Marvel’s AXIS is in full effect, and the heroes are villainous, the villains are heroic, with topsy-turvy being the staus quo du jour over at the House of Ideas. Although AXIS is still technically going on, we’re already getting a glimpse of some of the fallout in the aftermath of the event, and that’s pretty much where Superior Iron Man picks up. While there’s a bit of out-of-sequence spoilers that pretty much gives away the end of AXIS, I’m a huge fan of douche-bag Iron Man, and Tony is at his dickish best. There will be spoilers, but here’s our preview if you missed it.
I’m not sure exactly what it is about Tony Stark that makes me want to see him be a dick. Maybe it’s because he comes off as a goody-two-shoes; hanging with Steve Rogers and Thor; when really he’s a selfish, greedy, womanizing, billionaire playboy looking out for number 1. It’s really a leap readers take believing that Stark is anything else but what he’s depicted as in Superior Iron Man, with his Avengers membership, his philanthropy, and even his sobriety being nothing more than a front to cover his inherent narcissism and remain on the good side of the public eye. And why make the public want you, when you can make them NEED you? Writer Tom Taylor taps into this aspect of Tony Stark that’s always been hiding beneath the surface, and, through the magic of AXIS, brings it bubbling to the surface. Taylor has made Tony an unlovable bastard, and I simply cannot wait to get more.
Superior Iron Man stems directly out of the events of AXIS, which is nice, but also spoils the ending of that event in the first page of this ish, leaving me scratching my head when I think about editorial choices at Marvel. Despite that, however, there was nothing inherently wrong with this issue. Tony’s new Terminator 2 -esque liquid metal armor seemed a bit forced and added only to distinguish Tony from another armor-clad character revealed, but yet-to-be-revealed, on the last page. While I can’t rave enough about Tom Taylor’s new and fresh take on a decades old character, I was not as impressed with Yildiray Cinar’s artwork as I wanted to be. It definitely did the trick, but I want to see more risk-taking and a bigger scope in future issues.
Despite a bit of lacking from the art, Superior Iron Man is exactly what it was promised to be, expertly delivered by a writer destined for more Marvel titles. From his lackadaisical vigilantism, to his attitude with Pepper to his being back on the sauce and loving each and every single drop, every fiber of Stark’s being now oozes with arrogance, greed, and contempt, and I can’t wait to see more.