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411’s Comic Reviews: Tony Stark: Iron Man #2, Batman #51, More

July 26, 2018 | Posted by Steve Gustafson
Tony Stark Iron Man 2

Hello and welcome to 411mania’s weekly Comic Book Review Roundtable! Each week we’ll be serving up a warm dish of reviews from Marvel, DC, and anything else that captures our interest. What did you pick up this week? Let us know in the comments.

Want to write a review? If you can write at least one review a week, consistently, email me at [email protected]!

Yesterday we asked Is the DC Universe Streaming Service Worth It?

Now on with the show!

V.E. Schwab’s Shades of Magic: The Steel Prince #1

Preview by Stephen Gustafson

Titan Comics are thrilled to reveal the first look at V.E. Schwab’s Shades of Magic: The Steel Prince prequel comic book series – set in the world of the New York Times bestselling fantasy novel series, Shades of Magic. Illustrated by artist Andrea Olimpieri (Dishonored), and colored by Enrica Angiolini (Doctor Who: The Thirteenth Doctor), this hotly anticipated comic prequel hits stores in October 2018.

Titan Comics’ brand-new comics are the first in a line of exciting new properties spinning out from the worldwide phenomenon, including; a film adaptation, and a new novel, Threads of Power, announced for 2020. V.E. Schwab’s Shades of Magic books have sold over 200,000 copies in the USA alone, and are available in over 20 countries.

V.E. Schwab’s Shades of Magic series features parallel versions of London, each with their own rules – Grey London, a drab realm devoid of magic ruled by mad King George; Red London, where life and magic is revered under the strong Maresh Dynasty; White London, a harsh world where people fight magic, and magic fights back, draining the city to its core; and finally, the menacing Black London – but no-one dares to speak its name.
In Titan’s new Shades of Magic: The Steel Prince series, young and unruly Prince Maxim of Red London is sent to the lawless city of Verose after disobeying the King. Little does he know that a fate worse than exile awaits him on the Blood Coast…

“I’m thrilled to share the stunning covers and first interior art for The Steel Prince,” said Shades of Magic creator V.E. Schwab. “Maxim Maresh became one of the most controversial figures in the Shades of Magic series, more often seen as an antagonist than a hero. But The Steel Prince paints a different picture of the young man, long before he was king. It has taken incredible talent to bring his journey to life on the page. The artistry with which Andrea and Enrica have captured young Maxim borders on true magic. I can’t wait for readers to see the rest of the story and the beautiful artwork in The Steel Prince this fall.”

Shades of Magic: The Steel Prince #1 features four spectacular art covers by Claudia Ianniciello (The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo), Tomm Coker (The Black Monday Murders, Marvel Noir), and series artist Andrea Olimpieri, plus a fantastic book style cover which pays tribute to the best-selling Shade of Magic novel phenomenon.

Tony Stark: Iron Man #2

Review by RobF

Tony Stark is back, but has he come correct? Even he isn’t sure. Dan Slott and Valerio Schiti
have created one of the best Iron Man stories in recent years. By focusing on the supporting cast they have shifted the narrative and made Iron Man one of the better comics out there.

I must admit I wasn’t excited when I heard Iron Man was returning but I am happy to admit I was wrong. And it isn’t Tony that is so interesting, (he is still a brilliant a-hole) it’s his associations that makes this story go. We have James Rhodes, recently revived from the dead but not ready for action. Andy Bhang. a Stark new hire who seems overwhelmed by it all. Bethany Cabe, who does not know she is controlled by the Controller. Jocasta, the
android who wants to be human, disguising herself as a human much to everyone’s surprise. And to top it off, her husband is none other than a very angry Machine Man! There are several subplots here but Slott balances them perfectly.

Schiti’s art has been described as clean and expressive, 2 terms I cannot argue. This action scenes are great as well. He and Slott are in perfect harmony. The cover is one of my recent favorites.

It will be interesting to see what Stark feels is ‘missing’ and how he will go about fixing it. The various subplots add to the mystery and I for one want more.

Rating: 8.0 out of 10

Batman #51

Review by John Pumpernickel

Tom King starts his next Batman arc and deals with the fallout from the last issue; the results are intriguing. The next chapter in the life of Batman looks to be breaking new ground and in the hands of King, it’s one that will be discussed and referred to for a long time.

Bruce Wayne is a lot of things and in this issue we see him serving as a juror for a trial involving Mr. Freeze. Is Freeze used to reflect the coldness in Wayne’s heart after being jilted by Catwoman? Maybe. But the issue has a lot of juggle and relies on the reader to connect the dots. While Mr. Freeze is on trial, it might be Batman who is guilty. The “hero gone to far” story has been done before but King is more than capable of adding a fresh twist to the story.

The issue gives us the trial, Bruce Wayne’s dilemma, and answers who covers Gotham while Wayne is sequestered away. While on the surface it looks like a simple concept, in the hands of King, it takes on a more complex theater of pain, sorrow, and introspection. King is just stellar in his writing and keeps the issue balanced with some serious content broken up with some fun little scenes.

While the furor over Batman #50 is still fresh, don’t make the mistake of dropping the story while it’s still baking. King has a grand vision and his work with artist Lee Weeks is some of the best on the stands. You won’t be asking yourself, “What’s next?” but rather, “I can’t wait to find out what happens next!”

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