Quick review to show I'm still alive. No really. Still here. Probably not quick, though. I know myself too well.
We discussed this on the podcast on sunday and the only bone I had to pick over this issue was that Cap's shield somehow can carry an electric charge. Yes, even a mystical electric charge doesn't make sense for me (but, apparently, I'm fine with the capes and masks and other crazy stuff I put up with on a weekly basis). You can't tell me Cap hasn't deflected some sort of mystic lightning before. I'm certain someone on here could give you an issue and panel if given enough motivation.
But other than that, this issue is pretty damn awesome. World's Most Wanted was a fun story to play with during the Darkest of Reigns and now that we're getting ready for Marvel's version of Brightest Day (or whatever they call the reunion of the Avengers Trinity), jumpstarting Tony back into the driver's seat of his own title is fun to watch.
Salvador is hitting a stride on this book. I love long term creative teams so I'm digging the fact that the writer and artist have not missed an issue yet. Hell, have they missed a month yet? I seem to recall some issues coming two weeks apart at times. Here's hoping that Larroca at least makes it to issue 25 before they pull him to do other work (I'm guessing an Avengers title is in his future).
Storywise, this issue continues the symbolism from the previous issues. Thor and Cap are both integral in bringing Tony back to the land of the living. Old friends show up looking much less cyborg-like (thanks War Machine #12!). Long standing plot points show up but are explained so that new readers won't have too many question marks over their heads. Pepper loses the glowy ring. Tony gets it. In a surprising twist, Tony doesn't even need it for his four thousandth heart condition, either. This time it's there to help his body heal and do what any other person (who didn't erase his brain) could automatically do.
Oh yeah, there was one last gripe that had little to do with the story itself and is more about timing. As happy as I am about Iron Man coming out regularly (us Iron Man fans suffered the most post Disassembled with the crawling release of Extremis), would it have KILLED them to release this book THIS week and not given yet another spoiler for Cap Reborn? I mean, sure, we could all have guessed this ending but it's the principle of the matter. Maybe I wanted to suspend my belief and think that Red Skull had a chance of keeping Steve's body (if it turns out that that's actually the Red Skull still, I will be... intrigued, actually... they should do that). Third book in two weeks to spoil the ending to Cap Reborn. Bad Marvel, BAD.
But, all in all, The Invincible Iron Man #21, I give you a solid 9. What can I say. I'm an Iron Man fan.