Overview

Iron Man: Legacy #2

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Iron Man: Legacy #2

Credits

  • Words: Fred Van Lente
  • Art: Steve Kurth
  • Inks: Allen Martinez, Victor Olazaba
  • Colors: John Rauch
  • Story Title: War of the Iron Men - Part Two
  • Publisher: Marvel Comics
  • Price: $2.99
  • Release Date: May 12, 2010

Fred Van Lente succeeds in taking a marketable, recognizable figure from a multi-million dollar Hollywood blockbuster and making him both accessible to newcomers and enjoyable for seasoned fans. 

While debate ensues on just how many people enter the world of comics from the medium of comic-inspired films, Marvel has found a successful blend of original comic stories that still pay homage to the character's lengthy past while incorporating elements introduced in the Robert Downey Jr. films.  Much more action driven than the first issue, readers will discover Van Lente does not disappoint with this latest exploration of Tony Stark.

While the plot device of superhero imperialism still remains, Van Lente breaks away from the international outrage at Iron Man's invasion of Trasnia, using it only in the introduction to increase the dilemmas facing Stark and his company.  Instead, Van Lente explores the relationship between the vast technological resources of Stark and the emotional ramifications of being Iron Man in a modern world.  Tony is obviously dealing with the fallout of having tremendous power and resources, as well as the guilt from either sitting on the sidelines while innocents suffered, or from taking another's life.  Added to this dynamic is Tony's realization that not only has his technology been stolen, but unnamed villains have found ways to adapt weapons and designs that only exist conceptually within his own mind. 

Even though Tony readily admits that being Iron Man is no longer simply a game for him, his own ego gets the better of him during combat with the unmanned copycat drones.  Connecting past with present, as well as with the mythological imagery Van Lente introduced in the first issue to tie Tony into something larger than himself, Tony comes face-to-face with Darko and the Zmaj army.  Here, he learns the horrors of how these people have taken his experience of the "threat of death as inspiration" for creating Iron Man and manipulated it into mass-murder.  Yet, the story isn't all serious drama but rather it's infused with Van Lente's humor.  Whether it is in the interplay between Pepper and Tony, Tony and the U.S. Government, or Tony referencing Hollywood, Van Lente recreates the mood on the pages that Downey Jr. brought to the big screen. 

If there is one flaw in this new series, it must fall on artist Steve Kurth.  Although Kurth's art captures the heroics of Iron Man and the drama of the battle scenes quite vividly, his depictions of non-superheroes are inconsistent.  There is something inherently awkward and distracting in how Kurth renders human mouths and facial structures for some of his male characters, while not applying the same designs or style to the female characters.  While the anger and sense of fear most of the characters share is displayed quite clearly, it is uneven throughout the book.  This, however, should not deter readers from giving this new series its due. 

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