ďEnter the DragonĒ
Writer: Fred Van Lente
Artists: James Cordeiro (p), Scott Koblish (inks)
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Iíll admit it; I am a fan of Iron Man. Granted, heís getting a bad rap these days in the mainstream ď616Ē Universe, but Iíve always loved the Howard Hughes/James Bond mix that Tony Stark embodies. Recently, I have been looking for something extra to read on certain weeks, not anything overly involved in any mega-crossovers but something simple, a title that hits the classic vibe of a character and keeps itself free of any major crossover. I believe I have found such a title in the Marvel Adventures line. Aimed at younger readers, Marvel Adventures focuses on classic Marvel characters early in their superhero careers and in their ďpure, originalĒ forms. This is most definitely the case when it comes to the newest Marvel Adventures title, Iron Man.
While the stories in Marvel Adventures have their own loose continuity and generally take place outside of the ď616Ē universe, the stories are still accessible to long time fans of any given character. Because Tony Stark has been dragged through the mud and I almost totally despise him in the mainstream universe, Marvel Adventures has provided me with Iron Man in his near-true form. The issue plays out rather simply: the entire workforce of Stark China has disappeared, and world-renowned Stark Industries mascot Iron Man has been sent to investigate.
Of course, if a story involves China and Iron Man, the Mandarin canít be too far behind. In fact, the Mandarin has mind-controlled the entire Stark China workforce to create a massive giant dragon ship, or what I should say appears to be Fing Fang Foom. Iíve always thought the Mandarin was a great, albeit a little bit of a racial, character. Heís got great powers, and his motivations are fueled by an ancient philosophy of war and conquering. Fred Van Lente does an excellent job showing off the Mandarinís power and proving just how great of a threat he is to Iron Man.
Thereís also a dynamic of the book played up very well; the friendship between Tony Stark and James Rhodes seems to take the main stage throughout this issue. Tony may wear the suit and have the power of Iron Man, but wisely, Van Lente uses Rhodey as Tonyís support and point man. While there is some decent but silly comic relief that comes in the form of Rhodey and Pepper, it serves the story and the primary audience very well.
The artwork is absolutely fantastic. I couldnít believe the quality of the artwork in a title primarily aimed at younger readers. Itís clear, crisp, detailed and really captures the action involved throughout this story. Iron Man looked great, the Mandarin looked menacing and evil, and the art as a whole remained consistent and really helped move the story along.
Overall Iíd have to say that I was very pleased with Marvel Adventures Iron Man. The dialogue and plot may be fairly simple, but itís well written and tells a good story. While it focuses primarily on the pure and original form of the character, for a title aimed at younger readers, it really worked for me as a whole. Itís nice to see the shell-head not being criticized or viewed as a villain for a change, and I love seeing the classic relationship between Tony, Rhodey and Pepper. Although it may be aimed at kids, this title should not disappoint fans of Iron Man, no matter their age.
What did you think of this book?
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