Iron Man #7 Review

by Charles Martin on March 17, 2021

Iron Man #7 Review
Writer: Christopher Cantwell
Artist: CAFU
Colourist: Frank D'Armata
Letterer: Joe Caramagna
Publisher: Marvel Comics

This issue opens with Iron Man and his motley crew in hot space-pursuit of Korvac. Tony's turbo-charging his armour to double the amount of physical force it can deliver.

The man is literally planning to stop a would-be god by punching him extra-hard, so you can imagine his mental state is a little questionable. 

Rhodey is right there asking the questions, airing some entirely reasonable doubts about Tony's plans -- particularly the survivability thereof.

We're still at least one issue away from the big showdown with Korvac. The balance of this one is filled with a comedo-philosophic discussion among the supporting cast and a momentous psychic conversation between Iron Man, Hellcat, and Korvac.

Oh, and there's also a private scene between Tony and Patsy that's positively groaning with important character development.

What I'm saying is that Christopher Cantwell has no problem crafting an intriguing script with virtually no direct conflict. This is a great "middle chapter" comic, a small lull between dramatic developments where the characters get together to reflect on what they've experienced and what might come up soon.

CAFU helps out by keeping things interesting on the visual front. He displays an impressive array of characterization tricks for the conversational moments; these successes are all the more impressive when you consider how many of the characters are wearing masks. CAFU's arsenal for overcoming this challenge is diverse. With Hellcat, he plays the "magic expressive mask" card; with Iron Man, he keeps the helmet solid and creates meaning through clever posing.

Frank D'Armata cues up a chilly palette to suit this space adventure. "Chilly" is absolutely not a bad thing here. While the colours are washed out, they are perfectly coordinated and varied enough to convey great subtlety. In a thematic sense, cold lighting gives the warmth of the characters' thoughts and emotions a great contrasting setting.

And the art team does get a real moment to shine when they illustrate Korvac's utopian vision during the psychic conversation. Since the setting is inherently unreal, they pull out all the stops and conjure up a cosmic landscape of arresting beauty.

Even reduced to playing psychic telephone, Tony and Korvac have terrific antagonist chemistry here. I was delighted in an earlier issue when Tony hit Korvac with "you don't get credit for good intentions;" which was my number-one objection to Jim Shooter's original Korvac Saga. This time around, Tony accuses Korvac of blatant egotism, and the would-be godling has no defence beyond denial.

This issue isn't without its faults. Even though their wisecracks are good and Gargoyle's musings on theology and heroism are impressively deep, Tony's Wacky Random Back-Up Squad still hasn't justified its presence. I don't doubt that justification is coming, but the wait grows wearisome.

We also get (hopefully I can explain this with minimal spoilers) a last-minute curveball that throws an entirely new problem at Tony. This includes that old chestnut of cheap comics plotting, the last-page reveal of new characters. Said characters are strangers to me, as I think they will be to the vast majority of readers, and that's always a bit frustrating.

Iron Man #7 slows down for a moment to give its characters (and readers) a chance to breathe. This is no bad thing, thanks to thoughtful writing and still-gorgeous art. There's plenty of new information to chew on here. This isn't a "hop on" episode or a "prove why this title is great" issue, but it should be eminently satisfying to readers who have already put their faith in this talented creative team.

Our Score:


A Look Inside


Charles Martin's picture
Big day for editor Tom Brevoort; how often do you get to drop an editor's note referencing "Patsy and Hedy"?