International Iron Man cover

INTERNATIONAL IRON MAN #2 by Brian Michael Bendis and artist Alex Maleev is a step up from the first issue, but not by much. The art work is gorgeous, and so is some of the dialogue, but the plot seems to be crawling at the benefit of its over-long flashback sequences.

Issue #2 picks up basically where the last one left off. Tony is engaging romantically with a female from a rival family, and in the present, he’s face-to-face with her in the quest to find his biological father’s true identity. From there, it’s a lot of mulling around in the past and too little of what makes the present so interesting.

international iron man, issue two, marvel, bendis, maleev

Bendis does what he does best in this book: dialogue. The character moments are highly entertaining, especially the small glimpse we get of Tony with his father. However, there just doesn’t seem to be much momentum within the plot. Two issues in, Tony is no closer to finding his father, and we still haven’t gained much traction or information from the past. The former-lover-turned-villain aspect is interesting but feels too thin to carry the entire book.

READ: Miss the first issue of INTERNATIONAL IRON MAN? Check out our review!

Would it be such a crime for an Iron Man book to take place entirely within Tony’s past? It almost feels like that is what the storytellers want to expand on the most but are obligated to flesh out the present. Young Tony is a fantastic character, and there is a world of opportunity with him in his college setting.

international iron man, issue two, marvel, bendis, maleev

Alex Maleev’s work carries the book. The colors are gorgeous, and the contrast between settings makes each page engaging. A kitchen is dimly lit, setting the focus on the characters and the words between them while an ocean landscape at dusk is bright orange and mesmerizing to look at. The dark colors feel more fitting for the book, even if what they are showing isn’t all that interesting.

Need a quick Marvel fix? Check out our interview podcast with writer Chris Claremont!

Overall, issue two is better than the first. The artwork is great; there are some fun character moments, and there is a lot of potential. If the book wants to get better, though, it will have to pick up the pace before readers pass out.

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