Tony Stark’s path towards shaping the world in his own image continues in the pages of Superior Iron Man. For those not up to speed, the golden Avenger, Tony Stark, has found his personality inverted. Now with a carefree playboy attitude, sinister cunning, and a shiny new suit fused with a symbiote, the Superior Iron Man is set to wipe out a portion of the Earth’s population to ensure environmental stability. There’s only two people in his way, first is his former right hand woman Pepper Potts and the other is, well, himself. A copy of Tony Stark’s own mind from eight years ago is his secret contingency plan walking around in the Silver Centurion armor. The war between man and machine is waged and only one can come out on top.
A big problem that’s somewhat loomed over the latest issues of Superior Iron Man is the loss of the hard biting commentary injected by Tom Taylor on people’s relationship with technology and how large corporations exploit them. While it remains toned down, this issue focuses on quality characterization. Both Tony and his own mental copy are playing mind games with both themselves and with Pepper Potts as their war escalates with more and more fire power. Taylor also does a fascinating job combining together Superior Tony’s utterly ruthless goals with his rampant sex and party obsessed exterior. Oddly, the real stand out moment of this month comes with the down time between Pepper and the Teen Abomination. Pepper’s remained very much a bit player with all these proceedings, more manipulating Tony from behind the scenes instead of facing him head on. This one moment adds a lot to her and how she’s dealing with her friend gone rogue.
Felipe Watanabe pencils this installment. Thanks to him, Superior Tony’s able to pull off some truly tug at the heart stings moments that otherwise wouldn’t work. He draws some great looking armor and even gets some emotion out of them which isn’t easy to do. When the issue hits around the last third is where everything kicks loos in a brawl and final reveal that are too good to spoil. However there are some off moments with faces, particularly with Pepper Potts who often looks far too young. The colors are superb as always, able to tackle industrial corridors, outer space, and sunny San Francisco.
Superior Iron Man is finally setting the stage for the real confrontation between Superior Tony Stark and the beloved Pepper Potts as it seems she’s the only one who has a chance to put Tony in his place.