IRONHEART #3 by Eve L. Ewing, Luciano Vecchio, and Matt Milla
IRONHEART #3 shows Eve L. Ewing as the strongest asset to plot and character development. While Luciano Vecchio succeeds in some places, he lacks in illustrating emotion through facial expression when appropriate. Colorist Matt Milla contributes best at the beginning of the comic.
85 %
Great Writing

Riri’s taking a break from all the action in IRONHEART #3 by staying home with her mom and Xavier. Eve L. Ewing tells a more casual and mundane story for the majority of IRONHEART #3 by showing Riri acting like a “normal” teenager. We don’t see fighting until the latter part of this issue. Ewing’s depiction of Riri graduating high school shows her in a more innocent point of view. Luciano Vecchio illustrates each scene well, so the comic’s easy to read for the audience. However, his facial illustrations are bland with little variety. Colorist Matt Milla contributes to the storytelling most at the beginning of IRONHEART #3.

A More Relaxed Point of View (For the Most Part)

We start with a flashback of Riri, her mom, and Daija at Riri’s high school graduation. Riri’s mother meets Daija for the first time in this scene. Next, we return to present day, where Riri’s looking at her high tech sci-fi holographic computer trying to figure out how to investigate recent thefts in the city. Xavier chimes in when Riri feels stumped. He tells Riri to investigate victims instead of suspects since she has none. Soon after, Riri’s mom tells Riri Daija’s been found. After Riri, her mom, and Xavier watch Daija interview with the press, Riri goes to confront Daija which doesn’t end well. Once Riri leaves, a dark figure tells Daija that because Riri is interested in why she lied about her disappearance, Riri will pay with her life.

An Important Meeting

The best storytelling in IRONHEART #3 comes at the very beginning when Riri graduates high school. This scene uses writing, illustration, and color at their best. Ewing writes Riri in a more laid back, innocent way. This was before she became Ironheart, so her extreme expression of an antisocial and analytical teen isn’t prominent. With that said, the more important interaction Ewing writes is between Riri’s mother and Daija. Ewing portrays Riri’s mother’s personality as kind and caring. Vecchio accompanies this by having her dressed elegantly and drawn with softer features. Daija’s shy in this scene. Unfortunately, Vecchio fails to show how nervous she sounds. So the shy dialogue Ewing writes isn’t complimented with a nervous facial expression. However, Milla succeeds in creating a light color vignette to add a softness to the scene, which further perpetuates the positivity it illustrates throughout.

IRONHEART #3 page 3. Image courtesy of Marvel Entertainment.

This flashback progresses the plot, in a backward sense (since this looks back in time and we’re in the present). However, it’s stronger in character development in regards to Daija. We now know more about Daija. Not only is she kind, but she also struggles. It’s not a huge character development, but it’s enough.

A “Normal” Riri in IRONHEART #3

Seeing Riri more as herself rather than as Ironheart is a good strategy for developing the plot as well as her character. Ewing’s depiction of Riri as a “normal” teenager almost relates to the reader. The only unrelatable component is the obvious fact that Riri’s a child genius investigating crime at an advanced level. Besides that, Ewing creates character development with Riri’s home life by showing that she’s not so different from an average teen civilian. For example, when Riri’s mom comes to check on Riri and Xavier, she asks what they’re doing. All Riri replies with is “working.” This scene is one example of Riri being more than a genius superhero — she’s a normal teenager too. Normally teenagers don’t feel obligated to give their parents descriptive details on what they’re up to because they don’t want to be bothered by their parents. I feel it’s a part of growing up. Seeing this side of Riri humbles her character to the mundane world which connects more with the reader.

Is There More of “The Ten”?

In the latter part of IRONHEART #3, we meet Midnight’s Fire. The only information we have about him is that he’s a magical ninja. He has similar illustration characteristics as the other two ninja characters in IRONHEART #1. All of them are dressed like characters from Street Fighter and have glowing eyes. Is Ewing using Midnight’s Fire to hint at who else might part of “The Ten?” He fits the image characteristics Vecchio presents in previous issues. Meeting Midnight’s Fire helps to continue progressing a part of the plot. “The Ten” is just one part of the plot of IRONHEART (at least that’s how it feels). Midnight’s Fire progresses the plot slowly as the other ninja’s from “The Ten” did.

IRONHEART #3 page 19. Image courtesy of Marvel Enertainment.

Final Thoughts on IRONHEART #3

I think Eve Ewing is the backbone of IRONHEART #3. She clearly tells the story while providing a way for the reader to relate to the characters. Vecchio illustrates scenes that are consistent enough for the reader to understand what’s going on visually as well. However, I was not impressed with him using a lot of the same resting facial expression when more emotion needed to be expressed. His lack of attention to illustrating facial expressions ruined my experience in being able to be emotionally engaged with the story. Milla’s color stands at its strongest in the very beginning of IRONHEART #3 and I’m standing by that.

Now, what more can we expect from “The Ten?” Is “The Ten” connected to child abductions and robberies in the city? All these and more questions may come to light in IRONHEART #4.

Stay tuned for IRONHEART #4 coming to you next month! 

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