Writer: Kieron Gillen
Artist: Luke Ross
Colorist: GURU eFX
“Rings of the Mandarin #1”
Malekith has begun collecting the rogue Mandarin rings, along with the hands that wore them. Tony goes to his occult specialist, Dark Angel, to learn more about the rings and how to stop Malekith.
Ups: I really enjoyed the mixture of magic and technology in this issue. Tony sees everything as science, Malekith views the world through magic and Dark Angel bridges the gap between them. In a series dominated by sci-fi it’s nice to see some magic from time to time, especially when it comes from Malekith. The issue opens with Malekith’s perspective and how he finds out about the rings. Malekith‘s special brand of chaos is the perfect foil Tony’s stubborn rationalism.
Downs: After Malekith’s story and a few events following that the issue slows down a lot. The remainder of the issue is mostly dialogue, and while the characters bring up interesting concepts it’s still pretty dry and most of the art in these scenes just depicts the characters talking. Everything said during these scenes is definitely important and interesting but not necessarily entertaining.
Overall: This is a decent start to a new arc. Malekith definitely seems like he’ll be an interesting villain for Tony since they’re such polar opposites. Dark Angel is a welcome addition to the Iron Man cast and she serves the vital task of bridging technology and magic in this story. While the issue was full of substance it was lacking that classic Iron Man style. I realize that the book can’t be full of explosions all the time but I feel like this issue could have used a few more to break up the denser sections of dialogue.
Grade: 3 of 5