Written by: Michael Dorn
Art by: Sami Basri, Vicente Cifuentes, Max Raynor
Colors by: Andrew Dalhouse, Matt Herms
Letters by: Rob Leigh
Cover art by: Clay Mann, Arif Prianto
Cover price: $3.99
Release date: July 3rd, 2023
Don’t get me wrong. Steelworks #2 isn’t the greatest comic in the world. You’re not going to come away from it with your mind blown to bits, and you’re not going to rush out to get this issue CGC slabbed on a rush order. But you will come away from this comic thinking, “That’s alright. Let’s see what happens next.” If nothing else, Michael Dorn shows that a solid foundation goes a long way.
When last we left John Henry Irons and his niece Natasha, Irons was busy readying his plans to develop a network of defenses designed to put the power back in the hands of the people of Metropolis. Despite Natasha’s skepticism, Irons’s next big hurdle is convincing the Super-Family to take a step back. Meanwhile, the nefarious business mogul, Walker, busied himself using desperate people as lab rats, turning them into living weapons for his own ends.
Now, one of the lab rats, Shawn Kerry, aka Silver Mist, put Steelworks’ defenses to the test as a villain who’s a mix of Kitty Pryde and Ghost from Marvel. Later, Irons and Natasha clean up the mess from Silver Mist’s dry run while the Super-Family arrives for “the talk.”
On practically every level, this issue is solid. You understand the stakes and character motivations (except for Walker). The action is fun to watch. The stakes are clear and potentially bigger than the hero can handle when you consider Steel’s tech is designed for physical force, which has little effect on a villain you can’t touch. And the cliffhanger has serious implications.
Some readers, however, may feel put off by this issue for reasons that have nothing to do with quality. For example, Jay Nakamura appears to be joining the team, which comes off as an out-of-the-blue headscratcher. Irons’s plan sounds good on paper, but anyone with even a passing knowledge of Metropolis will instantly suspect that a fully-automated defense network is a disaster waiting to happen. And the lack of explanation about Walker’s background and motives makes him come across as one-dimensional. Presumably, these creative decisions will get explained our fleshed out in future issues, but these are the type of hiccups that stop a good comic from being a great comic.
How’s the art? It’s very good to great. You’ll notice from the credits above that multiple artists were tapped to pull this issue off, and that’s typically a red flag for inconsistent art. However, if there are distinct artist handoffs, they’re not jarring enough to be obvious or noticeable. That’s a good sign when multiple artists collaborate well enough to make their contributions look seamless.
About The Reviewer: Gabriel Hernandez is the Publisher & EIC of ComicalOpinions.com, a comics review site dedicated to indie, small, and mid-sized publishers.
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