Comic Vine Review

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Iron Man #17 - The Secret Origin of Tony Stark: Conclusion

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What secrets does Kieron Gillen still have in store for us? Will this really be a huge change to Tony Stark's life?

The Good

"What a twist!"

Writer Kieron Gillen's latest story, 'The Secret Origin of Tony Stark' aimed to bring change to the classic character's history and this issue certainly accomplishes that (for how long, though, is a whole other story). It's tough to discuss this issue without possibly giving it away or dropping too many hints, so I apologize in advance for being super vague. But hey, it beats being spoiled, right?

Gillen already hit us with a huge retcon in this story. Years ago, 451 worked with Howard Stark to create an incredibly smart child who would one day be a super awesome dude who has what it takes to save the world and all that great stuff. If you dug this twist, I can tell you it only gets better from here and opens the door to some serious potential in the next story. If you didn't, well... all I can really say is find it in yourself to give this one a read and I have a feeling you'll leave with an improved opinion.

Gillen also does an impressive job with the script, providing a surprisingly emotional experience and the conversations just feels right. For a comic with such a bleak cover (a family shattered by lies), the final segment is unexpectedly touching, full of optimism and even creates a desire to reread this arc to see the hints which are dropped along the way.

The Bad

The artwork, at least with faces, came off as a bit inconsistent. Sometimes there's a way heavier amount of shading/details added to the characters, and other times they appear silky smooth. Overall, it's a good looking book but this did catch my attention throughout.

I can't help but wonder... what are the odds that Howard would adopt a child who grows up to look just like him and also has an incredibly gifted mind?

I sincerely hope this does actually instill the big change it promises on the cover instead of simply serving as a tool for just the next storyline. Plus, those knowledgeable on alternate future titles probably have high hopes for what comes next.

The Verdict

'The Secret Origin of Tony Stark' comes to a very satisfying end and it does so without throwing a single punch or firing one repulsor blast. Gillen unveils a major twist which not not only shocks, but also adds a far more humanizing approach to the book -- one which has great potential. I know a lot of you out there love spoilers, but this is a reveal you'll appreciate far more after reading the entire adventure. Doing otherwise just won't deliver the same impact.