By: Fred van Lente (writer), Steve Kurth (pencils), Allen Martinez (inks), John Rauch (colors) & Dave Lanphear (letters)

The Story: We finally get some Iron Man action in Iron Man Legacy as Stark has a throw down with a plethora of enemies.

What’s Good: Not a whole lot, to be honest.  It was refreshing to finally see the actual Iron Man be present in a comic titled Iron Man Legacy as we get to see a multi-way throw-down between Iron Man, Radioactive Man, Titanium Man and the Crimson Dynamo (thank goodness he isn’t named Crimson Man who that would have been a tedious sentence).  I enjoyed seeing a stranded Tony Stark get resupplied with armor by an orbital platform.

We also have the promise of better things to come with Dr. Doom getting in on the action with some Stark-tech juiced Doombots.

The art in this issue was quite improved mostly because the subject matter (armor battles) seems to play more to the strengths of Kurth’s pencils.  I’ve mentioned before that I think this more photo-realistic style in both Legacy and Invincible Iron Man work better on the armor than they do on the characters actual faces, so it is nice to see a story that is starting to play to the strengths of the artist.

What’s Not So Good: If I had to sum up this comic in a few words, it would be “Why should I care?”  And, that goes for both this series and this specific issue.  In some ways, this series has a similar problem to Batman Confidential in that these stories are from Tony Stark’s past.  I think they are somewhat in continuity, but are just filling in some of the white space for the character.  I’m okay with that sort of approach, but it is always going to be difficult to do too much with such a series because (a) Tony Stark cannot die and (b) you cannot do anything else that would interfere with current stories.  That really limits the creative opportunities and the ability to create suspense.

Plus, I really question the editorial decision to go with a story like this one where we see Stark-tech being used for evil against some unfortunate folk in central Asia (I see them as stand-ins for the Chechens).  This is an Iron Man story that we’ve seen before.

Conclusion: Unless you really, really need to see armor battles (and you might since there haven’t been any in Invincible Iron Man for years), there isn’t much reason to buy this comic.

Grade: D

– Dean Stell