Review: Iron Man: Special by Ryan and Handoko | Fanboys Anonymous

Review: Iron Man: Special by Ryan and Handoko

Posted by Sean Hamilton Thursday, July 31, 2014
Uncanny X-men, Iron Man and Nova Special No end in Sight
Iron Man Special: No End In Sight
cover by Gary Choo.
Iron Man is a Marvel heavy hitter.

So why does it feel like he wasn't in this special story? Iron Man Special #1, the continuation of the No End in Sight story left me wondering. Iron Man is (unknowingly) helping in the mysterious disappearance of Cyclops, leader of the Uncanny X-Men. While he plays an important story device here, it is the students of New Charles Xavier School for Mutants who are the stars in the story. The focus is on them as they manipulate Iron Man to help them recover their missing professor.

For Sean Ryan's story, while it is already part two of three for the No End in Sight crossover, I feel that we haven't really built a lot of momentum. The story is fine, don't get me wrong, it's the flow however and end of this part that leaves me asking myself, "what have we achieved?" I hope that the concluding chapter will amp things up a little more. Maybe a little context on the nature of the 'special' could help here.

Specials, like annuals are a niche of comic publishers all on their own. These type of comics allow up-and-coming artists and writers the chance to showcase and hone their craft. They play an important part in the career prospects of collaborators, allowing editors to try new things and can earn the publisher a little something also.

Having said that, the work that is produced can still feel like it is in that phase of the writer or artists career. This can mean that the stories don't stick together as easily as an industry veteran's or the art is jarringly different. Even the colorist and inkers may have a style that stands out for whatever reason.

Uncanny X-Men helped by Ironman to save cyclops
Fake it 'till you Make it.
Where I come from, there is an off-beat saying of, "fake it 'till you make it." In this slightly simplistic manner that is what is being done in Iron Man: Special #1. The team of Ryan and Handoko, along with the other talent and trying to pull together a tale to show their ability. It has some promise, the delivery of which could be enhanced for the finished product. Don't get me wrong, this has nice art and a passable story behind it. I'm not sure I could do better, but the finished product shows the standing of both artist and writer at this point in their journey with their craft.

The art by Handoko has been supported by no less than four inkers, which seems a lot for one comic, was timing an issue here? Nonetheless, while the characters drawn fit in well and a nice interpretation of the Uncanny X-Men school kids, it is the background details that stand out here. The simplistic look and feel, support by a colour scheme of pastels and mute tones has a flattening mood on the book.

Iron Man Special Interior Art page by Handoko
Uncanny X-Men turn space cadets.
This is in contrast to the dynamism of the cover by Gary Choo. An action pose of Iron Man blasting an unseen foe, perhaps emulating his fight scene in the alien adult entertainment establishment in this issue.

Iron Man: Special # 1 continues the story Ryan set up from Uncanny X-men Special #1 last month and brings the pieces closer to the final chapter. There are still loose ends to tie up in the Nova Special #1 conclusion of No End In Sight, but that will have to wait until September or October to see how it ends.

This was a nice distraction during my normal X-Men reading, but I wonder where this fits into the continuity of the series, if at all really. The overall product is passable, but for a special, attracting a high price from my local comic book shop, I had wanted a little more.

What do you think, does Iron Man Special #1 do it for you? How have you found the No End in Sight special story so far? Are you looking forward to Nova's part next. Tell me below.

If you would like to join the team as a contributor or are interested in sponsoring a post on this site, purchasing an ad, becoming an affiliate, or taking part in any kind of promotional opportunities, please use this contact form to send us an email and we will get in touch as soon as possible with more information.