Royal Nonesuch takes a look at INVINCIBLE IRON MAN #25, published by Marvel Comics!
Credits & Solicit Info:
Invincible Iron Man #25
Written by: Matt Fraction
Art by: Salvador Larroca
Release Date: April 28, 2010
Double-sized issue! Co-released alongside this summer's surefire blockbuster hit IRON MAN 2, this issue is the perfect jumping-on point for fans of the films and readers new and old alike!
New year. New decade. New trade dress. New threats. New loves. New armor. New Tony Stark. New storyline: RESILIENT.
Get onboard the Eisner-award winning INVINCIBLE IRON MAN here!
"We've all got a lot of rebuilding to do. And of all the things I've ever had to make for myself, a fortune from whole cloth hasn't been one. Think I like the challenge of it..."
Of all the American superhero comics out there, one would think that Iron Man would be the vanguard for exploring the postmodernist concept of interface between man and machine. While Tony Stark is mostly written as the guy who wears a mechanical suit and just becomes a superhero, it's Matt Fraction who imbues INVINCIBLE IRON MAN with enough cybernetics theory and post-human theory to make Katherine Hayles and Jean Baudrillard stand up and take notice. Cyborgs are nothing new to comics, of course, but Fraction takes things to a bit more of a literary level.
Of course, the post-human can't go anywhere without the human, and that's where issue #25 shines. Fraction makes Tony Stark a truly well-rounded, three dimensional character, and in this issue, he gives the reader something so rarely seen in superhero comics: a story about a man who is willing to admit that he was wrong. "I screwed up," he tells Reed Richards. "Amateur mistake number one, and I made it...because I didn't think it needed doing." It's a marvelously tender and insightful scene that really centers everything that happens before and after. Tony Stark, who has been left with nothing in the wake of Norman Osborne's Dark Reign, needs to figure out who he is in this new world, and he needs to move forward.
Conversely, it's good to see Salvador Larocca pull back a bit. A few years ago, around the time of his newuniversal issues, it looks like Larocca was pushing him a little bit too far with new (for him) techniques that were stifling his storytelling. Here, he seems a lot more content to simply sit back and draw, and render a great story. It's a double-sized issue, so there are spots where he looks like he may have rushed a bit (there is one panel where Thor's face looks a little odd), but the storytelling is great.
Also in this issue, the seeds are planted for an impending new menace that sprang from an old menace. The daughter and granddaughter of former Iron Man foe Justin Hammer are making all kinds of shady deals that may lead to some interesting trouble for our hero down the line. Sure, it looks like Iron Man will be fighting more guys in armor, but somehow things, as they are laid out here, are very compelling.
Regular Marvel readers have been presented with a lot of talk over the last few years about how Tony Stark is always looking to the future, but Fraction and Larocca really seem to have a handle on that concept and are executing it beautifully. Granted, there is always that fear when it comes to the Big-2 that everything will just snap back into the way things were "back then," but frankly, it's good for readers to simply stick with this forward movement and see where Tony Stark, the Iron Man, go from here.
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