Review: Iron Man/Thor #2










RELEASE DATE: December 2nd, 2010


I am beggin’ you: Before you go further with this review, pop over to my say on Chaos War: God Squad #1 and read its cast of characters. Just the cast. I’ll wait …

Good, now that you are back, pretty impressive cosmic muscle there, eh? I mean, the Silver Surfer, the Eternal Sersi, Hellstorm and the goddess Venus (kinda)? Wowsers!

The book? Eh, not so good.

Now look at the cast in IRON MAN/THOR#2: Iron Man, Thor, Ulik, Crimson Dynamo and, “new” this issue, Diablo. Diablo?? I mean, these guys were old characters when I was a kid, even.

And yet … and yet, the dynamic duo of Marvel Cosmic, long may it reign (again, when?), Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning, take these ancient Marvel properties and breathe life anew into them, surrounding these mostly “Earth-centric” (a favored term on one side of the CBN office complex) cast members with Part 2 of an adventure that is cosmic with a capital “C!”

The High Evolutionary, channeling his Thomas from The Power of Warlock days, is ready to be in the god-making business again. Instead of fashioning a new Earth or an allegory of Christ this time around, he is going straight to the top: making a new God for the 21st century. (Simple: Take one part Tony Stark, add some Diablo alchemy and H.E. tech, pour into Odin’s Destroyer armor and serve.)

As always, H.E. is neither hero nor villain here, but a cosmic consciousness with a purpose, and sometimes it is hard to argue his point. But futurist Anthony Stark, playing a brainy game of mental chess with the Evolved One, may or may not be laying down the law here.

Meanwhile, Thor and his new blood hound (!) have tracked down the stolen Destroyer armor and, since Ulik failed to obliterate the Thunder God in Part 1, it is the Crimson Dynamo’s turn.

It is a blast seeing these old, well-known villains actually getting the goods on our heroes, if even for a short time and with amped-up powers. Diablo’s appearance was completely unexpected, but any old Fantastic Four fan worth his salt will be glad to see how he works out here.

Of course, this great script would be the only light shining if it were not for the wonderful art and panel arrangements of Scot Eaton (who is blowing my mind) and Jaime Mendoza. And in the Credit Where Due Department, Veronica Gandini’s vivid colors – only subdued when appropriate – add a certain spice to the mix. (What is this review, a cooking show?)

With most of Marvel Cosmic on “hiatus” (Is that what we’re still calling it, Joe Q.?), this book gives us an example of Old School, before the Mar-Vells and Warlocks, the Quasars and Novas, when you the reader had to get out there and get your Marvel Cosmic where it was being served up; no cryin’ jags or pouty lips.

This is a great mini thus far and I pray some of the threads coming out of this story will be utilized in Greg Pak’s 5-issue Silver Surfer mini beginning in February. Unlike the old days, not much of that going on anymore, sadly, in My Universe.

As for Iron Man/Thor … I will have two more, please — to go!