What I didn't expect was for the second story to go toe-to-toe with the opening act. Peter David and Mike Del Mundo pair Kitty Pryde and Iron Man together, and the result is magic. Two snarky characters written by a smart aleck writer, facing a vicious threat that smartly ties in Marvel continuity from recent books and olden times? Yowza. David's story is packed with intelligence, and really illustrates the point of this series: We're getting two characters in a room that we often don't see together, and see what kind of sparks fly. This combination is a good one.
But the real winner of this comic? Mike Del Mundo, who swings for the fences and absolutely knocks it out of the park here. You might not have heard of him prior to this comic, but I have the feeling that's all going to change soon. A one-man band in terms of pencils, inks and color, Del Mundo (known best at Marvel for his cover work, including the current run of X-Men: Legacy) has those sorts of evocative colors and exaggerated character designs of someone like Frazer Irving — a tactical advantage for a publisher like Marvel, to be sure. Del Mundo's characters are tremendously expressive, and the action beats (like Kitty phasing through a ton of machinery) has lots of flourish.