While long time fans of Tony Stark might not be too pleased with Marvel NOW!'s title, it's abundantly clear the comic is aiming to please new or casual readers. While "Believe" is indeed a 5 issue story arc, each issue was pretty much a self-contained experience that only inched towards an overall conclusion. If you've been enjoying this strategy by writer Kieron Gillen, then odds are you'll be happy with the conclusion. If not, then your set feelings on the title will likely continue to hold true with this entry and there's no reason to continue reading this review, is there?
Gillen's focus on giving our hero an overdose of charm takes a back seat as the writer attempts to place Tony on a path of self-realization. His actions over the destroying the final Extremis kit leave him a little torn by his decision and he has an epiphany: he needs to think bigger. So, if you were wondering why we see him eventually appear in GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY, then you can rest easy knowing the reason is deeper than "he needs a vacation." Well, it looks like Bruce Banner isn't the only Marvel NOW! hero that realizes he wants to do more with his life.
The issue moves at an able pace, never fully drawing you into the fictional world but never leaving you bored either. Unlike Gillen's prior issue, there aren't any decent chuckles to be found here, but that's to be expected seeing as this issue puts a special focus on Tony's moment of clarity. Seeing him suit up in a new armor is always good fun and, I won't lie, his new A.I. was a cute touch and very fitting for his the journey that lies ahead.
Once again, Greg Land's art shines when Tony's in his armor. The polished look works exceptionally well for the variety of suits and there's a fantastic panel of Tony hovering over the planet. It really helps drive home the overall message of this latest issue.
While Greg Land's polished art looks great with armor, it doesn't work well with people not sporting advanced costumes. Even while working in a remote space station, the women look like they're prepared for a photo shoot. How can everyone be so attractive and always so glammed up?
Some of Tony's facial expressions work well, but other times he just looks downright creepy or awkward. And I sincerely hope this series doesn't have any more children in it because young Eli is frightening. He looks like a brunette version of Chucky with a broken nose.
I feel like I'm a broken record with my reviews for this story arc. It comes down to the simple fact that if you've liked the series so far or want to see how and why Tony heads to space, then this issue is worth reading. If you haven't been a fan, then odds are you'll be letdown once again and there's no real reason to justify picking this one up.
Me? I'm somewhere in the middle. While this story will by no means be considered a classic or a must read, it was still a short and fairly amusing ride. Hopefully Iron Man soaring in the cosmos will set a bigger stage for the character and deliver us something fresh. Shoot for the stars, Stark.