Invincible Iron Man #21
Written by Matt Fraction
Illustrated by Salvador Larroca
It's no big secret that I hate, hate, hate needless decompression. I've rethought my stance on the practice after falling in love with Vagabond which is a book that may go multiple volumes for a fight. There is an attention to detail there that makes the practice work.
Being that what it is, I have softened my stance on making stories longer. I am not as quick to cry foul when I see it and Fraction is not doing too bad of a job here. The issue is accessible on its own, which is one of my major problems with say, JMS's Thor run, it is so strung out that an issue is such a small piece that you can't figure it out with out reading the rest of the book. When the story is strong enough to warrant it, you can find enjoyment in that level of detail. "World's Most Wanted" was not such a story. It dragged on way too long and two issues into Dissasembled, we have not seen much happen. That being the case, it is not boring.
Sure there is an awful lot of talking, but this is a pure second act kind of like The Empire Strikes Back... there are still story strings being brought to the table, while others are being carried along and there is a certain string that is brought to rest by the end of this issue.
Fraction was always a high concept guy, and this story seems to fit him. I hate to see the true end of the Extremis era, that was one of the cooler things Ellis ever thought up in his for hire work, but the thought of Iron Man being all cranked up by Thor is pretty cool and the way that the Ghost finds out Tony's Location shows some ingenuity from the writer.
Last issue I thought the inner workings of Tony worked well, here, I am not so sure, especially given that the scenes seem to be behind the recording that Tony has walking his friends through his revival. There is also the curious title of the storyline... Tony has been disassembled, this should be the reforming of his mind and body, it makes me wonder what exactly Fraction has in store with us, especially given a reinstated Rhodey.
A solid book all in all. It has its high points and its low points like every mainstream superhero book. This one is no different.
On a side note, I really dig Larroca, could they please for the love of god get him a better colorist. D'Armata can't decide to color the book like Granov, Isanove, more run of the mill colorists or like Keith on Newuniversal, it gives Larroca's art the feeling that it is all over the place. I am guessing that he thinks he is defining the different atmospheres or settings of the comic, but all he is doing is making the penciller look bad. Let him stick to the Finchs and Quesadas that his coloring style works with, Larroca needs a more talented colorist.
Pull list: Afterlife with Archie, Bodies, Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, Coffin Hill, Dead Boy Detectives, The Fade Out, The Goon, Harley Quinn, Hinterkind, Iron Fist: The Living Weapon,The Maxx Maximized, Miracleman, Ms. Marvel, Multiversity, Rasputin, Rocket Raccoon, Sandman: Overture, Silver Surfer, The Walking Dead