WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for Infinity Wars: Iron Hammer#1, by Al Ewing and Ramon Rosanas, in stores now.
The newest entry in the Infinity Wars crossover introduces an entire new side of this bizarre Marvel Universe, while still reflecting the powerful magical influence on this world. Infinity Warps: Iron Hammer #1 takes many cues from Iron Man for the overarching story, but it’s interesting to see how elements of Thor seep into this tale.
Bring The Thunder
The issue, written by Al Ewing with art by Ramon Rosanas, is titled “Journey Into Suspense,” a sly reference to the comics Iron Man and Thor first appeared in. Tales of Suspense was the original comic where Tony Stark made his early appearances, and Journey into Mystery was home to the first Thor stories.
This issue opens with Sigurd Stark, who is more than just a blonde Tony. He has a braided variant of the classic Stark goatee, and is a wealthy "technologist," suggesting similar magic-infused machinery is a regularity in this world. But he’s lost in personal turmoil, less mired by the mainline Tony's self-destructive tendencies.
It turns out this version of Stark was found walking out of a blizzard five years ago with complete amnesia. It’s a new take on the Donald Blake transformation, a different way of making the character unaware of his godhood after he’s been sent to Earth. As a result, it gives this version of Stark an internal yearning and natural nobility that he doesn’t usually possess.
As the story progresses, it goes through many magical variants of the Iron Man’s origin, especially once he's attacked by Dark Elves and their leader, the Krimson Kurse. The combination of the Dark Elf lieutenant Kurse and frequent Iron Man baddie Crimson Dynamo, the figure drags the wounded Stark to a workshop in order to force him into producing weapons for the Elves. Of note, the man in the Krimson Kurse armor is later revealed to have the surname Vanko, tying him to classic Iron Man villain Whiplash as well.
The story substitutes Eitri the Dwarf for Yensid, the weaponsmith working with Stark to design an armor he can use to fight back against their captors. The armor also keeps Stark alive following an otherwise fatal injury from his capture, another take from Iron Man's 616-origin. In a nice nod to Donald Blake’s original limp, a poisoned arrow struck Sigurd in the leg, and the venom is spreading throughout his body.
Eitri even ends up sacrificing himself in much the same way Yensid did in the original story, keeping the enemy busy long enough for Stark to fully activate the suit and save the day.
In the same way Soldier Supreme was very much a Captain America story with a Doctor Strange coat of paint, Iron Hammer feels like a magical take on Iron Man. Thunder God Sigurd Stark is a more inherently regal and heroic character than his 616 counterpart, but he's still very clearly a Stark first and foremost.
Also Heimdell is now the in-suit AI named H.E.I.M.D.E.L.L., which is great.