Thursday, November 4, 2010

Iron Man: Titanium

This Iron Man one shot snuck by me last month. It contains four short storys by four different authors and four different artists, making it an interesting way to get a taste of different styles of art and writing.

“Railguns, Power Ties and Titanium Men” Art by Salva Espin, words by Adam Warren

The first story is my favourite of the book. Tony and Pepper attend an investor presentation at Designed Intelligence, a tech company with rapidly increasing influence. The art is clean and sharp and the dialogue is quick and funny. Adam Warren is known for his clever takes on Iron Man technology, but as far as I know this is the first time he’s ever included portable hidden armour via synthetic lawyers. Take a look:

Take that first panel out of context and you’ve got what is possibly the most homoerotic Iron Man panel in official publication. “Let’s get together, gentlemen.” Bow-chika-bow-wow.

“Killer Commute” Art by Nuno Plati, words by Mark Havenbrit

Pepper is entrusted to escort a piece of prototype equipment from her apartment to Stark Tower, but finds herself the target of a vengeful former employee of Tony’s. I’m not a big fan of the artwork in this piece. Now, I’m no proponent of utter realism in comics, but Plati draws Pepper with the proportions of a Barbie doll. It takes me out of the story when her legs are twice as long as the rest of her body. The story is a good character piece for Pepper, and she gets a pretty sweet hero moment out of it:

“Heavy Rain” Art by Steve Kurth, words by Matteo Casali

This story is an extended fight scene between Iron Man and a gigantic robot, and while the script is fairly straightforward, Kurth really sells it with the art. The suit looks more and more destroyed as the battle progresses, but it was the first panel that really grabbed me:

“Hack” Art by Fillipe Andrade, words by Tim Fish

Tony returns to MIT for a class reunion, and finds and old rival with plans for revenge. There isn’t a lot to say about the story; Iron Man’s suit gets hacked, and he outsmarts the hacker. “Railguns, Power Ties and Titanium Men” had a similar set up, but with better delivery. “Hack” stands out from the rest of the book in the art department. I liked Andrade’s cartoonish designs, and I loved his panel layouts:

“Iron Man: Titanium” isn’t must-read material, and its higher cover price will turn a lot of people off, but If you don’t mind spending $4.99 to sample the talents of eight different creators writing Iron Man, you could do a lot worse. Heck, the Tony Stark sandwich panel is worth the cover price for me.

Wait a minute... “Designed Intelligence”? Oh, I see what you did there...

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