Marvel kicked off a new era for Tony Stark with a new creative team this week, as Iron Man divested himself from Stark Industries and went full midlife crisis. Seriously, he bought a muscle car, moved to New York, and (unsuccessfully) tried to get into underground drag racing.
Writer Christopher Cantwell (Halt and Catch Fire) and the artist Cafu (War of the Realms: War Scrolls) are taking Tony in a very different direction than Dan Slott’s immediately previous Iron Man series, which reveled in the mad science of Stark Industries, robot uprisings, and recent comic book soap opera. Did you know that Tony isn’t Maria and Howard Stark’s real son? Also he was a digital copy of his own personality for a while, placed in to a biologically regenerated version of his body, after he died in Civil War II.
Cantwell and Cafu are getting away from all of that. Iron Man #1 feels more like a pitch for a new, grounded Iron Man movie than a direct continuation of all the weird canon Slott was playing around with, and I’m not mad about it.
What else is happening in the pages of our favorite comics? We’ll tell you. Welcome to Polygon’s weekly list of the books that our comics editor enjoyed this past week. It’s part society pages of superhero lives, part reading recommendations, part “look at this cool art.” There may be some spoilers. There may not be enough context. If you missed the last one, read this.
Iron Man #1
Cantwell and Cafu pepper the issue with a window into Tony Stark’s Twitter account. It feels very accurate, and so, I love-hate it.
Slaughterhouse-Five is a graphic novel adaptation of the beloved Kurt Vonnegut novel that shows exactly why we should be clamoring for graphic novel adaptations of books as much as we do movies. It’s a must read.
Detective Comics #1027
Detective Comics #1027 — commemorating the one thousandth issue of Detective Comics since the debut of Batman in Detective Comics #27, is the rare big anthology special where almost every story in it is good to great. On top of that, the creative teams in here are B-A-N-A-N-A-S.
Matt Fraction and Chip Zdarsky of Sex Criminals team doing a Batman and Joker story (seen above)? Greg Rucka and Eduardo Risso from The Old Guard team doing a story about cops in Gotham? Tom “Batman” King with Walter “Thor” Simonson, Kelly Sue DeConnick with John Romita Jr., Marv Wolfman with Emanuela Luppachino and Bill Sienkiewicz ... I was wowed.
X-Men: Marvel Snapshots
Speaking of wowed.
If you care at all about Cyclops, or the Fantastic Four, or the mythology Marvel Comics in general, or the value of superheroes as inspiration ... you’ve gotta read X-Men: Marvels Snapshots from Jay Edidin [Ed. note: Edidin has previously contributed to Polygon] and Tom Reilly. It’s the kind of comic that is difficult to review, because every aspect of it is solid as a rock and executed with ease and grace. The character writing? Great. The character art? Great. The use of continuity? Great. The pacing and layouts? Great. Telling a totally complete story in a small package? Great. The hidden details? Great. *raises megaphone to mouth* It’s just good comics!
In Chip Zdarsky and Ramón Perez’s Stillwater, a man stumbles across a strange and violently insular American small town where nobody can die. Then things get even weirder. I’ll be sticking around for a second issue.
Giant-Size X-Men: Storm
Hickman has been teasing the return of Warlock, the most adorable character in the New Mutants, throughout Dawn of X, but I think Giant-Size X-Men: Storm is the first time we’ve seen him fully manifest and have lines and stuff, so I’ll take this moment to say: Welcome back, buddy.
Seven Secrets #2
Tom Taylor’s Seven Secrets is a wealth of world-building, a story concerned with a secret society of 14 paired masters from around the world who protect seven secrets from the forces of evil. Think an updated Kung Fu Craze meets Global Spies meets Saga. The fighting game and manga influences in Daniele Di Nicuolo’s art pushes the vibe of the comic even further — I’m not sure I could tell you where the plot is going, but I’m along for the ride.
Buckle up, X-Men fans. With X-Men #12’s new revelations about Arrako and an advanced race of ancient mutants from a pocket dimension, the stage is set for X of Swords. Let’s get trippy.