Never make it personal. It’s not about you; it’s about painting a concise and structured picture of whatever it is that you’re reviewing. That’s the first thing that they teach you when you hit the ground running writing for local newspapers. And the first thing that you discover is that the first thing that they taught you is absolute nonsense. Reviews are subjective, they’re about the way you relate to and feel about a thing, and as such they have to be personal. Which is my long-winded way of saying that I knew I was going to love this book before I read the first page. How did I know that? I knew it because I’m a sucker for everything that the creative team responsible for bringing it to life do. And, honestly I’m a total Dan Slott mark. If I see his name on the cover of a book, I’m going to drop whatever else I’m doing and dive straight into that Slott story, regardless of whatever else is going on around me or what I’m supposed to actually be doing. It’s gotten me into trouble more than few times, but I don’t care. When Dan Slott writes, I read.
As I expected it to be, Iron Man 2020 is a densely layered story, that’s rich in plot, characterisation, sub-plots, interwoven incredible ideas and a driving narrative that’s given a full tank of nitrous boost by the smash-mouth, action heavy art of Pete Woods. It’s about feuding brothers, the totality of belief, huge world ending monsters, the delineation of good and evil and the complicated, unrelenting nature of families. When it’s not embracing of all those things and telling a pulse pounding, snappy tale of one man’s quest to conquer the world by stealth and use it as a weapon to slay his personal dragon and tilt at his vision of the apocalypse, it explores the notion of freedom and the role it plays in personal development and questions what it means to be alive, and whether or not it’s more than just a collision of random cells and the part that sentience plays in its constant evolution. It’s a lot to unpack, but it is totally worth taking your time to do it the right way and sending an afternoon pouring over every panel n page in minute and excruciating detail. Robot Revolution is Iron Man, but not as you know it. And it is absolutely glorious… Tim Cundle