Debating what makes a person a person is already one of the most complicated and philosophical topics one can consider. However, Tony Stark: Iron Man #15 adds a serious wrinkle to the mix by adding Artificial Intelligence to the equation.
Dan Slott, Jim Zub, Juanan Ramirez, Francesco Manna, Edgar Delgado, and Joe Caramagna bring us one of the deepest issues of superhero comics in a long time.
Tony is knee-deep in a grueling hearing with the US Senate when he’s faced with an impossible question- given his mind was restored from a digital back-up, is he an artificial intelligence himself? As he grapples with that question, an old enemy rears its head. Can Tony face these new inner demons while fighting off none other than ULTRON?
Slott and Zub give us a story that juggles questions of identity, future-tense ethics and superheroics. It’s impressive that they’re able to successfully handle all of those threads, without any of them feeling like they get the short straw as well. We really get into Tony’s head as he struggles through these philosophical problems and even better they remain unresolved at the end of the issue, as a bigger super-threat rears its ugly mechanical head.
Ramirez and Manna’s guest work is welcome for this single issue story. They use a bit wilder and rougher line than regular artist Valero Schiti, which adds to the feeling of Tony losing his grip from the script. When they shift from talking heads to action mode, the change is seamless and allows for the frightening revelations of the fight to have the same emotional impact as Tony’s personal struggles. Delgado’s color art remains great, and acts as bridge between this guest team and the regular art team.
Things are getting grim for Tony, and I can’t wait to see what’s next.
Tony Stark: Iron Man #15 is available now from Marvel Comics.