PREVIOUSLY: Ironheart #1
Eve L. Ewing is definitely not one of those writers who tends toward “decompression” in her stories. She packs a lot of threads in this issue. At school, RiRi deals with more conflicts with Dean Bryant regarding the privacy of her research lab and inventions. In the neighborhood, she deals with some local crime, where we see that she appears to be dealing with some symptoms of PTSD regarding the gun violence that she grew up around in Chicago, which can hinder her effectiveness as a superhero. Speaking of which, an old friend of hers from high school (which she attended as a preteen, of course) has turned up missing, and RiRi returns to her old neighborhood to investigate (since the local police don’t seem to really care), where she ends up coming across a mysterious organization who are forcing young kids to steal electronics for them, for some unknown purposes. This group also has its own agents with armor that rivals RiRi’s. All this and RiRi is adapting to working with a newly developed A.I. system now installed in her armor.
Storywise this is a marked improvement over the first issue (which wasn’t bad itself). It actually took me a couple of read-throughs to make sure I caught every plot point. I am particularly interested in seeing how the PTSD thread is handled in upcoming issues, as it’s something kids from rough neighborhoods deal with in real life, and just because RiRi is a superhero there’s no reason to assume it wouldn’t affect her too. Luciano Vecchio does the full art duties, pencils and inks, this time and handles it beautifully. At this rate Ironheart could be Marvel’s new surprise hit. Take my advice and get on board now!