If you’re not reading Iron Man, you should be. For all the time I spent bashing Marvel over the years, I’m slowly discovering that several titles are actually worth reading. Iron Man is definitely one of them.
Ton Stark (Iron Man) is currently the director of S.H.I.E.L.D. (Strategic Hazard Intervention Espionage Logistics Directorate: a counter-terrorism and intelligence agency formerly headed by Nick Fury). In Iron Man #16 Stark and Maya Hansen examine the body of an attacker from an animal rights group. He has various technological devices grafted in to his body, including a video recorder wired to his optic center. They’re able to recover video of the events just before the man’s death which reveal that the man’s group was backed by Karim Mahwash Najeeb, a phony humanitarian.
Najeeb ends up at a Chinese mental institution in order to find the Mandarin, which he does. The Mandarin won’t cooperate with Najeeb, so Najeeb orders a goon to kill the Mandarin. Instead the goon kills Najeeb.
The Mandarin has long been a thorn in Iron Man’s side. He first made his appearance in Tales of Suspense #50. He’s a mystic that uses 10 power rings which he recovered from a downed alien spacecraft.
In Iron Man #17 Tony Stark is convinced by his friend Sal, that he should lead a covert mission in to China to find Karim Mahwash Najeeb. There they encounter a host of modified inmates at the mental institution where the Mandarin resides. They also recover the body of Najeeb and the book ends with an autopsy of Najeeb. A number of incisions indicate that he’s been operated on post-mortem. Suddenly his red eyes open and his guts spurt out towards the ceiling like a living entity.
Daniel and Charles Knauf are good writers and really capture the feel of war and the politics behind it. The art is nicely done and the pacing is well done also, not and overload of fighting like so many other super hero books. There is a distinct conspiracy feel to the book which I love. If you’re looking for a good Marvel title, Iron Man is it!