Writer: John Jackson Miller
Artist: Jorge Lucas
Publisher: Marvel Comics
As Tony continues his bid to become the new Secretary of Defense we see the press is having a grand old time digging through Tony's colorful past to come up with a number of moments that seriously question whether he should be placed in such a lofty position of power and responsibility. We also see the political rival whose theft of his technology prompted Tony's current actions continues to endanger lives by pressing forward with the use of technology that his scientists barely understand.
I have no problem with a writer being studious when it comes to incorporating their ideas into a character's continuity, and as such it makes sense that John Jackson Miller would acknowledge Tony Stark's rather colorful past given he's making a bid for the position of Secretary of Defense. However from an entertainment standpoint this story is starting to feel like it's belaboring a point that has already has been made, as the idea that Tony's past is filled with moments that the press and his rivals for the position are going to jump on was already explored in the previous issue, and as such getting a second look at this idea, combined with the minuscule plot advancement that we receive in this issue left me a bit antsy. As for Tony's attempt to explain how he plans on fighting a war in which in which no lives will be lost I have to say that there's a fairly major flaw in his line of thinking as it only works if the other side decides to play along but not running to the couple dozen technological based villains who would be eager to provide them with weapons that would trump Tony's velvet glove approach. In other words Tony's idea only works if it's set in the real world and not the Marvel Universe, though this issue does take a moment to address Tony's position in the Avengers, so hopefully John Jackson Miller has given some serious thought to the idea that there are literally dozens of villain who would be eager to see Tony's promise broken.
As for the art, a large chunk of the issue is talking heads, and this is not exactly the best showcase for Jorge Lucas' work because his figure work is a bit stiff, and his characters don't really display a wide range of facial expressions. However, the sections of the issue that detail the action are nicely handled, as the way the pieces of armor look to hover though the air before forming the Iron Man armor is an exceptionally cool visual, and the display of weapons in this opening sequence is also quite impressive. The one page shot of Iron Man racing in to take down the final attacker was a great looking shot of his armor as well. The scene where Iron Man uses his armor to deal with the traffic problem was also nicely done, as it's a pretty solid display of the power at Tony's command as we see him hefting a stretch limo through the air.
The idea that Tony Stark is making an active bid to become the Secretary of Defense in the Marvel Universe is an interesting idea on the surface, but this issue left me wondering if this idea is really being used all that well, as John Jackson Miller is stuck playing with the idea that Tony Stark has a good number of skeletons that are going to come tumbling out of his closet. However, if he's going to focus on Tony's checkered past than I'd like to see the press play the game a little harder, as their attention seems to be stuck on the idea that Tony lied about being Iron Man, instead of the more dramatically interesting moments like his cold-blooded murder of Whiplash, or the Armor Wars fiasco. In other words if John Jackson Miller is going to have Tony's past under the microscope than I'd like to see the media dig in their heels on the more questionable aspects of Tony's past, rather than getting upset because Tony lied about being Iron Man. Still, the idea is an interesting one, and if Tony is able to insert himself into this government position than this book's status quo should undergo a major change.
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