Another Civil War tie-in gets reviewed today. Expect reviews of “Iron Man / Captain America: Casualties of War” and “Winter Soldier: Winter Kills” before Wednesday. (I’ll continue to do one a day until I’m caught up on the Civil War reviews.)

General Information

Title: Iron Man #13-14 (Vol. 4)

Author: Charles and Daniel Knauf

Illustrator(s): Patrick Zircher (pencils), Scott Hanna (inks) and GURU eFX (colours)

Original Publication Date: These issues cover dated December 2006 and January 2007.

Cover Price: Each issue priced $2.99 US or $3.75 Canadian.

Past comic reviews can be found here.

Premise

These two issues are the ones that give us insight into Tony Stark’s intentions throughout the Civil War, his reasons for doing what he’s doing, and his view of the other side. They also outline one significant change and one major opportunity coming up for him that he’ll have to face. Finally, his long time supporting cast of Happy and Pepper Hogan also reveal their positions on the Civil War, and set themselves up for the impact it will have on them in future issue.

High Point

The final panel of issue 14. It’s not a very happy panel, but it’s very effective for those of us who have read Iron Man before.

Low Point

Tony still talks like he’s a normal, unpowered human. Given the results of the Extremis arc that are revealed here (“Extremis has given my mind the ability to access, command and control virtually all forms of digital technology”) I find that hard to believe.

The Scores

This setup didn’t feel terribly original to me. Partly because it’s one in a long line of character insight crossovers, and one of the latest ones, and partly because the New Joe Fridays columns on Newsarama.com revealed the original intended impetus of the Civil War, which wasn’t nearly as extreme as the Stamford incident, but which was closely tied to Iron Man himself in ways that allowed me to predict the ending. However, I can’t fault the writers here for their editor-in-chief getting blabby a few months before their work was published. I give it 4 out of 6.

The artwork was very well done. We’ve got a great feel for Tony and his supporting cast through all of this. The characters are on model, expressive, and realistic. The colours chosen give us immediate cues when location changes take place. I’m really happy with the entire team. I give it 5 out of 6.

The story is also nicely assembled, tying the Civil War into this title, and this title into the Civil War, in a very natural way. These are the first issues of Iron Man I’ve read since the ones in the Essentials, so I’m not up to speed on where the character’s been since then, but this brought me in quite nicely. It’s accessible, a story worth the crossover, and a story worth telling, period. The predictability of the last panel didn’t detract at all from its impact. For once, the crossover will have a long-term impact on the title. I give it 5 out of 6.

The characterization of Tony Stark is the core and focus of this entire arc. It lets us into his head much further than the Civil War title does on its own, and it’s an interesting look. We see the roles that Happy, Pepper and Sal play in his life, and why they work as his support team. I was immediately refamiliarized with Happy and Pepper, which goes a long way to carrying this story through to its conclusion. I give it 6 out of 6.

The emotional response is powerful. There’s a series of interesting implications to the events we see, and those in Tony’s recent history that are merely referenced. (I’m debating between picking up the TPB versions of issues 1-12 or waiting for the collection GIT Corp is promising.) Add in the powerful way it ended, and I give it 6 out of 6.

The flow is smooth and effective. A lot happens quickly, and it all ties in together very nicely as we go from scene to scene and issue to issue. I give it 5 out of 6.

Overall, this is one of the better crossovers. Keeping it to two issues is a nice sign of that, too. They could easily have run a 6-8 issue story, given the importance of Tony to the Civil War, but instead they restricted themselves to the story that needed to be told and just the space needed to tell it. It worked out well that way. I give it 5 out of 6.

In total, receives 36 out of 42.

Civil War Review Checklist