Travelling Man's Blog


Review: Invincible Iron Man Issue 1 by Travelling Man

invincible iron man issue 1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Written by Brian Michael Bendis

Art by David Marquez

Colour by Justin Ponsor

Letters and Production by VC’s Clayton Cowles

Published by Marvel

£2.85

 

Tony Stark can build anything. Tony Stark can fix anything. Tony Stark can own anything. Tony Stark’s a superhero, an avenger, a Genius, Billionaire, Playboy, Philanthropist.

He’s also kind of an asshole.

And he’s juuuuust realized that.

One of the first books out of the post Secret Wars gate, Invincible Iron Man’s best joke is baked into its title and premise. Iron Man is invincible, especially with the all new, massively mission adaptable all-in-one armour Tony’s built. Tony on the other hand is something of a hot mess. But he’s trying, and for the first time in a while he’s trying in the good way.

Bendis and Stark are one of those perfect matches. Bendis has adapted his talky style over the years but he’s still wordy. Putting him on a character who loves the sound of his own voice is a masterstroke and his Tony is instantly rather sweet. This is Stark reimagined as the start of that Mitchell and Webb sketch with the Nazis; ‘are we…the baddies?’ turned into ‘Am i…a jerk?’. You honestly feel quite sorry for him, which makes the moments of vintage Stark playboy-ery all the more jarring and neatly spotlights the most interesting aspects of his character. Tony’s both self centred and has almost no sense of self, always talking but rarely listening to himself. Now, at last, he’s finally getting to the point where he’s not only listening, but not liking what he’s been saying. It’s a subtle, internalized hero’s journey and a good solid foundation to build a book like this on.

Bendis’ script is great but it’s Marquez, Ponsor and Cowles who put the book over the top. Marquez’s clean, angular style makes the new suit and Friday, Tony’s wonderfully sarcastic new AI, really stand out but is stronger on subtle character beats. There’s some wonderful awkwardness to the ‘date’ scene as well as the best Thor joke ever. Plus the final page hits with exactly the pulpy glee it needs to, with Cowles in particular seeming to have a lot of fun. Ponsor impresses throughout, especially in that closing scene, balancing holographic characters, armoured characters, mayhem and comedy with equal ease and giving the book a consistent, subtle colour palate.

This is fun and I can’t think of many recommendations higher than that. It’s a logical starting point for Tony and a book that does new things with him, both as a character and as a comic, very well. The double page grids of panels take a little getting used to, but as long as you start top left and keep going until you run of comic before dropping down a level you’ll be fine. Witty, surprisingly sweet and still full of armoured face punching. Welcome back, Tony.


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