By Kieron Gillen, Luke Ross & Guru eFX
The Rings of the Mandarin continues with the second chapter in this entertaining but flawed Iron Man series by Kieron Gillen, writer of the fantastic Young Avengers series. This issue sees Tony being relentlessly perused by Malekith, who possesses a Mandarin Ring, with the assistance of Dark Angel, straight out of Marvel UK, back on Earth.
It’s great to see the occasional mixing up of Iron Man and Thor’s rogue gallery. Whilst Malekith is distinctively a Thor villain, it’s nice to see how Tony Stark would handle the character as opposed to The God of Thunder. The result is mostly entertaining, as whilst this issue is considerably taken up by action, Kieron Gillen captures Tony’s voice in a relatively strong way and uses it to craft a solid comic that whilst improving on last issue, doesn’t quite have the factor needed to make this a must-read title. It’s not as good as previous runs on the series, but Kieron Gillen has kept going this long and the book is fun for a casual read through, with the ending scene, much like last issue, being among the best parts of the book, creating a real cliffhanger moment that makes readers want to stick around for more.
Iron Man #24’s artist is Luke Ross. He’s much better than Greg Land, a previous artist on this series, and it shows. The last page is one of the strongest sections of the issue on the art front, but there are few panels that don’t quite work, and not everything is as good as it could have been. Guru eFX’s colours are very good, and are among the strongest parts of the book, with some striking visuals. However, The series still needs Gillen to either up his game or be replaced, as well as a better artist, to make this the premiere book that it should be given Stark’s current status as arguably one of the most entertaining characters in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. But for now, the series is regardless, still a fine read.
The banter between Dark Angel and Iron Man is great to watch. Dark Angel makes a very interesting addition to this comic providing Stark’s tech support and she gets some good scenes in a comic that’s very Iron Man centric. Hopefully Dark Angel will get a bigger role in the series as this arc progresses, because it’s great to see more Marvel UK characters appearing which is always good news.
On the whole, Iron Man #24 is a fun comic. It’s not among Marvel’s best titles but neither is it among it’s worse, and if you have money to spare then you could do far worse than pick up this book assuming you’ve tried #23. Kieron Gillen, whilst not at his strongest, is a confident writer and both Luke Ross and Guru eFX are relatively solid additions to the title.