Iron Man: Armor Wars

iron man armor wars cover trade paperback tpb
7.0 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Art: 7/10

Big Iron Man storyline

Still have problems caring about Iron Man and Tony Stark

Comic Info

Comic Name: Iron Man (Volume 1)

Publisher: Marvel Comics

Writer: David Michelinie/Bob Layton/Barry Windsor-Smith

Artist: Mark D. Bright/Barry Windsor-Smith

# of Issues: 8

Release Date: 2007

iron man #225 cover armor wars

Iron Man (1) #225

Reprints Iron Man (1) #225-232 (December 1987-July 1988).  Tony Stark has just discovered that his inventions have led to the creation of horror that have hurt people all over the world.  His technology has been hacked and used to build armor like the Beetle, Titanium Man, and other villains.  Unfortunately, Tony’s technology has also been used to build technology used by S.H.I.E.L.D. and the Vault to protect people.  Tony realizes that he cannot pick and choose who uses his armor and that to stop the pain it is inflicting, Iron Man must go to war!

Written by David Michelinie, Bob Layton, and Barry Windsor-Smith, Iron Man:  Armor Wars is a Marvel Comics superhero collection.  The “Stark Wars” series follows the Iron Man:  Armor Wars Prologue collection, and features art by Mark D. Bright and Barry Windsor-Smith.  The story has been reprinted multiple times and was also included in the Iron Man Epic Collection Volume 13:  Stark Wars.

I have never been that big of fan of Iron Man.  Tech-based heroes seem like the laziest heroes, and try as they might, Tony Stark’s attitude always kind of bothered me.  Iron Man:  Armor Wars is a big storyline and once again tries to redeem Tony Stark.

The story is about the sins of Tony’s actions.  Tony has created (and sold) tech all over the world.  The Iron Man armor is “special”, but the tech in it has made heroes and villains.  Tony realizes this and tries to clean up his mess.  This is part of the problem I have with Iron Man.  He’s smart and the man wearing the armor suit does make the hero, but anyone can wear a suit.  Like with the War-Monger armor, a bigger, badder suit of armor is used against Tony…but Tony outsmarts the wearer (like always).  It doesn’t feel very compelling to me.

iron man #232 cover barry windsor smith bws

Iron Man (1) #232

Despite my lack of interest in Iron Man, it is nice to go back and read this period of his comic.  I started reading comics regularly around this time and the characters and storylines in Iron Man intertwine with comics I was reading like West Coast Avengers and Captain America.  The style and writing of comics from this period is vastly different from comics of today, and it is a nice and refreshing return to some simplicity and expanded characterization that I feel that is missing.

The interesting “stand-alone” issue by Barry Windsor-Smith is more representative of today’s comics.  While it tries to get into the psychology of being Iron Man, it is built more on the visuals and is light in text.  I wish BWS had done the whole collection because I like his art, but the story kind of reflects my problems with many modern comics…it is a core concept as a base, but a lack of substance to build on the base and which does not give a character that the reader cares about.

If you are a fan of Iron Man, Iron Man:  Armor Wars is one of the must read titles of Iron Man’s run, but if you are a fair-weather Iron Man fan like myself, it feels like typical Iron Man.  Tony even realizes that his efforts are in vain in the collection and that Pandora’s box has been opened…the tech he’s invented has hurt and cannot be undone.  Iron Man will live on (which is an interesting idea in modern society where many continue to wish for less tech and its invasive nature).  Iron Man:  Armor Wars was followed by Iron Man Epic Collection 14: The Return of the Ghost.

Related Links:

Iron Man:  Armor Wars Prologue

Iron Man:  Armor Wars II

Warzones!:  Armor Wars

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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