In my last ‘Iron Man’ review, I mentioned that heroes, like ogres, are like onions and have layers. In issue #3, we saw a compassionate layer, but in this issue, Tony Stark shows a darker side than we’re used to. In fact, it almost seemed as if he was an entirely different person all together.

This issue picks up as Iron Man tracks down the second to last Extremis enhancile kit that he needs to eliminate. As he examines who he’ll be going up against, he dusts off the Hulkbuster armor and heads to the Parisian catacombs to confront a herd of Extremis-enhanced demon blondes. Definitely not the way Tony usually encounters a group of blondes.

As I said before, Iron Man felt like a completely different hero in this issue. Rather than reading an Iron Man book, I felt more like I was reading a Punisher book. In the field, Tony was no nonsense. He just went in lasers blazing, very much in the style of Frank Castle. Though I am a fan of the Punisher’s, I’m not too fond of Tony’s attempt at being him. Stone cold killer is not a good look for Tony Stark. He should stick to Armani.

Despite the mischaracterization during his mission, there were some bits of the Tony that we all know and love. There’s a part where he’s bantering with himself about Tolkien and Lovecraft while walking through the catacombs that was pretty funny. The standout funny part of the issue was the new A.I. in his armor that’s going through “it’s awkward teens”. But aside from the small comedic moments, there weren’t too many other memorable things about the issue.

To be more blunt, issue #4 was the weakest issue of Iron Man since Marvel NOW started. The story wasn’t as solid as the others, though it did set up an interesting potential storyline in the future. This issue is dangerously close to being filler, but it had some redeemable qualities, above all that it explores a piece of Tony Stark that we rarely get to see. I’m all for exploring various aspects of character, but this issue just didn’t do anything for me.

Final Score: