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Sesana

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Arthur C. Clarke
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Brian Michael Bendis, Olivier Coipel
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Philip Reeve
Iron Man, Vol. 1: Believe - Kieron Gillen, Greg Land Mixed feelings. On one hand, I do appreciate that the storyline is self contained. It starts here, and it's over with here. You don't need much canon background, other than a passing knowledge of Extremis. I already had that, but you could probably pick up everything you needed to know from this collection. And parts of the story are very fun.

That said, I did take issue with some aspects of this book, namely the art. Land seems to have a hard time drawing convincing expressions, especially on the female characters. Consistency also seems to be an issue: the Tony Stark in issue one doesn't quite look like the Tony Stark of issue three. I also got tired of the how sexualized all of the female characters are. All of them. It's really irritating when Pepper and Tony are trying to have a serious conversation, in panels framed where we see Pepper's body, but not her face. That it doesn't happen more often is solely due to the book being mostly Tony, most of the time.

The vast majority of women that show up on the page are there as props, not as people. Gillen took Tony's playboy tendencies to their crudest extremes, while ignoring Tony's actual character. Would he really work on designs for future tech while literally surrounded by bikini-wearing women? Because there's absolutely no way that one of his competitors couldn't take advantage of that by sending in a pretty lady in very little clothing to do a little corporate espionage. And while I'm at it, Tony designing an AI to sound like Pepper (and naming it P.E.P.P.E.R.) is far, far creepier than Gillen seems to realize.

I would have enjoyed this book more if not for all of that, but it's hardly a work of genius in any event. Fun, sure, and easy for readers fresh off Iron Man 3 but with little comic content.