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Review: Iron Patriot #1

I have always loved James Rhodes.

Since I discovered the character supporting Tony Stark in Iron Man, I have been a Rhodey supporter. And when he stepped into the armor of ol’ Shellhead himself, I thought we had the next great African-American superhero. (And still do.)

I never really got my hooks into War Machine. Not a big fan of the armor. But it was Rhodey, so I was there. I even followed him for a time when he was driving a Sentinel, for cryin’ out loud.

I also loved the Iron Patriot armor in Dark Avengers, so when this new mag brings the two of those elements together, good times for all armored fans, right?


Iron Patriot #1 just spins off the publishing press a loser. It is like one of those bad spy movies you see on cable channels these days, or (maybe worse) one of those quickie Marvel movies that were made for CBS following the success of Incredible Hulk on TV.

Sometimes the art can save a first issue. Forget that! Garry Brown’s art to me is flat, dull and rigid. Now metal-wearing characters may bring that problem – even the great Al Milgrom had problems with Iron Man’s armor in West Coast Avengers – but those heavy lines and shadows make me think I may be sinking back to Tomb of Dracula! (As if …)

Everything is wrong here, from the setup and Rhodey’s new mission to the heavy-handed way he becomes a hero for the people. (Ugh.) I understand writer Ales Kot does not want to reinvent the Stark wheel, but someone left the spark plug out of Iron Patriot.

Just blah. James Rhodes deserves better, folks.

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