Writer: Kieron Gillen
Artist: Alvaro Martinez, Agustin Padilla, Marcos Marz
Colorist: Chris Sotomayor, Val Staples, Esther Sanz
The first Annual of this Iron Man series kicks off with 3 unique short stories centered around the moon. These stories expand the Iron Man series by focusing on other characters and plot points that normally wouldn’t get very much page-time in the main book.
Ups: Each of these short stories has a great art team tailored to the particular tone of each story. The first two art styles are more to the traditional side and incorporate all of the dazzling lights and explosions you’d expect from an Iron Man comic, but the third story has a more stylized and relaxed feel to it to reflect the story being told. Each story also focuses on plotlines outside of the main story arc. Characters like Pepper Potts, and Arno get the spotlight in some of these stories and we get to see events from the Iron Man series from different perspectives that we normally wouldn’t get a chance to.
Downs: The annual doesn’t have much actual Iron Man in it. In spending time on other characters the issue leaves Tony on the sidelines somewhat. For fans who have been reading the series for a while and are invested in the Iron Man series this will find this entertaining. Fans who are more into the character of Iron Man than the series that surrounds him, might find themselves bored or uninterested with this annual.
Overall: This annual serves a much needed role in expanding the Iron Man series through its more obscure or forgotten characters. While there is a remarkably small amount of actual Iron Man in this Iron Man annual he does get the rest of the series to himself so it’s only fair that some of the other characters get the spotlight. This issue was written well enough that it may peak your interest in characters who might have seemed uninteresting before. In short this issue does what an annual should do, it takes advantage of the extra time outside of the main plotline to enrich the series and give it more depth.