Overview

Invincible Iron Man #505

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Invincible Iron Man #505

Credits

  • Words: Matt Fraction
  • Art: Salvador Larroca
  • Colors: Frank D'Armata
  • Story Title: Fear Itself Part 2: Cracked Actor
  • Publisher: Marvel Comics
  • Price: $3.99
  • Release Date: Jun 15, 2011

With the evil hammers of the Serpent raining down on Earth, the Avengers have to disassemble to different locations to take care of the local threats. Iron Man has taken to the city of Paris to fight an enhanced version of the Grey Gargoyle, now known as Mokk: Breaker of Faith. With the entirety of Paris and the world at stake, can Tony take down the villain with a stony gaze?

In the last issue of Iron Man, we found out that the Grey Gargoyle had found the hammer that crash-landed in Paris. The battle ensued, with the horrifying realization that Gargoyle's power to turn people into stone has been amped up to the point where the whole city of Paris is turned into statues. Much like House of Wax, the realization that the statues are (or were) people has a horrific note, and Tony has to constantly remind himself that he can't crash into them like any regular building, but they can't run out the way like any regular civilian.

As with many Marvel books tying into Fear Itself, Invincible Iron Man has the benefit of being written by the same scribe behind the main book. Fraction manages to make the book flow naturally with both its own events and that of the summer blockbuster. Fraction actually succeeds in separating the two plots even geographically; it's not as if Pepper Potts is trying to shore up help for Stark Resilient as she runs away from one of the Worthy. Tony's fight with the superpowered Grey Gargoyle takes place in an eerily quiet Paris, which is a joint effort of all three leads of the book. Fraction writes it with little true character dialogue outside of thinking, Larroca either draws the seemingly barren streets in wide or zooms so far in on characters that they're all you CAN see, and D'Armata tackles every shade of gray possible in blending the statuesque people into the gravel, sometimes quite literally. Larroca, additionally, gets to have some fun with some of Tony's new abilities.

Notably, Fraction manages to weave Tony's supporting cast into the story while advancing both plots; Detroit Steel makes his (un)triumphant return, Pepper Potts has some nice time as Rescue if only for show, and even Tony's father Howard gets some page time before his role in the upcoming Captain America film. The last page is truly chilling, and it's yet to be shown if Tony's darkest fears will come true in his own book or the miniseries. It may end up being the return of a time in Tony's life that he's tried his best to move beyond.Invincible Iron Man has been solid with the one-two rocket-powered punch of Matt Fraction and Salvador Larocca, and while most books take a hit when they have to do a story tie-in, this one flows naturally enough that it's almost welcomed.

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