Iron Man #24 is published by Marvel Comics, written by Christopher Cantwell, with art by Angel Unzueta, colors by Frank D’Armata, and letters by Joe Caramagna. Iron Man is in Macau, trying to shut down Source Control by buying their weapons. But he was betrayed by his ally Force, who allied with Spymaster and Cobalt Man, who possesses Mandarin’s rings.
The tension of this issue is active right from the start. It opens precisely where the last issue finished, with Tony on his knees between a set of angry enemies. The comic has shown calamities and danger throughout the issues with much unpredictability. Cantwell creates an empowering fight scene that turns the tide and feels like a pushback after 23 issues of the series going in a certain direction. It is a heroic part of the comic that links to themes laced within the writer’s work since the first chapter. The whole situation is finished by a completely unexpected move. While exciting, the lack of any build-up or clues makes it so sudden. The rest of the issue is a long conversation packed with emotion and a heavy atmosphere, like a discussion that seems to be going nowhere. It is a scene that may be too extended and, at points, appears repetitive. It sets up more stories with fascinating premises also damaging relationships between characters, but the comic’s ending doesn’t feel as epic as the beginning.
In Iron Man #24, Cantwell brilliantly celebrates Tony Stark as a character and a hero. It mentions his many mistakes, what he’s done wrong, his weaknesses, and all of the parts that have made him fallible and relatable. But the first half of the comic demonstrates his resilience and dedication. He will take damage and bankrupt himself if it means stopping evil because he is a superhero and a damn good one at that. The speech that is written for him is full of personality and emotion. There are parts of it that are harsh, but he is in pain and angry. Much of the dialogue in Iron Man can be cutting, but that comes from sincere and sentimental characters. The person joining the comic halfway through is another figure demonstrating similar traits to Tony, which is part of why they can clash.
The art is fantastic, especially during that opening fight scene. Unzueta keeps the action up close, capturing the violence with intricacy and intent. Even though all of the fighters involved are encased in metal suits, the impact from the hits still looks brutal. Stark is terrifically drawn not just when in the armor but with the helmet off as well. The specificity of his facial expressions is perfectly depicted. He is angry, and that emotion is so clear and detailed that it sets a benchmark for the issue’s tone.
The colors are dark and melancholic, and D’Armata’s balance between light and dark is stunning. The pages are gloomy, but the glow from the armors’ lights or their energy blast is captivating and striking. It should also be noted how superbly the colorist translates vibrant colors on the villain’s costumes into this more gritty landscape. If there were one minor grip, it would be that Iron Man is too similar in color to War Machine with the stealth armor on, especially in the rain and the darkness. It can sometimes make it awkward to discern the two. However, the excellent lettering by Caramagna mitigates this factor with the custom word balloons for the characters in suits of armor.
Iron Man #24 is a powerful issue. The first half has one of the best showdowns since the start of the run. It felt like so much pain and struggle had led to an explosive burst of emotion and action. It is enthralling to read. The second act of the comic lacks the same momentum and goes on for too long, but it is still exciting and demonstrates incredible character writing. After what was a phenomenal arc regarding art and storytelling, the slow final scene slightly diminishes its ultimate conclusion.
Iron Man #24 is available now wherever comics are sold.
Iron Man #24
Iron Man #24 is a powerful issue. The first half has one of the best showdowns since the start of the run. It felt like so much pain and struggle had led to an explosive burst of emotion and action. It is enthralling to read. The second act of the comic lacks the same momentum and goes on for too long, but it is still exciting and demonstrates incredible character writing.