50 per story. Worth looking into.

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