REVIEW: ‘Iron Man,’ Issue #22

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Iron Man #22 - But Why Tho

Iron Man #22 is published by Marvel Comics, written by Christopher Cantwell, art by Angel Unzueta, colours by Frank D’Armata, and letters by Joe Caramagna. Iron Man and War Machine discovered last issue that a former friend had been killed. In this issue, Stark and Rhodey make a plan to infiltrate Source Control, the group behind the death of their associate.

This issue returns to the key plot at hand, taking place right after the last issue. There is a slow start as the history of the armoured avengers and the deceased Vic Martinelli is explored and their new plan is formulated. The locations are kept at a minimum as the investigation takes the forefront. There is both a setup for a very secretive plan and the excitement of learning as the main characters do. That slow pace is torn apart by the introduction of an old enemy, leading to a battle that was absolutely unexpected. It leads to an emotional last part of the comic, where another guest star makes a surprise appearance. But this segment is slightly disrupted by the final page, which may come across as too abrupt.

The major change to the characters in Iron Man #22 is that it isn’t narrated by Tony Stark. Instead, the caption boxes are filled with the thoughts of Rhodey, which is a really different way of addressing this specific issue. The reason why becomes much clearer as the issue progresses. It also provides an outsider’s view of Tony from someone not directly speaking to him. Rhodey is his best friend, but a lot of things have happened between them in this series. War Machine has relationships with everyone in this issue, including the guest star and villain, so that his thoughts and opinions have weight. It is also really refreshing to see Tony Stark back as an analytical, deeply intelligent individual. He gets very invested in the chemical makeup of evidence and it is adorable to see. It appears much more like the old Tony Stark, before his rise and fall. The villain is a brilliant choice of an old Iron Man villain, and the guest star may both help and hinder their forthcoming mission.

The art is incredible again. For most of it Iron Man and War Machine are in their armours, which purposely looks out of place in small, cramped apartments. With their helmets off, the ridiculously realistic details of Unzuetas art style is prevalent again. When in their armour, the duo looks awesome and imposing. The battle is chaotic and destructive but on a smaller scale. Like with other issues, the armours take damage with ease depending on the enemy they face. The clunkiness they have on the ground is difficult to get across in a stationary medium, yet Unzueta achieves this aspect superbly. The enemy is huge and brilliantly designed, with some panels appearing to homage classic issues. An old armour is reimagined for the final page and it is perfect.

The colours are really fun. Around the characters, the tones are bland and unassuming. The really interesting shades appear from the armours, where there are some beautifully vibrant tones in Iron Man and the villain. There is one small flashback scene that is bathed with stunning purple light, making an exhibition. The letters are always easy to read, even in the custom word balloons.

Iron Man #22 contains extraordinary acceleration. What begins as a slow and methodical issue ramps up into one of intensity and drama. It isn’t just a mechanical melee between good and evil but a brush with something much more dangerous. The mix between action and storytelling is balanced remarkably well by Cantwell and Unzueta is comfortable bringing both the loud and quiet moments to life.

Iron Man #22 is available where comics are sold.


Iron Man #22
4.5

TL;DR

Iron Man #22 contains extraordinary acceleration. What begins as a slow and methodical issue ramps up into one of intensity and drama. It isn’t just a mechanical melee between good and evil but a brush with something much more dangerous. The mix between action and storytelling is balanced remarkably well by Cantwell and Unzueta is comfortable bringing both the loud and quiet moments to life.

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