Iron Man #4 Marvel Now!

Iron Man #4

ironman4Written by KIERON GILLEN
Pencils & Cover by GREG LAND and JAY LEISTEN

I like Iron Man. The characters is appealing to me and I enjoy the high tech mecha-element of the series that makes it relatively unique. A billionaire playboy industrialist who dates super models and designs bleeding edge armor to tackle problems that would stagger the global peacekeeping forces, he has a lot going for him. New series writer Kieron Gillen is a fan favorite and with good reason. His work on X-Men and Thor is phenomenal so I was pleased to hear that he had landed the (admittedly unusual) job of writing Iron Man.

Then Greg Land arrived, the sultan of the light table. The man is notorious for using two to three of the same photographs for every single character he draws and copying that image ad nausuem in the same issue. It makes Tony Stark look like his corpse-like smile is the result of a stroke rather than a sign of smooth debonair coolness. But given that much of the series will revolve around guys in armored suits duking it out, that may not be such a big problem, right?

The newly redesigned Iron Man armor is a step sideways into the ‘modular’ idea giving Land some room to have fun with various new designs each issue custom-built to tackle the situation at hand. The previous couple of issues introduced a light stealth armor so this issue sees the bulking ‘war machine’- like suit make its debut. Hunting down enhanced beings using the Extremis formula that made it onto the black market, Stark is on a kind of Armor Wars 2013. His latest trip takes him to the catacombs of Paris where thirteen enhanciles are in waiting.

When he gets there, Tony finds himself face to face with some weird demonic cult using Extremis to create the ideal host for a dark God. Appearing to be sexy nubile succibi, the enhanciles have him at a disadvantage until he finds the one remaining scientist who can give him all the info he needs. The sigils drawn into the walls seem to hold them back, so Tony adapts to the situation and builds a symbolic shield from which he can decapitate the creatures one by one (using the suit’s built-in targeting while he himself closes his eyes). In the end, he discovers the thirteenth subject is quite docile so he refuses to kill her and instead brings her back to NYC… kinda like King Kong only sexy (and pregnant with a demon seed).

The issue is an interesting step in a different direction that I am not at all familiar with in Iron Man who normally deals with technological threats (I know that the Mandarin believes that his rings contain alien spirits, but to my knowledge he is the exception). The one major drawback is the artwork which is unusually horrible in this issue.

Notice Pepper Potts remarking that all women look alike to Tony (a self aware statement that Land cannot draw them any other way?) then brushes her long locks with what appears to be a mutant monkey hand.


…. shiver. It appears that Land forgot to to draw a hand, arm, chest or background here so inker Jay Leisten decided to wing it and give it a go with disastrous results. It’s a wonder Tony didn’t run away screaming, but then again she is facing away from him asking what she looks like so maybe this is a sly hing at next Summer’s event comic, invasion of the monkey men!

Someone do something about Land’s artwork! This is a $4 a month book and it’s written very well. It deserves a good art team as well, not the half-assed tracing that Land is throwing at the page.


4 thoughts on “Iron Man #4 Marvel Now!

  1. That’s pretty funny… I bet it wasn’t self-awareness, though… I bet it was completely coincidental… OR maybe the writer is trying to send Mr Land a hint… a hint that Mr Land probably will let fly over and through his head without recognizing.


  2. And because absolutely nobody demanded it… I bring to you the Ballad of Greg Land (to the tune of Stand, by R.E.M.)

    Land in the comic you read
    Girl faces same
    Think about composition
    Wonder why you haven’t before

    Now Land on the cover you see
    Men faces worse
    Think about the face while you look
    Wonder why its so horrible

    If you feel ripped off, send him a note:
    Carry a reference to help you along
    Your pen is going to be on the page
    Your brain’s supposed to properly engage


    If wishes were pleas, the pleas would be calling:
    Listen to reason, practice your drawing



  3. The artwork really is bad. Why would you assume the inker is responsible for that horrible hand? The inking is very sparse, but competent – why don’t you think Land drew that paw?

    I don’t think the writing is so hot either. The “empowered gal” schtick is getting as hackneyed as “sassy senior”. Tony is the star. Tony is an alpha scoundrel. Why does he have to be shown up by the eye candy supporting character who someone decided to promote from secretary to “CEO”? Really? CEO? Is nurse Jane Foster the Surgeon General now? Can supporting characters in comics ever just be normal people like they used to be?


  4. “Invasion of the Monkey Men” – now, *that* I’d like to see! No one expected capuchin monkeys to attack the Avengers, after all they are nature’s butlers… The Revenge of the Red Ghost and his Super Apes (great 1950s band name) was at hand, as they disguised themselves as creepy mannequin people thanks to Greg “Monkey Hands” Land – the Stepford Apes :).


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s