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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I believe in Tony Stark, 23 Sept. 2013
By 
Culleton (Winchester, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Iron Man: Believe (Paperback)
There may be spoilers ahead...

First of all, the product description for this book is incorrect. This volume collects 1-5 of Iron Man, not 1-6.

Kieron Gillen shifts his focus from Journey Into Mystery, where he wrote some terrific stories for almost 2 years, onto Iron Man, which changes its title from Invincible Iron Man, and begins a new numbering system starting at 1, as part of the Marvel NOW! revolution.

In this volume, the DNA modifying techno-virus known as Extremis, makes a return. For those not clued up yet, Extremis was developed for medical purposes by biologist Maya Hansen, a former flame of Tony Stark, but was weaponised and used for deadly gain. This must-read story appeared in Iron Man: Extremis (Iron Man (Marvel Comics) (Quality Paper)) and was also the weapon of choice for the bad guy in the Iron Man 3 movie.

Now, Extremis has resurfaced and has found its way onto the black market and into the hands of four different groups; a mercenary group known as "The Circle" who employ their own brand of piloted armoured suits, a Columbian cartel boss, a cult of dark god worshipping humans-turned-demons, and some pioneering astronaughts who are using the virus to make themselves space-proof.

But Tony Stark can't have any of that going on. He knows that if Extremis gets into the wrong hands, then it spells disaster for everyone. As he says, "...if I can walk in here and take the Extremis kit off you, so can the Red Skull, Doctor Doom or any of the other genocidal crazies. And then we're all dead. And there's no future for anyone."

So Iron Man sets about retrieving the virus from the four groups. He has a new modular armour that he's trying out - it helps him adapt to different threats, and I think this is a cool idea although not tactically very practical. It involves a flying container following him around in one of the confrontations so he can deploy "add-ons" to his suit when required. Still, he is only trying out this new version of armour. At one point the armour changes to a "Hulkbuster" version which will always get my vote.

During these missions Tony understands that Maya Hansen's legacy could have changed the future, and he realises that he doesn't really have a legacy of his own, despite Pepper's argument that his practical technological advancements and general superhero duties have changed, and saved, the lives of millions. But that's not enough for Tony - he needs to think bigger, and despite all that he's experienced, it's still not enough.

So what does he do? With a new space-faring armour, he leaves the planet and heads out into the stars, and that's where this volume ends, paving the way for his adventures in the next volumes, and his team up with the Guardians of the Galaxy.

This is a serious story that kick-starts Iron Man's journey to discover the truth about the universe. It was timely to bring back Extremis in time for the new movie so that its current again, but it really is just a jumping on point for what happens next - Tony's adventures in space. There are some unfinished plot points in this volume that I hope will show up again in future stories - there's a member of The Circle who has some unfinished business, plus one of the cultist demons can be seen on the Raft and pregnant with child. To be continued, I'm sure.

I followed and loved Kieron Gillen when he was on Journey Into Mystery writing duties, and he has me hooked again once more. The artwork by Greg Land is really great too, so I urge you to buy this, as it will appeal to long-term Iron Man fans as well as new fans wishing to see what Iron Man is all about. This volume is a great springboard into the epic universe of Iron Man. It's time to believe.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Big on ideas, light on substance, 8 July 2013
By 
Mr. Mice Guy (London, England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Iron Man: Believe (Paperback)
This is an interesting story, which runs through the first five issues of `Iron-Man', with good artwork, and plenty of excellent characterisation, but it seemed to lack something.

These issues have been collected as Iron Man: Believe, which I have just found in my local library. I haven't yet read the final volume of the previous series, but I'm guessing a new suit, or even system, of armour was involved. In this storyline we see Extremis making an appearance, thanks to A.I.M., and Tony and SHIELD have to track down the four samples that have been sold. Only one sample can really be considered to be in the hands of a genuine villain, the others are in the hands of individuals of or organisations that are using it to advance human abilities for one reason or another. However, they have to be shut down, one issue at a time. Tony and his travelling Armoury do a bit of travelling, choosing the suit to fit the crime, so it isn't just big giant robot fights. Eventually though, having encountered all the people trying to use Extremis to go boldly into the future, Tony realises that, even without Extremis, he could do better than he has been, and so heads off into the unknown himself...

THE SPOILER ZONE
THE SPOILER ZONE
THE SPOILER ZONE

Issue #1 finds Extremis reappearing in the hands of A.I.M.. With the help of SHIELD, Tony tracks down an auction, and, after Iron Man has a word with the security, gets the auctioneer to disclose that four samples have been sold.

Issue #2 sees the first of the customers, neighbours of Doctor Doom, who need to make sure they stay ahead of the curve. They have their own `Arthurian'-themed armoured suits, but need Extremis to give them an edge. Their leader challenges Tony to a tournament withy his `atomic' knights, some of whom we have met in the past.

Issue #3 sees a proper supervillain fight with the Living Laser, Firebrand and Vibro, as Tony tries to infiltrate a Colombian crime lord's base to retrieve the next Extremis sample. However, all is not as it seems, and Tony finds himself helping the Extremis subject. It is also another step on the road to the finale of this storyline...

Issue #4 sees us in the Catacombs of Paris, where Extremis has been used to create a group of human hosts for extradimensional demons, or at least, they have been programmed to think that they are hosts for extradimensional demons, and therefore, thanks to Extremis, they act like they are. Fortunately, they have also been programmed to obey the rules, and so Tony is able to use the rules against them. He also takes another step towards the finale.

Issue #5 takes us to a space station, where Eli Stane (? - the chap from the 1st film) and his crew have used Extremis to make them `space' proof, ready to go boldly - "Well, cute robot tanks aren't going to be the only thing on Mars anymore".
After a full and forthright discussion involving their respective weapon systems, Tony leaves them to get on with it, but destroying the remaining Extremis sample - "We have to climb the mountains by ourselves. We don't do it because it's easy. We do it because it's hard". At least he doesn't maroon the on Ceti Alpha III. Or IV.

But it has all taken its toll, and Tony realises that, even without Extremis, he could do better than he has been, and so heads off into the unknown himself... (to join the Guardians of the Galaxy???)
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great story!, 4 July 2013
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This review is from: Iron Man: Believe (Paperback)
The new look of Tony Stark is a little weird but as always the story is awesome and I loved it.
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Iron Man: Believe
Iron Man: Believe by Kieron Gillen (Paperback - 8 April 2013)
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