Invincible Iron Man #29
- Words: Matt Fraction
- Art: Salvador Larroca
- Colors: Frank D'Armata
- Story Title: Predators and Prey in their Natural Environments
- Publisher: Marvel Comics
- Price: $2.99
- Release Date: Aug 11, 2010
Posted by Jonathan Chuang on Aug 20, 2010
Matt Fraction’s run on Invincible Iron Man continues to impress. I had expressed concern earlier about comic book storylines changing each time a title character’s movie is released. While Tony Stark and Iron Man have changed drastically since the release of Iron Man 2, they haven’t made a gradual return to an earlier incarnation that sort of mimics the movie—instead, Fraction makes an even greater departure from the booze-guzzling playboy with cool suitcase-armor that the movie featured.
Upgrading his and Pepper’s extremises (extremi?) to a version that allows their armors to retreat inside themselves, Iron Man barely resembles the clunky but powerful version we saw in the movie. Also, with Tony Stark becoming bankrupt and closing up shop only to open Stark Resilient, his playboy side is all but gone as well. Still adapting to life after his mental reboot, the quality of Tony’s character is still uncertain. While he still exudes an air of charm and confidence, Fraction also gives Stark a vulnerable side, as seen in this issue when he forgets how to tie his bow-tie and has to have Rhodey tie it for him.
This issue, issue 29, manages to recreate the dynamic that movie-goers came to be comfortable with without making the storyline regress at all. Pepper and Tony still charm and dazzle at black tie affairs while Rhodey still has to cover Tony’s mistakes with the military, but the circumstances behind these elements are progressive, as the team is trying to build a brave new world with their technology while trying to prevent old threats from causing more harm.
Perhaps the most impressive thing about Invincible Iron Man overall is the tone that Fraction has been setting. Instead of constantly being grandiose like a movie or unveiling massive plot turns like a comic book, the comic has settled into a comfortable rhythm that makes it seem like the characters are just dealing with their lives one day at a time. In this way, it’s much more like a TV serial, where the writers can attempt to take a little more time developing quality characters and plotlines. This makes the characters much more relatable and the events much easier to believe.
Sometimes in comics everything bad happens at once, and while that makes an exciting read, the characters and events are often quickly forgotten for the next big eye-catching story. This run on Invincible Iron Man has the potential to have a long-lasting character-defining effect on Tony Stark’s character and the entire Iron Man canon.
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