This year I took a huge step away from Marvel Comics, dropping almost all of the publisher’s titles from my pull-list and adding almost none. One title that WAS added to that list, however, was Superior Iron Man, a twisted take on Tony Stark that I just could not bring myself to skip. As I said in my review of ish #1, I simply adore douchebag Iron Man. Issue #3 of Superior not only took everything that’s been established up a notch or two, but I’m certain that the creators read my ish #1 review, because every problem I had with the series in that earlier issue was addressed to perfection. In a title that is all about taking a risk with a dramatic character change, Taylor and Cinar are (finally) taking huge creative risks, and the result is a wildly rewarding payoff for readers. (NOTE: There will be spoilers!)
The primary appeal for this series overall is delving into a less-than-good Tony Stark, and this is in full effect in issue #3. Seeing Tony fix Daredevil’s vision is quite reminiscent of the omniscient Q providing life-altering changes to the Enterprise crew in more than few episodes of Star Trek: TNG, which really shows how very twisted this version of Iron Man truly is. This is capped off with some amazing dialogue, expertly crafted by writer Tom Taylor. After having his normal vision returned, Daredevil asks, “What gives you the right to play god?” with Tony’s reply, “I’m the most intelligent, capable person on the planet. I’m not playing god. All this time, I’ve been playing human!” cementing Iron Man’s arrogance and his god complex as officially amazing. However, there’s still a streak of goodness behind Stark’s motives, and the way Taylor is able to explore this complexity to Stark’s new persona is simply brilliant. My biggest gripe of this series so far was that lack of risk-taking from artist Yildiray Cinar in the art, but he completely redeemed himself in this ish. From the broken whiskey glass reflection panel, to the wickedly creative first-person aspect panels, to the transitions used to display Daredevil losing his Extremis gift, the art is a lot riskier in its design in this issue, and the result is stellar.
I wish I had more negative things to say about this issue, but the only thing I was able to come up with were the feels. Yeah, this issue had some tear-jerking moments that were surprising in more than one way. A newly sighted Daredevil makes a phone call and requests a visit with a mystery person. This moment is all but forgotten by the last page where we see Matt Murdock visit his lifelong best friend Foggy Nelson. “I just wanted to see you,” he told him, as the sight-gifting Extremis is wearing off. Damn it! This was not the sort of emotion I was expecting in this issue, and I in no way expected it from a one-shot cameo of a character. Yeah, I admit it, I teared up a bit. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but, man, the feels. While there is a lot going on in this issue, the aspect dealing with Pepper and her mysterious Iron Man doppelganger wasn’t explored as much as I would have liked. It’s a mystery that’s already been established in the series, and really only thrown in as a reminder. Those pages surely could have been used to a better effect, but it wasn’t as bad as it certainly could have been.
There is truly something special happening in Superior Iron Man, and this specialness is on full display in issue #3. Writer Tom Taylor does a great job of building off of already established concepts in the series, while building on that with entertaining facets that are only now beginning to shine. Artist Yildiray Cinar is getting better and better, and the risks he takes with style and design are exactly what this reviewer was asking for in his review of issue #1. I was a bit on the fence with this artist, but he’s pushed me over the edge, and I cannot wait to see more. The true appeal of this issue is the feels. I just wasn’t expecting the level of emotion that the Daredevil scene of this ish provided, and the surprise factor pushed things over the top. It’s a perfect score.