Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Pencils: Marco Rudy, Szymon Kudranski, & Nico Leon
Inks: Szymon Kudranski, Will Sliney, Scott Koblish, & Nico Leon
Colors: Marco Rudy, Dean White, & Paul Mounts
Letters: VC’s Clayton Cowles
Generations: The Iron continues the Vanishing Point ‘reward’ several heroes received for their actions during the recent & thankfully concluded Secret Empire. Where the majority of the Generations comics (at least the ones I have read) have had the modern heroes traveling to the past to meet their namesake counterparts. But Generations: the Iron instead thrusts Riri Williams AKA Ironheart to the far flung future where she interacts with Tony Stark but not the Tony Stark she knows. Rather this is the Sorcerer Supreme Tony Stark from the Age of Ultron and other Brian Michael Bendis future jaunts. It is certainly a different take on the Vanishing Point tales and unfortunately a less then exciting one.
I really like Brian Michael Bendis, I have since his indie days and throughout his long and glorious run at Marvel. Bendis has a wonderful gift for dialogue and loves to include in his series slow issues, where we catch up with characters and get a lay of the land before the next adventure begins. In a series where he is given time to tell a long form story they work perfectly, but not in a one off special. It makes for a very boring issue that I had a hard time finishing. Very rarely do I find myself counting how many pages I have left in a book and when I do this I know it’s a bad sign. I found myself counting while reading Generations: the Iron. The problem is that nothing happened. There wasn’t a threat, there was very little action, and it was very much a wink and a nod to the importance of Riri Williams to the future of the Marvel Universe without really telling the reader anything. There were moments when I thought the action was going to kick in, such as when we meet the future’s Mighty Avengers or when an ancient sorceress from Camelot comes calling. Yet nothing occurs and there is no action to speak of in this issue.
On a whole the story was lackluster. I had very little interest in sorcerer Tony and feel somewhat mislead by the cover as I was hoping for a classic armor team up but other then the cover we never see the classic ‘70s and early ‘80s armor, not even in a flashback. Unfortunately the art is a bit of a mess to. Generations: the Iron is penciled by what seems a committee of artists and it shows. There wasn’t one consistent take on the book. It looks sketchy and rushed with heavy ink lines to make it look uniformed. With the hype behind these specials you would think a lone artist would have been chosen but either this was the plan from the get go or someone fell behind (I assume the latter) but either way the book suffers for it.
Verdict: Unfortunately I have to give Generations: the Iron a Pass. The special would have been served better as a #0 for the current Iron Man title rather then part of the Generations specials as it suffers from inconsistent art and a boring tale.