The steps leading up to Iron Man 2020 continue in Tony Stark: Iron Man #18 as Don Slott, Christos Gage, Paco Medina, and Edgar Delgado find another way to make Tony’s future more difficult. Will all of this building towards a new title distract from the intense battle taking place again Ultron or help to establish the new future for the Iron Avenger?
“The Ultron Agenda” continues! Chapter 3: Inner Conflict! While Rhodey and friends fight the robot war topside…a literal war rages on INSIDE TOny STARK! It’s the Wasp and a remote piloted Nano Iron Man versus a shrunken Ultron/Pym inside Tony’s physical body.
There really doesn’t seem to be much going right for Tony these days. He has questioned his own existence, had a major disaster take place with his technology, and his best buddy Rhodey barely feels comfortable thinking about putting on the War Machine Armor. So what does Dan Slott and Christos Gage do? Simple they decide to throw up another hazard on the horizon.
The problem comes from Arno Stark, who’ project is guaranteed to send Tony’s world upside down. Tony really can’t catch a break lately. The only good thing in his life right now is his relationship with Janet but let’s hope nothing happens to her (knock on wood). Still, even though there are a lot of seeds for the future event, the battle against Ultron remains entertaining and intense. Even when a company has plans for a major event, its important to see issues like this where the right elements are set in place for it to come off as a natural part of storytelling.
The art by Paco Medina with Walden Wong on inks helps to really shape how the battle is happening on two fronts. Between the fight on the streets against Ultron/Pym to the fight in Tony’s body, both environments are striking and visually distinct. The winner of these two arenas is definitely Tony’s body as the detail is paid to blood cells and oxygen swirling around the heroes.
Thanks to the coloring work by Edgar Delgado a sense of peace and discomfort comes through quite well. The eerie light remains on technology like Ultron/Pym and his cyborgs showcasing how they are unnatural and should cause dread. Yet, with the final page, the use of proper lighting allows for a reveal which will make many an Iron Man fan swell with joy.
The lettering by VC’s Joe Carmagna aids in telling a story when body language alone doesn’t cut it. One scene, in particular, comes to mind, as Tony is in the armor and it is impossible to tell how he is feeling. Yet, thanks to lettering, the moment lands in showcasing it is a blow Tony did not see coming.
Though more people are probably more focused on what is going to happen with Iron Man 2020, the steps leading up to this event are important. Tony Stark: Iron Man #18 features an intense battle but still has time to tell a gripping story. The future may be ever-changing for Mr. Stark but watching it unfold has been a joy.