Ironheart #6 Review

by Charles Martin on May 15, 2019

Ironheart #6 Review
Writer: Eve L. Ewing
Artist: Kevin Libranda
Colourist: Matt Milla
Letterer: Clayton Cowles
Publisher: Marvel Comics

I'm a firm believer in the maxim that every issue should be, as much as possible, welcoming to every reader. Ironheart #6 is plenty welcoming to any newcomer who picks it up on a whim.

It makes a special effort, though, to lay out the welcome mat and the snacks and put on the very best playlist for Champions fans who may have hesitated, up to this point, to pick up Riri's solo book. 

And on that score, it is quite the triumph. This self-contained one-shot spins straight out of current events in the Champions, and it does a formidable job of evolving the Riri-Miles relationship in a complementary way. Yet it doesn't lean overmuch on the team book; I don't think you'd have any problem enjoying this if you're not reading Champions. (But why in the world would you not be?!?)

The set-up is simple: Miles has dropped off the grid for more than two weeks, and Ironheart and Ms. Marvel agree that it's time to touch base. Riri uses "data stalking" to pin down his location and flies off for a visit. 

And then, by the ancient laws of comic book logic, the pair are caught up in a villainous scheme that requires heroic brains and brawn to escape.

Eve Ewing's confident skill in characterization and plotting makes the script for this issue a delight. The latter talent is shown off by this issue's perfectly-portioned conflict and its introduction of an all-new baddy with just enough intrigue to make a formidable single-issue antagonist.

To talk about this comic's character work, I was tempted to just excerpt some of my favourite dialogue. (And there are a lot of great lines to choose from!) But snipping out individual lines would miss one of this script's key strengths: The dialogue is crafted to build up the characters and the story incrementally. 

So many of the lines achieve greatness not through clever wordplay or go-for-broke humour, but by illuminating the characters in powerful, incremental ways. The end result is a tightly-connected script that starts off good and gets better and better as it goes on.

Kevin Libranda's art and Matt Milla's colours do a fine job of applying the perfect touch of vitality to the script, meeting the needs of character insight and heroic action with equal aplomb. The deep-woods winter setting calls for a neutral background palette, but the heroes and powers stand out against it with vibrant intensity.

The art is detailed in several great ways. The Ironheart suit gets a formidable amount of technological love, but facial expressions and body language are handled with admirable nuance, too. Riri does a lot (maybe too much) of armouring up and down, and at least one of those sequences shows off the same scrupulous high-tech detail I so loved at the start of this series

And even tiny background details betray a tremendous amount of thought: After an Ironheart zap incidentally scorches some of the snow off the cabin roof, the snow stays zapped on subsequent pages.

Ironheart #6 delivers a one-shot team-up that is broadly satisfying for all sorts of readers and particularly welcoming to Champions fans. If you're still fishing for reasons to follow Ironheart, this serving's insightful character work, fun action, and sharp art give you plenty to love. And if you're already a fan, this issue will reinforce your dedication wonderfully.

Our Score:


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Charles Martin's picture
I'm delighted to see a new one-off villain perfectly suited to a single-issue fight: Not too big, not too small. It's dang near a lost art in contemporary comics.