One good thing about Secret Wars is that all of the comics that I’ve had sitting around, hoping that one day I’d have time to review… I can now review because most of them are ending. In September or October, which is a couple of months from when I’m writing this, but probably about when I’m posting it, 60 or so “all-new, all-different” titles will launch and it’ll be back to the races. But for now, I get to talk about the entire run of Superior Iron Man, with Tony Stark being a complete dick. Is dick Tony Stark worth reading or can you not imagine Tony Stark being even more of a dick?
Back during AXIS, Red Skull, using Professor X’s mind, changed villains into heroes and heroes into villains and now, Tony Stark is permanently a douchebag. He thinks he’s better than everyone else, but can he still be a hero while he’s a complete asshat? Well, no, he can’t. Tony just wants to rule the world and he’s going to start with San Francisco, giving the people a taste of his new Extremis 3.0 mobile app. He needs to be stopped, but who better to stop Tony Stark than Tony Stark?
I ended up really liking Superior Spider-Man, where Otto Octavius took over the body of Peter Parker and while he wasn’t initially very heroic, he would up being every bit the heroic Spider-Man. That just isn’t the case here. Tony has no interest in being a hero. He’s a self-centered jerk. He has his plans and he doesn’t care who he hurts to achieve them.
There are plenty of guest stars here, from Daredevil to She-Hulk and the introduction of Kid Abomination, but let’s be honest, when Iron Man goes rogue, you don’t call in Daredevil, you call in the Avengers and they just don’t show up as you’d expect they would. Did nobody have their number?
I’m not necessarily going to place the blame on Tom Taylor, the writing is decent, it’s just the concept that sucks. Yes, you could probably do a decent evil Tony Stark series, but having him as a drug dealer in San Francisco isn’t it. It just doesn’t make any sense, they’re not calling in the big guns to stop him because if they did, it would be a short series, but it makes no sense that they don’t. Thor and Hulk would make short work of Iron Man, but that’s not the story they’re trying to tell. Series artist Yildiray Cinar does an admirable job on the art though, particularly when all of Tony’s old armors show up toward the end. But like the trailer for Iron Man 3, where all of the armors show up, the actual product is not up to the task set by the promise.
In the end, when Otto died and was replaced by the real Peter Parker once again, part of me mourned his loss. It wasn’t the real Spider-Man but he ended up being a good version, with positive characteristics that could be admired. Evil Tony Stark doesn’t have that. When he dies and they reboot him to normal, I am not going to miss anything about the evil doppelganger. Not a thing. And that tells you all you need to know about this series.