Ultimate Iron Man 2

The following isn't gonna be about much, except to say the artwork on this comic is fracking ridiculously amazing. Pencils were handled by Pasqual Ferry, and boy can he draw around robots, helicopters, airplanes and plasma screens. All the shiny tech looked gorgeous. But really, the stars of this show are the guys (all five of them) doing the colouring. By far the biggest revolution comics have undergone in recent years is in the arena of colour, on which 3D animation and CGI have had a huge influence. Ultimate Iron Man is ludicrously pretty. The light glows, the surfaces sheen, every crevace of every face is picked out by shadow.

The whole thing was so beautiful, I kept reading despite myself. Don't get me wrong, Orson Scott Card (acclaimed SF author) spins a diverting tale of conspiracy and terrorism, but it does get incredibly convoluted. Worse, the characters seem to sleepwalk through it all. To top it off, Card's attempts at witty banter didn't really tickle my insides in the way Ellis, Ennis or Bendis do. Only at the very end does stuff get interesting, when the villain and her motives are revealed. She really is a wonderful creation: powerful, sexy, and totally crazy. You almost want her to kill everyone and win. Check her out:

'Am I boring you, Howard? Talking too much? But now you want to listen, don't you?

'It's power I want. The kind of power men have. The power of guns. The power of money. The power you get when you don't care who you kill.

'You had it all. Except you weren't ruthless enough. That's what I brought to our marriage. And, of course, this body. And my pretty smile. And my saying, "Oh, Howard, I love you so much."

'Here's the joke, Howard. I realized after I left that I actually did love you. And I still care what you think and feel. That's why I'm going to make sure you see your son die right in front of you. So when I shoot you right afterward, you'll really be feeling something.

'I promise to kiss you after you're dead. But before your lips get cold. That would be icky.'

How great is that? Totally rooting for her to waste the boring Stark family and go on to rule the world. Unsurprisingly, that's not what actually happens. Shame.

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