IRONHEART #1 hits your local comic book store on November 28, and Eve L. Ewing comes out swinging with an emotional tale of purpose.
The first issue is a classic superhero tale where the hero defeats the villain, but it’s the plot points in between the action that become the brick and mortar of the book. Riri Williams is not a happy character, and the question of ‘Why am I a hero?’ is a great way to start off the series.
What is refreshing and enjoyable is the lack of gadgets and MacGuffins used by Ewing. Riri uses her problem-solving skills to get through the adventure, and the basic science makes sense. So, when you get to the last page, and you’ve been paying attention, the cliffhanger makes sense too.
SIDEBAR – Do not let astrophysicists explain comic books to you, they will crush your dreams.
Going back to Ewing’s writing, it was like reading early issues of Amazing Spider-Man. The pain that Riri feels is vaguely similar to Peter Parker’s. The lonely scientist is also a similar trait. Riri is perfect for a new set of readers, and when written well, this pain and loneliness is real and reading the book becomes cathartic.
Kevin Libranda and Luciano Vecchio’s art provides a solid match for Ewing’s words. Riri’s facial expressions lead the way, as the character goes through a spectrum of emotions and the art team delivers. The first issue has a ten-page sequence of a conversation that doesn’t get boring or glossed over; this is because Libranda and Vecchio give each panel the attention it deserves. The conversation had the same emotional intensity of Charlie Adlard’s work on The Walking Dead. The different shot angles used in each panel add to the intimacy of the conversation.
The open face design of Ironheart on the Amy Reeder cover works really well; it was a bit sad to see the Iron Man look in the inside of the book. With that said, the first two pages of the book just float with grace as the art and words blend. This is where Clayton Cowles is a professional. His lettering is just enough; he understands you need to experience the words and art as one. Also, there is a panel with CLASH that is insanely good. Matt Milla’s colors are spot on, and the expression of pain on the guard’s face is so violent.
Overall, Ironheart #1 is a perfect jumping on point for the character. Marvel also goes the extra mile providing a reading timeline if you want to catch up on Riri’s adventures.