Artist: Carlo Pagulayan
This has been a very inconsistent series since it started, and although this story was heading in the same direction it has since started to show that there is hope in this series, and with only a couple of issues in this story remaining, I hope it doesn't disappoint.
As 451 tries to erase himself from existence, taking Iron Man (Tony Stark) with him, Iron Man must find a way of escaping the Godkiller.
This was a good issue, but I was still disappointed in it, as after the amazing transformation the series has made, going from mediocre to very good has been nice, and it's sad to see it take a step back in that direction. Kieron Gillen did however do a brilliant job of finishing up Tony's time on the Godkiller, and setting up the finale part of this story. It was however this set-up that made the issue feel very slow, with the overall pace being all over the place. Gillen did however show some brilliant writing skills in the first half of this issue, as it was very suspenseful and dramatic, but it was the lack of any enemy along with the uneven pace that let it down.
The artwork was however once again amazing, and Carlo Pagulayan showed the same brilliant talent that he did on the last issue. The detail in Pagulayan's art was simply outstanding, as everything looked simply perfect. I also really enjoyed the emotion that Pagulayan showed on Tony's face throughout this issue, as he showed the threat that possibly dying had on Tony perfectly. The layouts were also once again spectacular, adding a lot of depth to the issue, as well as being very dynamic. I also really liked some of the backgrounds that Pagulayan drew in this issue, as although some were plain, there were also some really detailed and interesting ones as well, and I so wish he could have done the next issue as well.
This issue started with a monologue from 451, showing how he realised his mistakes, and how he planned to fix them by erasing himself from existence. This may have only been a very short part of this issue, but it was probably the most interesting, as it showed that 451 actually cares. I say this as over the story 451 has been a bit of an enigma, seeming both good and bad at certain times, whereas this shows that his intentions were good, even if his actions weren't. I also felt that this did a great job of setting up the tension for the rest of the issue.
This sequence would be quickly followed by a mad attempt by Tony to escape the Godkiller with 451, thus preventing either from being erased from time. I really enjoyed this sequence, and the interaction between Tony and P.E.P.P.E.R. throughout was very entertaining. I also enjoyed seeing the dread in Tony, and how his emotions showed a man who was in a frantic state. I did however feel that the sequence could have been a bit more exciting, and would have preferred that it lasted slightly longer to do so. It was however still very exciting and bar the start of the issue the best part.
WARNING: POSSIBLE SPOILER AHEAD!
Now I don't like giving away spoilers, and although this isn't a proper spoiler, the things I talk about will spoil the outcome of prior sequences. Now it was rather obvious that Tony would survive (the solicitations of future issues for starters), but after doing so Tony would return to Earth where he'd be greeted by his long time friend Pepper Pots. Now I won't go into any more details, but this was an interesting change to the style that the series has gone in as of late. At the same time it also felt rather unnecessary, as some of it could have waited till after the current story.
This was a good continuation of the Secret Origin of Tony Stark story, but it was slightly slow, focusing too much on setting up the finale. It did however have some very intense and suspenseful moments, but unfortunately they were slightly overshadowed by the uneven pace of the issue. I would however recommend this to anyone who's been following the story so far, but otherwise it may be best to wait for the trade to come out.