Ironheart 2020 #2 is published by Marvel Comics, written by Danny Lore, and Vita Ayala, with art David Messina, colors by Mattina Iacono, and letters by VC’s Joe Caramagna. The conclusion of Ironheart 2020, is here, with the mini-run concluding after only two short issues. Now Riri Williams must find her rogue A.I., N.A.T.A.L.I.E., who has stolen her suit and is seeking action upon a hacker who broke the law and endangered the lives of the public, and a Stark employee, André Sims.
Riri, accompanied by her pal Xavier, is feverishly en-route to Stark tower in an attempt to stop N.A.T.A.L.I.E. from making a terrible mistake that she can’t come back from. Riri is fully aware that any actions taken by her A.I. unit will unequivocally fall back on her, and she can’t afford to be arrested and leave her friends, and her Mom unprotected. Sims, however, is not beaten yet and has some tricks up his sleeve as he looks to overcome Riri’s suit and leverage the technology for his own gain. Meanwhile, all N.A.T.A.L.I.E. wants is to seek out justice. She’s spent too long on the sidelines, and now thanks to Sims corruption signal, she’s free to pursue that by any means necessary!
Lore and Ayala combine for extremely high stakes issue that results in an emotional showdown. N.A.T.A.L.I.E.’s frustration at feeling confined finally bubbles over, and I love the messaging here from the co-authors. This conflict that exists between Riri, and her friend, is so much more than it appears, and it’s addressed with such vigor in the conclusive panels as the two characters finally come face to face.
The issue covers topics that are so apt in today’s environment as Riri has a vehicle with which to help her city and her community, but now that the underage superhero law is in being enforced, she has to think tactically on what she can do without putting her family and friends in danger. N.A.T.A.L.I.E., however, is tired of feeling useless and so desperately wants to go back to the way things were, before she felt restrained. It’s crushing, but the dialogue feels so genuine, and passionate, both characters with valid points of view, but with no obvious solution choose.
One mention that I have to throw in, and full credit to Lore, and Ayala, in reference to the Xavier character. Late on in the issue, he drops a one-liner, that truly had me chuckling, and it was so perfectly timed! See if you can spot it when you read the issue. Comedy gold.
Messina’s art is really visually pleasing throughout the issue. There is an extraordinary amount of background detail or additional detail on top of the characters that he is able to work in that really leaves you wondering how one artist can work this all into one issue. It is specifically worth admiring how Messina is able to layer the image of N.A.T.A.L.I.E.’s former body which is holographically projected over the Ironheart suit, while also maintaining the transparency of the image.
The colors from Iacono really pop throughout the issue, as the characters really stand apart from the background images they’re set against. Credit must be given to Iacono in relation to the skin tones of all the characters involved in this issue, as there has been an alarming tendency in the comics industry in shading people of color in lighter tones, or frankly just coloring them incorrectly. Ironheart 2020 #2, and Iacono, does a fantastic job and does the characters a great service by elevating their dark complexions.
The lettering from Cowles is consistent, and I was pleased to see that there’s a separation in the presentation in N.A.T.A.L.I.E.’s A.I. dialogue verse the human characters. The placement of the dialogue boxes works nicely, and doesn’t bog down the imagery, or cause the pace of the story to drag. I would have liked to have seen better use of the onomatopoeia, as it’s massively lacking in parts, or even at times unnoticeable.
Overall, Issue 2 wraps up the mini-arc of Riri really pleasantly. Under the creative talents of Lore and Ayala, I am optimistic that Marvel fans will have many more fantastic stories to come in the future. Right now, this is a character I can’t wait to see more of!
Ironheart 2020 #2 is available in stores now.
Ironheart 2020 #2
Overall, issue 2 wraps up the mini arc of Riri really pleasantly. Under the creative talents of Lore and Ayala I am optimistic that Marvel fans will have many more fantastic stories to come in the future. Right now, this is a character I can’t wait to see more of!
Aaron is a contributing writer at But Why Tho, serving as a reviewer for TV and Film. He is also the co-host and social media manager of the Nerds Social Club podcast.
Hailing originally from England, and after some lengthy questing, he’s currently set up shop in Pennsylvania. He spends his days reading comics, podcasting, and being attacked by his small offspring.