Iron Man, out with the old, in with the new

Iron Man #1

By Kieron Gillen and Greg Land
You may recall my glowing praise for the last issue of Iron Man by Matt Fraction and Salvador Larroca.

Dynamic, exciting and full of humor and drama…

Sadly all of that is thrown to the gutter with the ‘Marvel Now!’ version of Iron Man introduced this week. It’s a shame since Gillen’s script is at least serviceable (if not up to par with his X-Men or Journey into Mystery work) but is hampered by the trace-art-work of Greg Land, a man so lacking in talent that one has to wonder why he still gets hired for any comic book, let alone a high-profile issue such as this.

The artwork that involves Stark in the Iron Man armor is fine, but any time a human face is featured it falls apart.

What’s even more bizarre is that the previous Iron Man series ended with Stark heading to the stars to get his head together, no doubt resulting in his inclusion for the new Guardians of the Galaxy series. So imagine my surprise when Stark is seen grinning like a corpse talking about his well-earned reprieve. Maybe it’s a simulacrum and not Stark at all, that may explain his non-stop lunatic grin. The action is definitely trying to break out from the staid and awkwardly stiff line-work of Land’s tracing table.

I also have to wonder why Emma Frost is having a drink with Tony Stark as it appears to be her in the sample below. Nope, it’s just one of three women that Land chooses to draw in every project he works on.

Look at what I can do with my tracing table!

I hate to be so negative about anything but given the importance of this new series and the launch of Marvel Now! along with the normally high quality of Gillen’s writing… I have to voice my disappointment along with my dropping this monthly comic from my pull list for the first time in about six years. Gillen has it in him to take up the mantle from Fraction, but he needs a solid artist to support him and make this series great again.


14 thoughts on “Iron Man, out with the old, in with the new

  1. Wasn’t as concerned about “Emma Frost” as I was… when did Tony Stark become an asian stereotype? The panels you posted he kind of looks like when Peter Sellers used to dress up as a faux asian in some movies… nothing against asians, mind you… but pretty sure Tony Stark isn’t asian.


  2. Ha! Is Greg Land the Devil? His work *is* satanically bad. Why would any one think his creepy mannequin art was good? I was going to check Iron Man #1 (enough with the renumbering, already!) but as soon as I found out Stepford Greg was the artist my interest drained away.
    Perhaps Tony Stark is being impersonated by the Mandarin and that’s why he looks like Peter Sellers as the Fiendish Dr Fu Manchu? 🙂 Talking of Sellers, I think the Gillen/Land Iron Man would be livened up if Stark employed Kato from the Pink Panther films, imagine: Stark opens a closet and Kato comes flying out to attack him. Just a thought…


    • Yeah… I was thinking Fu Manchu OR whatever the name of the character he played in “Murder by Death”… pretty much the same Sellers look.

      As for Kato… you know… all kidding aside… I actually think Kato would work for Stark or perhaps even Oliver Queen or Bruce Wayne… in a non-comedic sense… as billionaires if they paid someone to surprise them… I’m surprised that hasn’t been done in the comics yet now that you mention it… or maybe it has and I blinked?


  3. Was it Sidney Wang? Wong? Something like that at least!
    Yes, Bruce Wayne might employ someone close to him to keep him sharp. I know that Stark employed former enemies in the past, couldn’t he have them test out his technology and any flaws in his designs? I like the idea of Alfred jumping out at Bruce like Kato, “Not now, Alfred. My little Eengleesh friend!”. Or the Punisher could have a Kato analog but this Kato would accidentally get shot in the head! That wacky Frank!


    • Sidney Wang… yes… and for fun I was looking up quotes… Here’s an odd one that strangely fits the panel above more succinctly than the actual Stark dialog:

      ” Never consider murder to be business, Mr. Diamond. ”

      On an non-related note… while looking this up, I just got a joke from that movie for the first time… Truman Capote’s character is “Lionel Twain”… I can’t believe all the times I watched that, and I just now got the joke… Lionel… train… I never got that before.

      So Greg Land accomplished something positive after all 🙂


  4. Thank You, Greg Land, you’re good for something!
    Yes, Truman Capote as Twain. So hilariously weird…and I don’t think that was acting :). I remember Alec Guinness as Bensonmum, very funny : “Benson?” “No, my name is Bensonmum, ma’am”. Ridiculous. And the two identical rooms; I also like the not-dissimilar Clue with Tim Curry, Christopher Lloyd, Madeline Kahn, Lesley Ann Warren, Michael McKean, and Colleen Camp (and her boobs). Howard “WKRP In Cincinnati, Head of the Class” Hesseman was in that, too. Going back to Peter Sellers it’s amazing that they got away with Clouseau calling Kato his “little yellow friend” simply because Clouseau’s accent was so outrageous and he was obviously such a hilarious idiot that he *would* say that and see nothing wrong with it. Maybe that’s why Kato liked his job so much, he really was trying to kill him!


  5. It’s funny… there are a LOT of Web sites devoted to Greg Land and “tracing” or “swiping”… but I also found several asking “why is Tony asian now” like I did 🙂


  6. Racist! Tony Stark is very sensitive about his origins, in fact Marvel NOW!’s first super-duper crossover “event” is all about how Tony discovers his dad isn’t Howard Stark but the Mandarin (and his grandfather is Fu Manchu)… It’s true I tells ya! Surely you read that although Marvel NOW! isn’t a line-wide revision (I refuse to use the term “reboot”, I have standards 🙂 ) the one exception is Iron Man as they try to appeal to the lucrative Asian market, yep the title is soon to change to The Inscrutable Iron Man because according to racists all East Asians are inscrutable so it *must* be true, mustn’t it?! Coming soon : Greg Land draws T’Challa as Woody Allen and Steve Rogers as ’60s Bill Cosby. You read it here first…


  7. I, you see, am the Black… Panthah… king of Wakanda. Wakanda? I wonder why it’s called Wakanda anyway? Wakanda name is Wakanda? (best read in a Woody Allen voice)


    I would do a Cosby Steve Rogers dialog… but doing Cosby’s dentist routine as a thawing Steve Rogers would only come across as racist in text… so you’ll have to imagine how that dialog would go…


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