Writer: Adam Warren
Artist: Brian Denham
Publisher: Marvel Comics
It’s rather difficult figuring out what the heck is going on in the first issue of Adam Warren’s Iron Man: Hypervelocity. Warren plunges us right into the middle of a battle between a new version of Iron Man’s armor and a S.H.I.E.L.D. response team (which we are told has the nickname “Capekillers” -- yeah, I know, Iron Man is supposed to be on that side, so that’s just one of the mysteries set up here) while images of a raven-haired babe haunt Stark as he reflects on his three addictions: women, alcohol, and high speeds. The battle culminates in a twist about the nature of the new armor, so how all this will tie together is the motivation to get us to come back for issue two.
And it might, though for a first issue of a limited series it doesn’t seem to offer anything highly original about Stark or the armor. The new version of the armor is not a drastic departure from the Extremis armor, and the battle is what we expect from an Iron Man comic (though some of Stark’s narration is fun as he’s battling the jets). The pacing of the battle is well done, as Warren and Denham really have fun putting the new armor through its paces; there are explosions and repulsor beams aplenty to keep the eyes occupied in this issue.
But, again, Iron Man readers already get this kind of action on a semi-monthly basis, so the question remains why they should shell out for more of the same here? The last page is supposed to entice the reader to do so, but the suggestion made there (sentient armor) is something Iron Man readers have already seen (in fact, Daniel Knauf just toyed with that idea in his engaging “Execute Program” arc), so it’s really not much of a draw. Warren might not go that direction, so the series still has potential, but right now it definitely doesn’t have the originality of Dr. Strange: The Oath or the freedom of a distant-future story as seen in Spider-Man: Reign.
Where this series goes and what it has to offer Iron Man fans remains to be seen, which, I suppose, is the whole point of a limited series. Still, the first issue doesn’t seem to offer much in the way of original story-telling, and that’s a weakness in any book. The second issue should tell a lot about the direction of this series, and whether it will be worth it to keep picking it up. We’ll see.
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