Home > Marvel Comics > Iron Man: Enter the Mandarin #1

Iron Man: Enter the Mandarin #1

September 3, 2007

Quick Rating: Fair
Title: Enter the Mandarin
Rating: A

Iron Man’s first battle with the Mandarin revisited!

Writer: Joe Casey
Art: Eric Canete
Colors: Dave Stewart
Letters: Comicraft
Editor: Stephen Wacker
Cover Art: Eric Canete
Publisher: Marvel Comics

After having carved a little niche for himself re-telling early tales of the Avengers and the Fantastic Four, Joe Casey now turns to a recreation of Iron Man’s original confrontation with the Mandarin. The story begins with SHIELD contacting Iron Man to investigate the rumors of a Chinese Warlord with a series of magic rings. Iron Man accepts the assignment and winds up coming fact-to-face with the warlord, the man who will become one of his greatest enemies.

I’m of two minds about this series. On the one hand, it feels somewhat superfluous. There isn’t anyone out there clamoring for a re-telling of the Mandarin’s origin, and as the character himself isn’t really having much of an impact on the current Marvel Universe, I can’t quite fathom why this series got the green light to begin with. It feels, simply, unnecessary.

That said, it’s at least kinda fun. The modern interpretation of Iron Man has gotten so bogged down in politics and science fiction and poor characterization, it’s impossible to enjoy anymore. This, at least, is a good old-fashioned superhero romp. Much of the credit for that goes to Eric Canete’s artwork – he’s got a legitimately retro feel. His characters are much more loose and animated than a current Iron Man, and the battle has an energy that most modern comics lack. Even the cover, a Rocketeer homage if ever I’ve seen one, is very nice.

The story is a little lacking, but the art is good and the energy is there. This isn’t a book that’s going to have anyone bouncing off the walls in excitement, but I’ll definitely be looking for more work from Canete.

Rating: 7/10

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