Writer: Christopher Cantwell
Artist: Angel Unzueta
Color Artist: Frank D’Armata
Cover Artist: Alex Ross
Last time, Iron Man has been facing off against Korvac, back from the dead in a new android body. The infamous Avengers villain is trying to regain his godlike power and remake the Universe in his image. To stop him, Iron Man is wagering a lot on his wit, tech, and ragtag team of superheroes to stop him. Iron Man #8 continues this bout between Iron Man and Korvac in their race through space.
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Let’s recap. Iron Man tried to communicate with Korvac and find out what his “vision” for the Universe was. He thought it was stupid and unimaginative and Korvac got mad, then Tony is abruptly teleported away to some godforsaken alien planet. Meanwhile his team is stuck in space fighting Korvac and his henchmen.
One thing you’ll notice about this comic – it’s missing the main character. Essentially, Cantwell uses the entire comic to cover Hellcat’s suicide prior to the comic. He does this through a a random vision quest with Moondragon, or rather the new fused Moondragon from Al Ewing’s Guardians of the Galaxy series. She says the Guardians are on their way but, for some reason, won’t reach them in time.
For anyone who had a problem with how Cantwell wrote Hellcat before, she’s a little better here but the entire story is focused on her overcoming her suicide, or at least her fear from the attempt. The art and colors in the comic are great and it comes with some emotional imagery for the character.
However, the speed of how she overcomes the trauma and locked away feelings is a bit rushed here. I can’t say for sure whether or not Cantwell is changing any of her history to fit his depiction of the character. However, by the end, she asks what most people will be wondering: “Where the hell is Tony?”
If readers were invested in Cantwell’s depiction of Hellcat, then they’ll love it since it brings some payoff to her story established from previous issues. Everyone else can probably skip this comic for the next issue when the story picks up again.
There is one part that confuses me, specifically, the negative portrayal of Daimon Hellstrom, the Son of Satan. See, Hellstrom is an anti-hero who has been working side-by-side with the Avengers for years now. He even starred in the current Savage Avengers series and helped the team fight back the servants of an evil wizard. The point is, he’s consistently shown to be a superhero or anti-hero willing to help superheroes and fight back evil.
But here, he’s depicted as a cartoonish villain, and this doesn’t add up since they were previously happily married. The only significant fault was that she saw his “true form” or something which led to her suicide. But the man himself wasn’t remotely evil or negative towards her. Of course, this could be chocked up to how her mind pictures him.
There is another moment that confuses me, and that’s when Hellcat uses her rekindled psychic powers to distract Korvac through his “fear”, or at least that’s what Moondragon says. She says that “Deep down, Korvac is afraid.” But she never specified why he’s afraid or what he’s afraid of. Only that he’s afraid.
The “fear” Hellcat uses to cast a psychic illusion on Korvac is of the alien Badoon, a shout-out to Korvac’s origins, reappearing in front of him. It barely works and Korvac sees right through it, but it shocks him enough as he accidentally damages his own ship. This works on paper, but not so much in execution, since this entire comic has portrayed Korvac to be anything but afraid. But we’ll see if Korvac’s fear goes anywhere in the next few issues.
Iron Man #8 is pretty much skippable for anyone who’s not interested in Hellcat, or at least how Christopher Cantwell writes her. This issue is basically her story. As usual, the art and colors are great. Meanwhile, the story is okay but could be potentially divisive because of its subject matter. The overarching story with Korvac doesn’t exactly move forward that much and will start up again in the next issue.