If you don’t like numbered lists [the internet does have more than enough] then try to look past the digits and view this as a general collection of items, free of any form or order, as to why you should head over to your local comic book store and pick up a copy of Iron Patriot #1.
1. It’s a Jumping On Point For Movie Fans
I fully realize that many comic book readers do not like it when their medium of choice makes changes to appear more in line with what takes place on the big screen. That being said, Col. James Rhodes has been wearing the red, white, and blue power suit for a little while now and it’s led to some pretty great stories.
Let’s also not forget that Iron Man 3 made $1.2 billion worldwide. That is a lot of people who know and understand Rhodey to look like the love child of Tony Stark and Steve Rogers. If you loved the film and the characters this is a great place for you to get in on the world of comics.
2. It’s Relevant
The United States of America is a complicated place, and the flag doesn’t mean the same thing it did even ten years ago. Writer Ales Kot is not unaware of how over a decade of war and the fear of domestic terrorism has affected the nation, and has kept them in mind when penning the story:
“I look forward to exploring the effects of the modern American military complex on all of us as citizens and / or people who are affected by it. Exploring it through (and with) such an idealist — but also a military man — as James Rhodes brings insights from varied points of view.”
Americans have, for a very long time, considered themselves to be on the side of unequivocal right. Breaches of privacy and newfound knowledge of exactly how far the government will go to protects its citizens has caused this to weaken more than ever, making this a tale that hits closer to home than most.
3. Did I Mention Ales Kot?
To get into a few things that the more well-versed in the medium will relate to, Kot is the mind behind the new volume of Secret Avengers, and laid the groundwork for it alongside one of my personal favourites, Nick Spencer. While it’s been well received by both larger news outlets and sites that generally tell it like it is what’s important to take away is what they’re saying about him as a writer.
USA Today shares that Kot refers to the characters as “beings”, and has the writer stating that:
“I don’t really feel like I’m ‘developing’ the characters. Usually I just plug myself in and watch the scenes play out in my head and transcribe them. Then I evaluate whether they work or not. They usually do.”
In addition to that he’s funny, genre-hopping, and planning far ahead. He strongly believes in taking his readers for a ride, and there’s no reason for that promise not to extend to Iron Patriot.
4. If You Love Captain Marvel Have I Got News For You
Readers of the newly renumbered Captain Marvel by Kelly Sue Deconnick are well aware that Rhodey made a pretty significant appearance in its first issue. To be a little more specific, it was as a brand new love interest to the highflying Carol Danvers.
Looking past the fact that this made every shipper of the ingeniously named “Mile High Club” OTP [they’re both pilots, you see] pass out from sheer joy, there’s something even more exciting going on regarding both writers.
On her tumblr Deconnick shared that, ideally, this wouldn’t be completely relegated to her title:
“Hey, spoilers, I guess, but Ales and I had a long Skype call about Carol and Rhodey a few months ago and how to make the timelines gel and he sent me the first issue’s script. I know he’s got big plans and I’d love to see Rhodey’s book hit.”
Her post that was in direct response to another, and brings me to my next point-
5. More Readers Means More Issues
Now this is the case for pretty much all forms of media: a larger audience guarantees more of that particular work of art being created. In the case of Iron Patriot, however, it was originally solicited as an ongoing and then “quietly [bumped] down to a five issue miniseries.”
While this is disappointing for any fans who have long awaited the character finally getting a title of his own, not all hope is lost. While the first five issues have been guaranteed, there’s no reason why they can’t be the first of many more. Kot shared on twitter that:
The fate of this book is my hands, and yours, and anyone else who believes that this is the sort of story that needs to keep being told. Besides the exploration of the American military and government, the title has one other facet that particularly appeals to me.
At the time of this writing there are only two solo titles at Marvel that feature a male person of colour [Nova and Ultimate Spider-Man]. Come tomorrow, March 26th, that number doubles with the release of both Iron Patriot and All-New Ghost Rider.
I’m going to be picking up both books not only because I believe they will deliver entertaining works of fiction delivered by talented writers and equally skilled artists, but because we need more books that showcase a different perspective than that of White characters. That’s a particular point of view that’s the focus of most forms of media, comic books being only a small part of that.
Rhodey’s race is being taken into account by Kot, as well, and he realizes that its an important dimension of the man within the suit:
“The appeal lies in telling the story of James Rhodes. The fact that he is also Iron Patriot is a part of it. James Rhodes is an African-American male in a position of power in the United States of America, which is still a relative rarity.”
Iron Patriot #1 is a book that I will be buying tomorrow morning because, from everything I’ve heard, it will be a solid book. I’m also doing it to send a message to the publisher that minority characters can and will get attention. I hope that, for either reason, you will too.