(Marvel Comics, 2014)
Writer – Tom Taylor
Artist – Yildiray Cinar
Colors – Guru eFX
The inversion effects of the events taking place in Axis continue to wreak havoc upon the Marvel Universe turning heroes into villains and vice versa. Perhaps no other hero’s personality has been quite so adversely altered as Tony Stark; the once bright shining knight in high tech armor has pulled up stakes on his east coast digs and relocated to San Francisco, but that is the least of the changes that have turned Stark from hero to heel.
Tony has unleashed his perfection inducing Extremis 3.0 App on the populace of his new hometown, however, unfortunately for him Daredevil has made the exodus to the west ahead of him and DD does not like what Stark has planned for his city. With the even more arrogant and far more devious aspects of Tony’s personality coming to the forefront, profit has become his motivation over any of the altruistic ideals he had previously held in such high regard.
The Extremis 3.0 App promises to improve the users’ life beyond their wildest imagination; making them more attractive, more intelligent as well as physically more healthy and it delivers but at a cost that very few can afford. This spurs many on to acts of criminality they would never have considered before. Daredevil intervenes to thwart Stark’s mad plan to create a superior society for profit but the tables are turned in a very clever twist that leaves Matt Murdock with some extremely “eye opening” developments to consider before continuing his one man crusade against Stark.
This issue is full of great visuals particularly the scenes of Tony’s new liquid metal armor which is very reminiscent of the T-1000 Terminator tech we saw way back in Terminator 2. This isn’t the only upgrade featured in the new armor, there is a bulletproof face shield made a transparent metal that saves Tony’s handsome mug from a disgruntled father’s vengeful gunshot in this issue but that still isn’t the most impressive element of this improved tech. This armor is light years beyond anything we have seen from Stark, or from anyone else for that matter.
Tom Taylor does a fantastic job of tweaking Tony’s already arrogant persona just enough to push him into the darker region of himself. Taylor is careful not to fully vilify the Avenger however he has certainly begun to employ some questionable business practices to say the least. Starks decision to distribute the Extremis App in this manner is irresponsible for sure but it is not exactly on par with Red Skull’s diabolical schemes. This is a Tony Stark that is motivated by greed, devoid of any philanthropic impetus or is he? Even at his worst Stark is far too complex to pigeon hole, the final page of this issue is proof of that. Taylor’s narrative is fast paced, exciting and full of action. The dialogue and character interaction is spot on. Dynamic characterizations and an overall grasp of how these two major players work provide an authenticity that is sometimes lacking in a “tie-in” issue; this is just solid storytelling from the ground up.
Yildiray Cinar’s character designs are sharp and inventive, particularly his take on the new Superior armor. It has an almost organic appearance at times calling to mind the Silver Surfer, then in certain panels it looks almost like a Stormtrooper’s white armor. Cinar’s Daredevil is classic, his choreography and staging of the fight scenes is cinematic, full of kinetic energy and electricity. The pages almost vibrate at times. Cinar pulls out all the stops in this issue; from imaginative use of panels and striking page composition to dynamic character design, this is one of the best looking books on the racks this week.
This is an Iron Man straddling the line between right and wrong, Taylor does a great job in capturing the nuances that define such a conflicted character. It’s almost as though Stark is in a state of flux, changing from one form to another. There are elements of re-birth as well but not in the sense of the Phoenix from the ashes; more like a man on the edge, teetering on the brink of a cataclysmic change of heart. Taylor’s Stark is complex, meticulously detailed and overall entertaining as heck. The stunning visuals courtesy of Cinar and Guru-eFX make this one an all-around winner.(4/5)
Name: Shawn Warner
Twitter Account: @shawnwarner629
City: Baltimore, MD
Shawn is an aspiring writer/ artist who has been reading,
collecting and living comic books for over 30 years.
He lives in Baltimore with his wife, their son, lots
of cats, dogs and other various finned and furry friends.