By Dan Slott, Jeremy Whitley, Valerio Schiti & Edgar Delgado
Tony Stark: Iron Man #6 is a jumping on point for new readers that throws them into the thick of things with this new arc that wastes no time in getting going. Dan Slott’s experience as a writer establishes the tone and the feel of the book well, and nails Tony’s quirks and mannerisms. His back and forth banter with the Wasp and Rhodey is fun to watch, as the characters play off against each other really well. It’s interesting to note that Jeremy Whitley was brought on to work on the narrative front with Slott, and as a result there’s a seamless transition between the two writers.
What feels like a simple ‘case of the week’ style issue is eventually revealed as something far more than that. There’s a healthy dosage of sci-fi to this smart, clever series that brings out the creativity in this book, preventing it from just being simply another Iron Man story. So far, it’s fresh and exciting, and feels worthy of the relaunch.
The book manages to blend strong character relationships with some fun comic-booky superhero action and the relationship between Tony and his mother is delved into giving Tony some personal stakes going forward. It balances the two lines of action and character nicely, giving fans of Iron Man a rewarding read.
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The eScape is an interesting idea that has echoes of Ready Player One, and to see it combined with the superhero world is a potential for disaster even before you introduce a super-villain who wants to screw with it. It’s an idea that Slott exploits very well in this first issue, and the sheer potential on display of having Iron Man in Ready Player One opens up a world of possibilities.
The artwork is clean, well-drawn and always lively. The world of the eScape allows both artist Valerio Schiti & colourist Edgar Delgado to flex their creative muscles and exploit their full potential, and as a result the book always has something happening. From the panel showing the sheer variety of what can be done in the eScape, utilising World War Two soldiers, Knights riding dinosaurs and flying unicorns on the same page to the more action-packed extravaganza that this issue opens with, there’s always something going on in this issue.
The character artwork is crisp and focused. Schiti gives the book a distinctive feel that matches Slott’s work and fits in nicely amongst Marvel’s lineup. Schiti and Delgado also find a way to bring back Tony’s Iron Man stealth suit, which is naturally, entirely appropriate given Tony’s character. Only he would wear an Iron Man stealth suit in a world of his creation.
If you’re an Iron Man fan who’s looking for more Tony Stark then this issue should be right up your street. It acts as a jumping on point for readers unfamiliar with the series’ first five issues, and it quickly throws you right into the mix of things. Dan Slott should make this arc a wild ride, so now is the perfect time to get on board.