Pick of the Week

July 5, 2007 – Fallen Son: Iron Man

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Size: pages

Story by Jeph Loeb
Art by John Cassaday
Colors by Laura Martin
Letters by Richard Starkings & Comicraft
Cover Art by Michael Turner

Published by Marvel Comics | $2.99

Sometimes the Pick of the Week makes itself. You can’t help it, you desperately want to choose something new, something that hasn’t been recognized before or in a long while, but sometimes the Pick of the Week won’t let you. It stands right up and gets in your face and shouts “hey!”

This was an odd week of comics. A really good week, but an odd one. How often do you have two books from both Marvel and DC which feature funerals for major characters? Not often, I reckon. Both tugged at the heart strings, but in the end Fallen Son: Iron Man bested Countdown #43 and reigned supreme as the most powerful of the two superhero funerals.

This is the issue that is months in the making (and if you missed that fact there is the page one disclaimer that this issue takes place before Captain America #26, which came out two months ago). We are present at the official state funeral for Captain America at Arlington National Cemetery. It’s a star-studded audience that witnesses Tony Stark falter in his eulogy and Sam Wilson deliver his much hyped tribute to Steve Rogers. I have to admit, I was worried going into this one — after all the accolades lavished upon Sam in Captain America #26 it was going to be hard to live up to the praise. But you know what? It was a pretty damned good speech. It was heartfelt, it was powerful, it made me miss Cap all over again just after I had started to get used to the idea of him being gone. And the ending? Well the ending was just about perfect. The private funeral, away from the eyes of the general public, featured a satisfying bit of symmetry that just felt right.

One big reason that made Fallen Son: Iron Man the Pick of the Week was the absolutely beautiful art by John Cassaday. I’m ready to go ahead and declare him my favorite artist working today (on a semi-regular basis). There are pages in this book that are absolutely stunning to behold. From the one page pin-ups taking us through Cap’s career to the amazing double page spread of the entire funeral, every page had a little bit of magic in it. And how happy was I that Cassaday got to try his hand at pretty much every major character in the Marvel Universe that doesn’t star in an X-Book? It was artistic bliss.

Let’s not neglect the masterful coloring of Laura Martin. She gave every funeral panel a washed out, muted sheen that is perfectly suited to the mood of this book while the flashback pages exploded with vibrant hues.

And so ends the polarizing and conceptual Fallen Son miniseries. Personally, I really enjoyed it and thought that it hit more often than it missed. I feel like it would have been a lot better received on the whole had it come out on time and had it not stretched five issues out over many months. Either way, now we can move on with the story and really delve into a Marvel Universe without Steve Rogers.

Conor Kilpatrick
The numbers got me

Did you read Fallen Son: Iron Man? Add a comment and tell everyone what you think about this week’s comics!


  1. Great pick Conor! I haven’t finished my books yet, but this is one of the few books that actually succeeded in bringing me to tears. Cap #25 shocked me, but didn’t hit me in the way this one did. Like you said, it really makes you miss Steve Rogers.

  2. Good deal. Glad the series ended well and glad to know that Sam’s speech didn’t disappoint. Still, I’ve decided to leave it a mystery.

    I was kinda disappointed by this week’s books, though Black Canary was a nice surprise. I loved the interior art, and the opening scene with Dinah and Ollie was a lot of fun. A good, light read.

    Y was also good.

    No idea what I think about Runaways yet. A lot of content crammed into one book. I need to sleep on it.

  3. Cass’ art was amazing… how come Classic Avengers can’t have regular backups by this guy?

    Loeb’s script was just alright, though. I have to agree with Conor about the timing issue re Cap #26.

  4. Conor, you so hit it on the nail. It was an odd week.. I liked Fallen Son, Faker, American Virgin and Countdown.

  5. AHHHH. Doubly kicking myself for forgetting to pick this one up now.

  6. this book was great. But i felt like it went too fast due to the flash back pages. But still my pick of the week.

  7. Though it looked really pretty in the store, I passed up Fallen Son:IM. Partly due to being a poor bastard at the moment and partly because the other Fallen Son books were somewhat of a letdown. I’ll pick it up next week though.

    All-Star Superman made me smile ear-to-ear while reading it, so POW right there. Countdown was good but the art was just abysmal. Bart deserved better.

    Thor was…ahem, not terrible. But I’ll speak no more of it!

    Black Canary was a fun read too.

  8. Speaking of Thor, where is the mighty Marvel hype machine on this one?. This is a big deal, isn’t it? Thor’s been dead for, what, 4 years? I’ve hardly heard any rumblings of this at all.

    Oh, I thought All Star Superman was my POW. This book is great.

  9. Great pick conner!

    hey did anyone who read antman #10 notice how much advertising for old spice they had in the art?

    is this one of the things we heard about awhile back where companys pay marvel to incorperate their products in the art because if it is this is killing me, it totally took me out of the story!

    i mean come on, old spice body wash in the hulks stomach?! what the eff?! there was something with old spice on it at least once every other page!

    did anyone else notice this?

  10. Speaking of Thor, where is the mighty Marvel hype machine on this one?. This is a big deal, isn’t it? Thor’s been dead for, what, 4 years? I’ve hardly heard any rumblings of this at all.

    They blew their wad on Clor.

  11. Nice pick. It was among my choices. In the end, I went with American Virgin #16. It and the rest here: http://revision3.com/forum/showthread.php?t=7528

    They blew their wad on Clor.

    I’m not touching that

  12. I didn’t like Fallen Son: Iron Man so much. It was Fallen Son: IRON MAN, not Falcon. Nothing against Falcon. I love Falcon, but Tony is the title character and there are only has two scenes where he leads the action. This issue was “Acceptance,” right? Whether Tony has accepted the death of Cap isn’t resolved. Wasp asks him if it has to be accepted and Tony doesn’t answer. We know from the previous books he is looking for a Cap replacement. So what is the deal?

    I loved the private funeral, the art, and the coloring, but the rest was off center to me.

    I haven’t finished my stack yet, but I liked both Checkmate and Detective Comics a lot more than I liked Fallen Son.

  13. Checkmate didn’t come out this week.

  14. Great pick, I would have cried while reading this book, if not for the fear of ruining the pages with my salty-wet tears.

  15. Er, sorry, I meant Outsiders.

  16. Oh crap. That means I missed the Outsiders. Damn these crossovers and my not remember to buy that book!

  17. I haven’t read the Thor comic yet, but it doesn’t feel like that character has a place in the scheme of things with how the Marvel Universe is set up. In my head he just doesn’t fit anywhere other than the Avengers. The Mighty crew doesn’t need him. He doesn’t fit in with the tone of the New guys. Whatelse is there for Thor to do in the Marvel Universe? Frost Giants and Trolls? Maybe. Why didn’t I have these thoughts before I bought the first issue?

  18. Great pick.

    I hope they leave Steve Rogers dead for a long time. It was a nice bookend for his life going back into the northern Atlantic Ocean to be laid to rest again.

    How fortunate for us that Lee / Kirby had the brilliant idea on how to bring him into the Marvel Universe.

    He is more important to the Marvel Universe at this point dead than alive.

    I could be totally wrong, but they handled his death in such a dignified and moving way – hats off to a company doing something right.

    -brian h

  19. No love for Action Comics? Look past the chronic lateness and see a dazzlingly illustrated 3D book by Johns, Donner, and Kubert. This’d be my POTW.

  20. I was tempted by that 3-D cover (I just saw my first 3-D movie a couple weeks ago and still have the glasses), but I assumed I would be lost since I have not been reading Action Comics.

  21. I picked up my comics today (forgot my wallet yesterday) and while it was a massive week, this issue was fantastic. I don’t know if it’s because the 4th was just two days ago or what, but it was one of those moments that made me think “This is why I read comics.” It reminded me a lot of the speech Capt made back in ASM. Just powerful and heartfelt.

    That said, Runaways was awesome. As aways.

    And Thor was really… meh. I feel like this week finally ended civil war.

    Did anyone else get New Avengers/Transformers? I’m pretty sure there is nothing more American than Capt and Prime together.

  22. To answer some asked questions:

    1. Tony is no longer looking for a Cap replacement. That was a one-time thing.
    2. Tony has accepted Steve is dead. That was the point of the issue.

    Personally, I was under the impression that (except for Cassie) the Young Avengers hadn’t registered, so I’m surprised they felt comfortable attending the funeral, but the New Avengers didn’t.

    Overall, definitely the right choice for Pick of the Week.

  23. I never thought I’d say this but I’d be willing to pay real money for some of those pinups as desktop wallpaper.

  24. Action Comics 851. Finally, a DC comic worth the wait of Donner’s delay. Et tu Conor? Marvel got the love last week.

  25. It’s actually Adam Kuberts fault Action is so late, Johns and Donner have already moved on to the Bizarro world story.

  26. I actually liked Action Comics 851 better the first time it came out, when it was called Superman II.

  27. The only problem I had with this book is that it could have easily been called “Fallen Son: The Falcon”. Iron Man was barely in it. Other then the misleading title, it was good. I love Cap., but let’s hope they will move on, stop mourning, and resurect the guy already!

    Black Canary #1 was awesome, by the way!

  28. I actually liked Action Comics 851 better the first time it came out, when it was called Superman II.

    Are you serious? The stories are totally different. The only similarity between the two stories are the fact that the evil kryptonians are involved and they manage to take over earth for a period of time. If any writer other than Richard Donner did this(or if geoff johns did it by himself for example)no one would have thought of Superman II. No whittiness points for you.

    I promise to take back what I said though if they defeat them by taking away their powers using that red chamber thing.

  29. “Whitiness”?

  30. fallen son ,iron man was one of the first comics that ever made me cry.hats off to marvel for a realy emotional comic.

  31. lol…yes whittiness.

  32. Just looked it up. It’s wittiness, lol

  33. Nice pick. I enjoyed this issue of Fallen Son.

    About the Young Avengers. Doesn’t one of the New Avengers say something like, “I know Tony said he wouldn’t be arrested us and we could attend the funeral, but I don’t trust him.”
    If I’m right then the Young Avengers just took the risk and went to the funeral and they were arrested. While the New Avengers thought they were big enough targets that Tony would break his word If they came.

  34. “I actually liked Action Comics 851 better the first time it came out, when it was called Superman II.”

    Really? Must be the Donner cut.

    On the podcast, there were complaints about how late this was, and I don’t disagree. It sucks how long this story has taken. However, I’m not CERTAIN we can blame Donner. It’s easy to blame the Hollywood guy, but on Wordballoon, Johns intimated it had more to do with Adam Kubert. And Donner is still doing the Bizarro arc with Eric Powell. If that comes out on time, don’t we have to apologize to the guy?

    I feel like we always blame the Hollywood writers when that may not always be right. I’ve heard Joss Whedon say twice that he’s only turned in two Astonishing scripts past deadline. Not a great record, but I know I’ve waited for more than two late issues. Maybe the issue is Cassaday. I mean, how late was Fallen Son this week? And they took him off already late Astonishing to do that? Whedon doesn’t seem late with the Buffy (although there was a planned two month break between the first and second story arcs).

    B’ah – who cares. I thought comics were terrible this week. If I had a pick of the week that people cared about, it would have been freaking hard to come up with one. I probably would have been forced to pick between Runaways and Uncanny. Runaways was merely okay – middle issue of an arc, mostly set up, mediocre art – until the twist at the end. Uncanny was good, but again, more artful set-up than satisfactory close. I’m pissed about the cost, though. I just read an interview on CBR where the editors talk about the back-ups coming at no additional cost. Oh really, did I pay the extra buck for Hepzibah?

    I’m starting to come around on the X-renaissance, though (arghh, who am I?). I like where the non-space Uncanny arc is going, and I came back to the Carey run last arc and I’m loving it. I hated the first arc and dropped it, but for some reason it seems to have come together for me.

    I hope this weeks comics are better, or I’ll have to return to some trades. I read the first three trades of Rex Mundi last week, and they are awesome. Check them out, but be wary of crappy Dark Horse binding quality.

  35. I missed the show, and I feel terrible about that. But I feel I should share, so here they are, in reverse order of how I read them, my thoughts on the week.

    Y The Last Man # 57 – I really dug this issue, and it would probably have been my POW, which is good, since I’d have blown most of the story for my podcast partners, or given a terrible review with too many pronouns. I love how quickly their relationship devolved into bickering, because that’s exactly what would happen in real life. Good ending too.

    Runaways #27 – Loved this one. It’s a time travel story in an alternate past with a Punisher like dude. This could be so much fun, and Whedon is the guy to do it.

    Outsiders #49 – This is the closest Nightwing has ever come to being GOB. I loved every part of this crossover. The stuff with Batman and Dick and Sasha was great, and it was a good setup for the next phase of this book, which I think I will actually buy, much to my own chagrin. So I guess it worked on me.

    Jonah Hex #21 – Still a favorite. Great art by Bernet again. I didn’t love this issue as much as others before it, but it’s still a fun 22 pages.

    Faker #1 – No idea what’s going on, but I’m very intrigued. I really love Jock’s work, and it just felt so different from everything else I read, so sign me up for farther issues. This was kinda dirty, and kinda sexy, and kinda scary, and I really don’t even know what it’s about. Good start.

    Countdown #43 – It was OK. Some good, some bad. I’m not really invested too much in this series yet, but I’m still giving it time to dig in. I do want to know what happens in the main storylines, so I’m somewhat interested, but not invested.

    The Exterminators #19 – This is one of my new favorite series. I started reading the trades, and quickly decided to catch up on the monthly issues. This book is funny, scary, and creepy. My skin crawls when I read it. This month, Darick Robertson drew it, and he’s born for this book. I’m going to talk about this series more in depth at some point, but it’s been gold all the way through so far. I’m so glad I started reading this.

    True Story Swear to God #7 – I love that this book is so honest. He gets the proctological exam in this one, and I’ve got to applaud him for coming out and talking about it in this format, even though it was mostly joking. This isn’t the best book out there, but there’s nothing else like it, and Beland, as always, deserves credit for giving us a look into his life.

    Detective Comics #834 – It was a satisfying enough finish to the story. I kind of wish the Joker had done some more killing, rather than the way they ended it, just to give it some gravity, but I guess in the end, the heroes have to win. I really enjoyed the Batman/Zatanna interplay, and I hope to see more of that sometime. Is it just me, or does anyone else really want to see Batman just get lucky once in a while, and relax? Creepy?

    Irredeemable Ant-Man #10 – I didn’t like this one so much, EXCEPT it was the first time where Eric showed he had a bit of a soul, and I think we needed that as readers to relate to him, at least a little. Other than that, this was kind of a throwaway. Great art again though.

    Astounding Wolf Man #2 – It was OK. Good twist at the end. This feels a lot like a mini series, but I give Kirkman credit in letting him take time to get the turbines up to speed. If not for the last page, I might not be as interested, but I’m still on board. I’m not in love with the art, but it gets the job done, and I guess it could grow on me. Let’s see where it goes.

    Sorry for the delay. See you in a couple days with this week’s POW.

  36. Josh said: “Is it just me, or does anyone else really want to see Batman just get lucky once in a while, and relax? Creepy?”

    Sooooo, you want him to become the Tony Stark of DC? Just think, after he knocks his way through the JLA and the JSA, he could turn the Outsiders into his own personal harem. (Kidding!)

    I liked Ant-Man this week. It’s turning from a title I pick up reluctantly and somewhat sheepishly, to a title I actually look forward to. My only problem is that I feel like Eric O’Grady is constantly doing bad stuff just so he can maintain the “Irredeemable” part of his name. Like occasionally the stuff he does seems just as out-of-character as if he would start doing good things all of a sudden. Partly it’s because what he does isn’t motivated by evil intentions (as far as we can tell), but from just being selfish all the time. We still don’t really know who Eric is or what he’s made of. I’m hoping that a lot of that is going to be coming forward in the next issue or two.

    Ms. Marvel is another title that has evolved from “I don’t really know why I’m buying it, but I am.” to a “This book is surprisingly good, substantive even.” I really like how Carol is struggling to reinvent herself, to become the type of person she envisions herself being, and taking a broader role as leader of a S.H.E.I.L.D. squad. In some ways this is a mirror of what’s going on in The Mighty Avengers, but there’s a more personal connection in this title. And Reed, the writer, has managed to make A.I.M. interesting. Lopestri’s art is really nice too, and if they would just let him do some of the covers then maybe it wouldn’t look like this was just a cheesecake book.

    And is no one going to mention Loners #4? No? Ok, I will. It was… alright. I do have one question though. Why are Mickey and Chris at the James Dean statue at teh planetarium? Did the Runaways give them tips on hackneyed places to meet? Is this the only L.A. landmark that anyone at Marvel is aware of? Oh, well. The Marvel Studios bit was good.

    I missed Runaways this week b/c my store was shorted. 🙁

  37. Ron, I stand Corrected, it wasn

  38. Sugar man is the main villain of Generation Next on the Age of Apocalypse. On that story he was quite terryfing… He was the head of the child slavery camps where Illyana Rasputing was held prisoner. I think the name came of a nursery rhyme or something of the style to make him more scary by contrast.

  39. Not to nitpick your nitpick Conor, but Pied Piper was there at the end when the Rogues kill Bart. After the Flash is simultaneously zapped by Heat Wave, Captain Cold, and Weather Wizard, then the Trickster, Mirror Master, Inertia, and Piper are all beating on him.

    I don’t know why Piper doesn’t think he’s responsible. Maybe he was only pretending to hit him. Regardless, he’s scum for letting it happen and I hope Cassie tears him a new flute hole.

    A few weeks ago I was bitching about DC killing off Bart. Well, now that I’ve read the whole arc I’m a little more at peace with it. But something is still bothering me. I was hoping that maybe the Legion had taken Bart to the future. It would make sense and would be kind of fitting for Bart to end up back in the future (albeit, WAY in the future). But the linchpin is that Bart’s body is right there at the end of #13. Isn’t the rule that if we see the dead body then they can’t come back?

  40. Yeah, if you don’t think Sugarman is scary you should check out the song by that name by Rodriguez, or an equally creepy but different “Sugarman” by Sam Baker. It will give you chills.

  41. I finally got to read Fallen Son: Iron Man. Beautiful book. I loved the writing, and I loved the art. Simple, and very intimate.

  42. hey guys–
    you hear this interview with Loeb on NPR? he talks a bit about Cap and his own son’s funeral, etc. very short…


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