Marvel Comics
Iron Man 2.0 #4
By Dan Horn
April 24, 2011 - 20:30

Marvel Comics
Writer(s): Nick Spencer
Penciller(s): Ariel Olivetti
Inker(s): Ariel Olivetti
Colourist(s): Ariel Olivetti
Letterer(s): Joe Caramagna
Cover Artist(s): Salvador Larroca & Frank D'Armata
$2.99 US

Last issue planted the first true seeds of doubt as to who Palmer Addley really is, and in Iron Man 2.0 #4 we begin to see the periphery of the cyber-terrorist's origins. Writer Nick Spencer takes a bit of a gamble with the series' second consecutive interlude issue (this one doesn't even showcase any Iron Man or War Machine appearances) very early in the series, compounded by a risky art transition to painter Ariel Olivetti.

It works on a certain level, but I feel like the pace of the story is grinding to a slow trudge just to accommodate Fear Itself tie-ins. I'm crossing my fingers and hoping to god that this doesn't impact Iron Man 2.0 too severely. I'd hate to see this book succumb to crossover dilution and subsequent cancellation. I'm definitely looking forward to the "Palmer Addley Is Dead" story picking up in the coming months and resolving on a positive note.

On to the artwork: I suppose I always picture Olivetti sitting at an easel and saying something to the effect of, "Hey, check it out! This is what a Punisher comic would look like if Norman Rockwell had done it!" His first showing in Iron Man 2.0 hasn't changed my perception of his stuff. There's definitely something missing in this issue's pages, and the presentation here is a bit lackluster. Not to knock Olivetti, but I feel like he's fallen victim to the same realist (and somehow simultaneously minimalist) doldrums that Deodato, Garney, and other popular artists have yielded to. He can try to spice it up with as much slightly exaggerated anatomy as he wants, but Olivetti's work really isn't that outside the box.

This is still a good comic, merely passable by Spencer's standards, but I'm just hoping this isn't indicative of Fear Itself's incursion laying waste to this title's potential. Here's to holding your breath...

Rating: 7/10

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