Invincible Iron Man #6 – Review

Invincible Iron Man 006 b

by Etienne Paul, CMRO Editor

Written by Brian Michael Bendis with Art by Mike Deodato and Frank Martin

Published February 2016

Invincible Iron Man 006 aSynopsis – The War Machines

Doctor Doom is trying to be nice, but Tony is not buying it. Meanwhile Rhodey is off to Japan chasing after Madame Masque and some techno-ninjas.

This is a really packed book, I feel like I have read two comics going through it. We have the full on action comic with War Machine and some ridiculous hardware (seriously, where do those guns disappear to? Right now I think that Rhodey must have one heck a wedgy.) On the other side we have an almost spy-thriller aspect as Tony and his new ‘friend’ are stalked by Victor von Doom.

I really liked the first arc of this book, but I am not entirely convinced about this issue. To be fair it is an ‘in-between’ issue which is closing up some of the threads of the first arc and opening up the new ones, but even still, it is rather disappointing. The artist from the first arc was utterly amazing (David Marquez) and while I like Mike Deodato, by comparison he does not cut it. to be honest there are places in this book where Tony just does not look like Tony at all, if anything, he looks like Doctor Strange. I also find it very off putting that his new ‘lady friend’ appears to have been modelled on Krysten Ritter (Jessica Jones) when in the last issue she was definitely Indian*.

For me I think that most of my issues stem from the art, or more precisely, from how different the art was to the previous issue. I can forgive the slightly bizarre looking Tony Stark, it is his comic and everyone knows who he is supposed to be, but when you are introducing new characters (face-mask-less Doctor Doom and Doctor Amara Perera) you really need them to actually look like the character did the last time you saw them, otherwise you just assume it is someone else.

Unfortunately I think this issue is spoilt by some very unsubtle photo-tracing, but Bendis is still writing a good story. Perhaps this will improve in the coming issues, or maybe I need to wait for the artist to change before I can enjoy this book again without playing ‘spot the reference.’

Story – 8/10
Art – 5/10

* I always fall foul of international naming conversions, by ‘Indian’ I mean – coming from the Indian Sub-continent, not the Native American variety.


Invincible Iron Man #518 Review

by Nick Walden, CMRO Contributing Writer

Invincible Iron Man

Issue #518

Written by Matt Fraction, Art by Salvador Larroca

Published: August 2012

The last issue was so good that I was eagerly anticipating this book. I have to admit that I really love when Rhodey gets a chance to play hero because his character is such a contrast to Tony. Oh, and he is flying in the new suit – sweet!

Aside from Rhodes, we also get more Spymaster being evil and vicious as he is busy destroying things at the Resilient offices. The use of the red-light coloring adds a great sense of dread and intensity as you just have to root for Cabe and even Wyche to somehow make it out alive.

From top to bottom this is a great book with Matt Fraction and Salvador Larroca complimenting each other on every page oh so well. Sasha Hammer fighting Detroit Steel was an amazing section. The scene with the Mandarin also really pops. With so many cool panels and stories going on, it is almost a shame to go back to Rhodes sometimes because you can’t wait to see what is going to happen to all the other characters. But this combination of so many interesting and tense events just made me want more.

Larroca does another great job on all fronts including the new suit. The combat scenes were fantastic and he did an amazing job with the facial expressions really showing frustration and other emotions very clearly when needed.

So the last few issues have been insanely good. In fact, all things Matt Fraction in the Iron Man series this year have been phenomenal (note pick them all up because as a comic fan you deserve this kind of series). This specific book drops off a little bit to get a 8 out of 10 rating which really is pretty good. Had the bar not been set so high with previous work this issue might rate a little higher.

Invincible Iron Man #514 Review

by Nick Walden, CMRO Contributing Writer

Invincible Iron Man

Issue #514

Written by Matt Fraction, Art by Salvador Larroca

Published: May 2012

This arc just keeps a nice steady pace of goodness. There is really no better way to describe it. The plot has been intricate and involved, but not overwhelming to follow. With that good plot is a serious plan that has been unfurled slowly and methodically which provides a constant tension that really drives the book. So far, I am loving it.

This revenge story with the Mandarin was very well thought out and paced just right. Tony gets screws put to him each issue. While this particular book features less action, there is still a lot going on to keep a reader interested. Mandarin is attacking Tony and Ironman in so many ways that it causes a variety of dilemma’s for our hero to overcome. Some of the ways he handles things are hilarious, such as the use of 19 big rigs filled with information. Hello needle in the haystack!

The art again is good. I really like Salvador Larroca’s style of drawing Iron Man. He has done some great action and page layouts. There are some clarity issues on background and honestly the colors could be a bit sharper, but that is just me nitpicking.

My only beef in this entire book is that Tony agreed to equip the suit with a shutdown option. It is a neat idea, much like adding a breathalyzer to start a car, but come on; this is Iron Man. Adding that ‘failsafe’ does allow for future plot twists. Overall this book is 8.5 out of 10 for me. The art needs to be a little tighter for a higher rating but otherwise this is another great read and it really seems like the arc is
getting better. This is a must check out series in my opinion.

Invincible Iron Man #512 Review

by Nick Walden, CMRO Contributing Writer

Invincible Iron Man

Issue #512

Written by Matt Fraction, Art by Salvador Larroca

Published: March 2012

Another good but not great offering from Matt Fraction is keeping me on the Iron Man teat for a few more months. Really I shouldn’t complain. Stringing together consistent good books is very hard and Fraction has done a nice job. This book is another good one, but is a little slow and may not appeal to everyone. We have Tony/Iron Man and we have the Mandarin but they end up being the background for most of the issue.

Really, that is okay. One thing about Matt Fraction that he does well is to develop multiple aspects of a story. This book gets solidly into the new ‘Lifearmor’. As this could develop into something huge down the line I feel the extra time spent here is very important. I really prefer ideas to be fleshed out early when they can be such a big deal instead of mentioned as an afterthought later.

So this story keeps getting bigger and more interesting. The plot is fairly thick and I am looking forward to how it will all tie together and end. Larroca provides solid art work again. There is nothing super spectacular to see, but the issue has less action to focus on and more character interaction panels.

The bottom line is that if you are enjoying the story on this current long arc then this is an issue that you need to read. Much like a good book it does take time to develop certain elements. However if you are all about the ‘bang bang’ action that Iron Man usually brings then this book might be a little bit of a letdown.

Invincible Iron Man #511 Review

by Nick Walden, CMRO Contributing Writer

Invincible Iron Man

Issue #511

Written by Matt Fraction, Art by Salvador Larroca

Published: February 2012

The good times keep rolling in this series, unless of course your name is Tony Stark. Matt Fraction continues his strong story line, fresh out of Fear Itself, crafting an interesting plot with Mandarin and Stane. The Mandarin character has always been evil, but this issue is making sure everyone knows that he is the scary, ruthless evil that he has always looked like he would be. Matt has really turned the screws on Tony setting him up for what looks like a spectacular fall from grace.

Is it perverse of me to enjoy a super hero getting knocked down? Maybe, but there is also a tug and hope that he will bounce back from whatever is thrown at him. Life can’t always be easy for the super rich playboys. Also Fraction keeps adding in side bits with other characters that I really enjoy. I wish more writers would take the time to focus on people outside the main character to add more depth to the story. In this book’s case I am confident enough in the writing to know that all of what we see is important and will tie in eventually.

Larroca is on the job again doing the art and he does his solid level we have come to expect. Great action sequences and battles are definitely his hallmark. Some of the flight scenes and energy battles come across really well. Added bonus; a nice cliffhanger ending! Overall this issue rates about the same as the last few. If you like Iron Man then you will enjoy this current ride Fraction has us on. Even the non-regular fan might want to take a peek because this recent arc has really been much better than average!

Invincible Iron Man #510 (Shattered Heroes) Review

by Nick Walden, CMRO Contributing Writer

Invincible Iron Man

Issue #510

Written by Matt Fraction, Art by Salvador Larroca

Published: January 2012

Oh this series is really getting good. For a while it was hard to read because I would think fondly of the charisma Robert Downey Jr. brought to the big screen adaptation. But this issue made me forget about that and focus on where Fraction was going with this wonderful storyline! Of course in typical Tony Stark super luck, Split Lip decides to work for him, which can only mean new gadgets and toys. Some days Tony has it so easy.

I really like how we finally have the story arc with Mandarin, Stane, and the rejuvenated Hammer. For once the bad guys are really going full evil by attacking Tony the person instead of going head to head with Iron Man, who always seems to hand them their behinds in a sling. The drinking binge might be a good angle depending on how it is worked in. Everyone loves a hero who needs help right? But I like the way Matt Fraction is bringing the subject around. He is not just rehashing Tony’s bottle problem in the same manner as pre-AA Stark.

The art? Very nice as usual by Salvador Larroca. He does such a great job with the details of the highly technical and energy filled scenes that always accompany Iron Man. Honestly it takes a whole different cut to draw high powered, energy blasting heroes versus those who only engage in martial arts. I am glad Fear Itself is done and gone. Even more so I am happy with this new arc and can’t wait to get my hands on the next few issues. I am hoping for at least 6 good issues for this storyline to really flesh it out.