It was a dark day, even by the standards of The Avengers. Earth’s Mightiest Heroes assembled against a new threat born of one of their oldest enemies. Somehow, the Red Skull had acquired tremendous psychic powers and stood upon the brink of total world domination. In the end, the heroes were victorious but the battle unleashed a wave of psionic feedback that left their minds altered and corrupted. And while most of them were quickly restored to normal, one of them – Iron Man, Tony Stark – avoided changing back.
Now, Tony Stark is involved in a new project. After relocating to San Francisco, Stark announced his newest product – Extremis 3.0. It’s a techno-virus that alters human physiology to the peak of aesthetic potential.
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Tony’s friend and CFO Pepper Potts is naturally concerned about the ramifications of using the Extremis technology to turn everyone in San Francisco into an underwear model even before she learns that Tony is drinking again! Throw in the fact that he’s begun working on a new set of armor based on the properties of symbiotic aliens like Venom and Carnage, and Pepper’s concern has reached the level just below “Danger Will Robinson!” on the universal scale of dread and foreboding.
What has happened to Tony Stark? Did the battle with the Red Skull truly corrupt him or did it just awaken something that was already there waiting to come out? Or has some other enemy merely seized upon the opportunity to hit Tony Stark with his armored pantaloons down? In any case, there is a new Iron Man in town. And he’s going to prove that he’s the smartest man in the world, even as he sets about becoming the richest man in the world too!
As those who have been reading the Injustice: Gods Among Us comic can vouch, writer Tom Taylor is a master at inspiring sympathy for the devil and bringing out the charm in even the most terrible of protagonists. The Tony Stark we see here is still recognizable as the devil-may-care genius that Robert Downey Jr. brought to life so well on the silver screen, but subtly shorn of any sense of ethics. It is not that he doesn’t foresee the problems his actions may cause. He just doesn’t give a tinker’s damn so long as he’s making a profit or amusing himself. The dark humor so prevalent in Taylor’s work on Injustice is out in full force in this issue and readers will likely laugh themselves sick even as they shake their heads at how low this new Iron Man will sink.
Artist Yildiray Cinar (most recently seen on the New 52 Supergirl series) proves an able partner in Taylor’s depravity. Cinar is a master of depicting different body types and it is a talent that is well displayed in this issue, with the various bikini-clad babes swarming around Tony Stark having clearly different figures than the more muscular She-Hulk or the fit but clearly not enhanced Pepper Potts. Cinar is also skilled at drawing unusual technologies – a must for any artist tackling Iron Man. Of particular note is Cinar’s armor design, which stays true to the general rule for Iron Man armor while still maintaining a cutting-edge look, with its blue LEDs and shining white finish. It’s Iron Man ala Apple – iRon Man.
Bottom line: If you enjoy neat twists on classic characters, are a fan of the Iron Man movies who has yet to give the comics a shot, or just a lover of twisted humor and good artwork – you should give Superior Iron Man a try.