The second chapter in the epic ‘Secret Origin Of Tony Stark’ begins, and whilst this issue contains no insane flashbacks or retcons that flips everything we thought we knew upside down, it was still very interesting and a whole lot of fun.
The issue opens with the glorious return of Death’s Head. Pretty much ever British comics fan has a soft-spot for this character, and it’s clear that Kieron Gillen does too, so it’s fantastic to see him back and being written well. I love how Recorder 451’s massive cosmic game-plan almost comes unstuck because Death’s Head wants some money. It’s the mundane mixed with the insane, and it works. I really enjoyed the segments of this issue that showed the back-story of the ‘Godkiller’ armour, the scale of Gillen’s story is so huge, and it’s just getting bigger. 451 wants Tony to pilot a ship that has killed 100s of Celestials!
I also thought it was cool how Gillen once again had 451 walk the narrow tightrope of heroism and villainy, is he a good guy? Is he evil? I truly don’t know, I’m leaning more towards evil, but you never know. Also fun was how Gillen tied this in with Hickman’s Avengers work, the Earth is now an ‘Avengers Earth’, with 451’s help, we could have an ‘Avengers Universe’. Added to that was the hilarious moment where 451 dubs Tony the ‘Guardian of The Avengers Galaxy’, get it, because he’s on both teams? Goofy, but cool. It’s stuff like this and the awesome shout-out to the late Iain Banks (the ‘M-Banks Class Orbital Body’) that make this book great, even though the story is so big, Gillen never forgets to keep the tone, not light, but relatable.
Greg Land returns to the artwork with this issue, and I know some people hate him, but I really don’t mind him. This book is full of robots, so it doesn’t really matter that the facial expressions are weird, since most of the characters don’t have a face! I loved the splash-page that showed the huge size of the Godkiller, that was impressive. If there’s any book that Land is great on, it’s Iron Man.