If any of you have read the Marvel event "Axis", sorry that it was so disappointing. What could have and should have been an amazing and course changing event ended up being a snoozer of a story arc. The one good thing that did come out of this event was the emergence of a new Tony Stark. In "Axis", a spell gone wrong caused heroes to become more aggressive and evil and villains to become more heroic (for example, Carnage was acting like Spider-Man). At the end, some people went back to their old ways while some decided they are comfortable with the new them. Now, if "Axis" was so bad, why is a character that was spawned from this title worth reading? Well, following the theme of the prior week's Comic Book Wednesday when I reviewed "Injustice", we now have a hero who has become more dangerous now that he has become a villain.
When most of the characters were going back to being their old selves, Tony Stark was among the few who refused or didn't resume their former personalities. Stark enjoyed not being bound by morals and having the ability to make money and use his genius in any way he desired. How is this different from the Tony Stark we know and love? Imagine if Stark created products without any concern of how it would affect anything except himself and his bank account. That is the new Tony Stark. Introducing the "Superior Iron Man".
Stark created an app called Extremis that made people look beautiful and also made them feel and become healthier physically. But like a drug dealer, the first taste is free. After that, you have to renew your subscription for the price one hundred dollars per day (Well, $99.99, but you get the idea). Obviously, people questioned this because not everyone can afford to pay for something so expensive every day in order to get the fix they are longing for. Stark said that this is for the good of the public. Making Extremis so costly gives them (the poorer people) something to strive for. To make them work harder to achieve what they want or need in life. While some people were eating up everything Tony Stark was saying (Stark being so charismatic and all), Matt Murdock (Daredevil) found out the truth behind how Tony Stark was really getting away with everything he was doing. Of course Daredevil tried to talk Stark into stopping and let's just say Daredevil was not welcomed with open arms when he confronted Stark on Stark Island (formerly Alcatraz) in front of his party guests.
Superior Iron Man is a fun ride. Nothing more, nothing less. The story didn't seem like it was designed to be a long running series (especially since Marvel knew they were changing things in about a year). What makes this series worth reading is it's something different. Very rarely do we the comic book readers get to enjoy a characters complete personality change without it being a "What If..." or someone from an alternate reality. This is Tony Stark living in his normal universe being a narcissistic, selfish bastard and having to deal with the ramifications of his actions if and when he goes back to being his old self again. While the idea of Tony Stark being a bad guy is vastly appealing, it's not really plausible that "The Superior Iron Man" would have been around much longer. Alas, it would have been cool to see a cool, smart, and quick-witted Stark as a villain a little longer.