Graphic Novel Review: Iron Man: Believe

Iron Man: Believe

Iron Man: Believe - Credit: Archant

The golden Avenger is back in this new volume collecting his latest series

(Panini Books)

FOR most of his life, billionaire industrialist Tony Stark has struggled between what he knows he has the capability to achieve, and actually having the impetus to do something about it.

As an inventor, he was content to manufacture weapons until he ended up on the business end of one of his devices. As the armoured Iron Man, he enjoyed the prestige of being a member of the Avengers, but never really took his responsibilities seriously until the events of the superhero Civil War. As a man, he succumbed to alcoholism and a string of failed relationships, always seeking that next intense buzz.

Now is the time for a change. The death of his former lover Maya Hansen, inventor of the Extremis project, forces Tony to reassess his responsibilities and his motives.

Extremis is a bio-electronics package can rewrite the body’s repair centre replacing the human blueprint with an Extremis upgrade that can be determined by an external programmer, whether that be the creation of superpowered beings or a cure for cancer. In the wrong hands it can destroy the world, and thanks to its theft by science-terrorists AIM, it’s now available to the highest bidder on the black market.

Many years ago, Tony Stark became embroiled in the so-called Armour Wars after discovering his inventions were being used in various other armoured creations, many of them worn by supervillains, and determined to regain his technology at any cost.

Most Read

Now he finds himself on another quest, to hunt down any rogue samples of Extremis, no matter where it’s being used, and ensure Maya’s legacy is protected.

But he has no idea quite how this incredible invention is being used, and what the cost of his own intervention will be. For Tony Stark, it is the beginning of a period of reevaluation of his dreams and visions, as the self-professed futurist realises that his destiny may no longer be restricted to the planet Earth, but may actually exist out among the stars…

Following in the footsteps of the acclaimed creative team of Matt Fraction and Salvador Larrocca is no easy task, after they spent several years rehabilitating Stark following the events of the Civil War, and then setting him down a fresh path for the future. The new writer-artist team of Kieron Gillen and Greg Land haven’t run roughshod over these stories, but have used them to set events in motion to shape the next era of Iron Man, one which ultimately will take him to the final frontier.

A strong jumping-on point for new readers, and an interesting new direction for the character, it remains to be seen whether Gillen and Land continue to deliver in future volumes.