Mind Capsules – International Iron Man #1 and Black Knight #5

International Iron Man #1
International Iron Man #1

Writer – Brian Michael Bendis
Artist – Alex Maleev
Colours – Paul Mounts
Letters – VC’s Clayton Cowles

The book begins with a defeated Iron Man lying on the ground and then cuts back to his past for the rest of the issue which is a route different to what Brian Michael Bendis usually does in a book. As such, it is a little refreshing as the book does not focus on Iron Man so much as it does Tony Stark and a younger one at that. This Tony Stark cares for little as he breezes through school on his father’s dime, partying and carousing as only he can do. The picture that Bendis paints of Tony is not exactly new as he has always been as such and we have seen it many a time, but it is a rare thing to see teenage Tony, especially with long-ish hair. The book features all of the Bendis trademarks such as a lot of dialogue and seemingly little going on while said dialogue is taking place, yet what Bendis does is introduce us unknowingly to a major player who makes herself known by the end of the issue when it eventually flashes back to the present. Another great thing that this issue does is complement the Invincible Iron Man title that Bendis is also writing. While that book has been all-action for the most part, this one is a bit more introspective, at least for this first issue that is and it is nice to see a more personal side to the man in the machine. With a title like the International Iron Man though, you have to know that there will be some action taking place at some point and when given the ending of the book, it will probably be sooner rather than later. Helping Bendis on the book is Alex Maleev whose pencils are better than ever, looking a lot more refined than they ever have, yet still retaining that grittiness that was always a part of his signature. Though the story might have moved a little slow and was not the most exciting way to start a first issue off, it did what it needed to and was a pretty good read, ensuring that you will come back for the next one to find out what happens next.

3.5 out of 5

Black Knight #5
Black Knight #5

Writer – Frank Tieri
Artist – Luca Pizzari
Colours – Antonio Fabela, Andrew Crossley
Letters – VC’s Joe Sabino

With this fifth issue, the Black Knight’s adventures come to a close and they do so not with a bang, but in a truncated sort of fashion that tells the reader that there was more to come but things had to be wrapped up due to cancellation. It was not as if Frank Tieri did not tie things up because he did, but it would have been a bit more satisfying to see what would have unfolded if the book was given the room to breathe a little bit more. As it is, the story sees Dane regain possession of the Ebony Blade from Steve Rogers and the introduction of Hydra to Weirdworld, having gone through a portal back during World War II. It also tells us how Dane deposed the former leader of his kingdom, who was himself a descendent of those Hydra personnel and his attempt to wrest it back from the Black Knight. Tieri’s writing is sharp and he does a great job of getting to the point of the story he is trying to tell, which is a good thing. The artwork by Luca Pizzari is probably the best that the series has seen so far and it looks truly great during the action sequences that are peppered throughout the book. One of the better things that Tieri does though is leave the conclusion open-ended so that perhaps one day, he or another writer can come in and pick up where he left off. The chances of that are slim-to-none, but it would be a wondrous and wonderful thing if somebody did continue Dane’s adventures in Weirdworld at some point in time. A very good series, maybe not as good as others, but buried beneath a sea of titles released by Marvel and never really given a chance.

3.5 out of 5

3 replies »

  1. Great reviews! I really enjoyed International Iron Man #1, I liked the more personal aspects to the story, and how it mixed events from the past with things happening in the present. Some great characterization as well and nice art completed the package, a great book, and very different in tone from Invincible Iron Man – which I also enjoy btw. I’ve not read any of the Black Knight issues, its one I thought about but just haven’t got around to reading. Maybe I’ll catch up with this one in trade. I agree, think this book was released at the wrong time and it never really had a chance to shine.

    Liked by 1 person

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