Tony Stark: Iron Man #2
Writer: Dan Slott
Penciller: Valerio Schiti
Colorist: Edgar Delgado
Letterer: VC’s Joe Caramagna
Release Date: 07/18/18
Plot: When Tony Stark comes back from the dead, he’s ready for his next big adventure. When James Rhodes (a.k.a. Rhodey) comes back, he’s still working through some issues. Of course Rhodey’s problems nearly get him killed on a mission. Meanwhile Jocasta is having some problems of her own back at the office.
Story: Even though this series has Tony’s name first, this issue focuses on James Rhodes. Dan Slott uses Rhodey’s trauma from his death (see Civil War II) to set up a new character direction. Because of the nature of his death, Rhodey’s fear manifests itself as claustrophobia, which renders him unable to operate the War Machine armor. However by the end of the issue, Tony and Rhodey figure out a solution so the latter can still work in the field. Even though the War Machine armor is awesome, it’s still just a grey Iron Man suit with a mini-gun. With this new direction, Slott sets Rhodey up for a new identity that isn’t just an extension of Tony’s Iron Man.
Like Rhodey, Slott gives Jocasta some of the spotlight this issue. We get a scene where Jocasta tries a human disguise to have lunch with the other Stark employees. Plus we learn she’s in a relationship with Aaron Stack (a.k.a. Machine Man). Also when she talks with Aaron, she expresses interest in Tony’s next big project, eScape. These scenes should make a lot of Jocasta fans happy because it looks like Slott has big plans for her in this title.
Despite some scenes that strengthen some supporting characters, there’s barely any development for Tony Stark. The closest we get is at the very end when Tony tells Rhodey he thinks something is wrong with his new body. This reveal comes out of nowhere and doesn’t add anything to this issue. Also this feels like something Slott should have saved for the conclusion of his first arc.
Art: This issue’s artwork is pretty good. We open up with a nice double page spread showing some of the supporting characters going through their morning routines. This gives the reader an idea that this issue may focus on some supporting charters rather than Tony Stark. Also later when Tony and Rhodey face off with the assault weapon, the Manticore, there are some really cool action shots. The design of Tony’s Iron Man armor in this issue is pretty cool. I enjoyed it’s similarities to the Ultimate version of Iron Man. However the design for the War Machine suit seems pretty lazy, then again Rhodey quickly abandons the suit so that’s not a complete bad thing.
Verdict: This issue was average at best. Fans of Rhodey and Jocasta may find something to enjoy in this story. However for a book where Tony Stark’s name is right in the title, it’s odd there isn’t some focus on the protagonist. Even though we do get a teaser for Tony at the end, it doesn’t add anything else except for some minor shock value. Hopefully Dan Slott can bring some more momentum next issue. Overall, Tony Stark: Iron Man #2 is something you should borrow from a friend if you’re a casual reader.
Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars