Review by Frank Plowright
Don’t get too carried away by Wolverine’s name and picture on the cover, as he, or a version of him, only stars in the opening two chapters of the six collected here. All tie in with events rolling out in Iron Man 2020: Robot Revolution, where the title nails the premise.
iWolverine was constructed during Larry Hama’s run on Wolverine during the 1990s, and it’s Hama who’s back to catch up with his creation. In the original stories there was an appealingly strange dynamic between the robotic Wolverine and an intelligent robot bomb constructed as a young girl, and that’s efficiently revisited as mayhem hits Madripoor. Hama escalates the conflict well, underlining that everyone would have been better off if they’d just given iWolverine what he wanted in the first place, and he completely sells the ludicrous with a straight face. Roland Boschi’s tight cartooning supplies the action cinema gloss.
Technical genius Riri Williams is up next. She reverse-engineered some Iron Man armour to create her own suit and fight crime as Ironheart, but has been affected by a law prohibiting superheroes under the age of 21. Dana Schwartz turns that into a story strength, by having Riri needing to solve problems without her armour. She also uses the background of what’s going on with Tony Stark’s company to explore some moral issues in what’s a satisfying, strongly character-generated plot with several surprises and Riri’s friend Natalie given a leading role. The icing is the clean art of Jacen Burrows, detailed and clear.
It’s been a while since Pepper Potts wore an Iron Man suit, but the writing team of Vita Ayala and Danny Lore, restore that idea as Pepper heads of in search of some DNA that might revive Tony Stark. It’s the patchiest story of the three here, taking on some interesting ideas, and with some appealing character touches when it comes to Pepper’s past, but not holding together as strongly. David Messina’s art doesn’t always help. It’s fine on the whole but a couple of crucial design elements aren’t as strong as they could be, not resulting in convincing threats.
This isn’t essential when it comes to the core Robot Revolution story, but is a generally fun read, and that’s what we want from our superhero comics. Force Works supplies three more two-chapter stories connecting with Iron Man 2020: Robot Revolution.