Tony Stark: Iron Man #1
Written by Dan Slott
Art by Valerio Schiti and Edgar Delgado
Lettering by Joe Caramagna
Published by Marvel Comics
'Rama Rating: 9 out of 10
It’s a big day for Dan Slott, as his decade on Amazing Spider-Man comes to a close and he hits the ground running with Tony Stark: Iron Man #1. A run as storied as Slott’s time with Peter Parker is hard to top, but today’s debut is off to a solid start. Tony Stark: Iron Man #1 is everything you could expect or want from an Iron Man book - wild tech, weird adventures, and Tony Stark tiptoeing very carefully along the fine line that separates roguish charm from abrasive over-confidence.
If you haven’t been following previous Iron Man runs, today’s Iron Man #1 is an excellent jumping-on point. There’s not a lot here that is going to seem confusing or wildly over-complicated for readers returning to a Stark book after a long absence (or for the first time), or just stopping by to see how Slott manages the transition. Slott does a solid job reintroducing us to Tony Stark and the Team Stark status quo, both through the eyes of new characters and long-time residents of the Marvel Universe. This is a light-hearted, almost monster-of-the-week style story that will be a fun and, more importantly, straightforward introduction to the world Slott and artist Valerio Schiti want to build for everyone’s favorite billionaire playboy philanthropist.
Schiti and colorist Edgar Delgado do a stellar job building a vibrant, eye-popping world that’s easy to get lost in, from small comedic background moments to the action packed fight scene with this issue’s B-list big bad (whose identity another smart choice from the creative team). There are a lot of exceptionally funny moments here that wouldn’t be possible without Schiti, Delgado, and letterer Joe Caramagna doing the heavy lifting. A choice panel with giant, eye-popping yellow song lyrics appearing out of nowhere is particularly memorable, and Slott does a great job managing to call back to what still would have been a solid throwaway gag later in the issue without the moment feeling overworked.
This iteration of Tony feels a little closer to the early years of the MCU, for better or worse; after a couple of pages the issue begins to have the rhythm of a sitcom episode, rolling through scenes where the laugh track is almost audible in the background. There’s almost a Scooby Doo vibe - a ragtag team, a madcap mystery (albeit one on a much more substantial scale than most Scooby Doo adventures, which feels like a not insignificant change of pace from recent Tony Stark stories. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but if you’re accustomed to a Tony with a little more gravitas, this issue might be something of an adjustment.
Tony Stark: Iron Man #1 is a fun, easy entry-point to the Iron Man universe for any reader, no matter their familiarity with the recent workings of Marvel. Schiti and Delgado are an excellent artistic team whose vibrant work mesh perfectly with the more comedic aspects of Slott’s script, and collectively, this team has created a debut issue that feels incredibly welcoming, especially in a comics landscape that has churned through seemingly innumerable reboots and renumberings in the last few years.