Artist: Dale Eaglesham
After initially dropping this series following the first story arc I am back for at least this story, as I couldn't miss an origin story. So far it's been interesting, but nothing startling, and I seriously hope that it improves soon.
As Tony Stark is being born his father Howard Stark has to go off with 451 and take care of the grey aliens, who know Tony's secret.
This was probably the best issue I've read in this series, and certainly the best in this storyline so far. Kieron Gillen did a good job on this issue, giving us a very entertaining, and exciting comic, and although I wouldn't necessarily class it as a great Iron Man issue, especially considering Iron Man barley appears, it was still exciting, with interesting developments. I personally love how Gillen has been handling Howard, and how he's managed to cope through all of this, doing what's best for his family. There was also some good action, and interesting dialogue, and Gillen keeps making me more and more intrigued with this 451 character, who I originally disliked, as although I still don't like him, he is becoming a very interesting character, and I love how it's questionable whether he's a hero, or a villain.
The art from Dale Eaglesham continues to amaze me, and I have been loving his work on this story. The detail is fabulous, with next to no imperfections, and although his art isn't necessarily the best in the world, it is very smooth, and consistent, and overall is better than previous artist Greg Land's art. Land did however once again produce a great cover for this issue, which had brilliant colours from Guru Efx. Eaglesham's layouts were also brilliant, adding more depth, and drama to the issue, helping the story flow smoother. Eaglesham also handled the facial expressions perfectly, showing the character's emotions perfectly. The action was also handled perfectly, adding more excitement, and suspense to the issue, though I did question where Howard found the shotgun that he gave 451, as it appeared from nowhere.
As I said earlier the development of 451 has been one of the most interesting things about this story, and although the action was still probably the best thing about the issue, it was 451's development that interested me the most. In the sequences with Howard 451 seems like the most friendliest robot ever, with Howard thanking him, and kind of classing him as a friend. On the other hand with Tony he seems like a right dictator, and villain, using Tony for his own means, which shows a different light, and questions what type of character 451 really is, and I look forward to find out.
There was plenty of action in this issue, with Howard's team returning. I really enjoyed seeing the likes of Dum Dum Dugan, and Thunderbolt Ross in issue 10, but this time they were also used better, as although they didn't speak much, they were doing the tasks that they should be doing. I also loved seeing Nessa the Kitten, and The Bear in action, with the Bear being very entertaining, and exciting. The art from Eagleshham was probably what really helped with this though, as the character expressions really added more drama, and the action was very dynamic.
Whilst all this is going on the grey aliens are taking in the significance of what they've learned, whilst ultimately being off guard when Howard, and his gang arrive. Now the grey aliens aren't really that interesting, and their novelty wore off after the first issue they appeared in. It was however still interesting to see how they reacted to the news, as well as how they reacted to Howard, and his gang arriving to take them out. To be honest if it wasn't for the fact they were grey, and alien like they are very similar to most casino workers/owners, being very greedy, and power hungry, which was interesting as well.
This was the best issue of the story so far, and probably the best in the series, and if not certainly one of them. It was however still not that good of an Iron Man issue, but it had plenty of action, and questions to make up for that, and the question over 451's character was probably the most interesting thing in the issue. I'd probably recommend this issue, especially to people who have been following the series, but to people looking for a great Iron Man story I'd advice caution.