Author Matt Fraction, Illustrations Salvador Larroca
This is the spoiler free review for the first 19 issues of Matt Fraction’s run on The Invincible Iron Man. If you would like to see the spoiler full review with lots of pictures please visit here.
Before Matt Fraction I didn’t like Hawkeye, Iron First, or Iron Man. I still think Iron Man is a jerk but at least he’s an interesting one!
Fraction has a way with these characters. Hawkeye always seemed like a nobody to me, just some bro who’s good with a bow and arrow. Fraction made him sympathetic and an everyday hero to his community.
Iron Fist was just a B lister among billionaire orphans, there are a bunch of them after all, but Fraction made him a leader even I would want to follow.
Iron Man is still all the things Iron Man was before. A billionaire without parental issues, a womanizer, a drunk, and a jerk. But now Fraction has taken away what is most important to him, his intelligence.
Iron Man, aka Tony Stark, does have a super power outside of the suit. He’s incredibly intelligent. He’s an engineer and a great business man who would be successful in any time line.
In this run Norman Osborne is after some information that Stark only keeps locked away in the folds of his own brain. Stark has to make the decision to erase it, which also means damaging his only real super power, possibly for good.
This is what Fraction does well. He finds the right angle to look at characters from. What makes them heroic, what makes them vulnerable.
Iron Man has always been heroic. He can always send a fleet of Iron Men to save the day if he chooses. But him being vulnerable is far more compelling to a reader. There are moments of true heartbreak for this jerk in this run.
Outside of Stark this book has a ton going on. It gets pretty hectic and at times it’s hard to keep up.
Black Widow, Maria Hill, Madam Masque, and various other Marvel players have not insubstantial plot lines to follow all across the world and various agencies.
The biggest issue I have with the characters in this book is that I have no idea what Stark’s relationship with Pepper Potts is supposed to be. It plays a huge role in these issues but I kept feeling like I was missing something from past runs that I haven’t read.
It’s something that comes with reading comic books. There are always going to be pieces missing from some line or crossover you skipped. There is just no possible way to read it all.
It’s my least favorite of Fraction’s three biggest marvel runs so far but that bar is really high. It’s still my favorite of any Iron man I’ve read or seen.
4/5 smart guys 👨🎓👨🎓👨🎓👨🎓
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