, , , , , , , , , , ,

Invincible Iron Man #2

Review by Paul Bowler

Invincible Iron Man #2 continues this new Marvel series, spinning out from the pages of Secret Wars, this brand new era finds Tony Stark’s life taking a whole new direction, there’s new armor, new supporting characters, and some old enemies to face as well. Following Madame Masque’s raid on Castle Doom, Iron Man travels to Latveria to investigate her criminal activities, where Tony must confront the return of his old nemesis Doctor Doom, aka Victor Von Doom – his face now miraculously restored to normal…

This new Iron Man series, written by Brian Michael Bendis, with art by David Marquez, and colors by Justin Ponsor, has already introduced Tony’s new shape-changing suit of armor, which combines all the different modes and models into one new sleek, streamlined design, and there’s a new computerised female AI system called Friday to keep his life on track. The question of who are Tony’s biological parents remains, Tony even found time to go on a date with biochemical engineer Amara Perera. Now in Invincible Iron Man #2 Tony confronts the former ruler of Latveria himself, Victor Von Doom, but this new, calm, collected, and suited and booted version also has a few magical tricks up his sleeve, and his face now all better as well.

Invincible Iron Man #2 Cover

Brian Michael Bendis engineers some terrific scenes here between Tony and Victor Von Doom, their exchanges are barbed with mistrust and sly undercurrents of humour, and it makes for some highly charged moments as they descend into the castle. Madame Masque’s plan, to steal a highly-prized mystical artefact from the castle begins to take on a whole new perspective, especially when Victor Von Doom reveals what it is that she’s actually taken, but rebel factions are closing in on the castle and before we know it the wave of a magic finger sends us off on an entirely different tangent. Bendis manages to weave these plot strands together perfectly, gradually allowing the mystery of Madame Masque’s recent spate of activities to unfold, while staging a brilliant face-off between Tony Stark and Victor Von Doom that positively crackles with tension and suspicion on both sides – but has Doom really turned over a new leaf?

The stunning clarity of David Marquez’s art brings this issue to life in exquisite detail. The panel layouts bring an almost cinematic quality to events, from the initial scenes between Iron Man and Victor in the ruined castle, the drama is enhanced further as technology and magic clash in spectacular fashion. From here we move to the shadowy remains of Doom laboratory, there’s a great collage-like page that beautifully relays Tony’s “history” with Whitney Frost, and Iron Man’s sudden return to the Bronx is a quirky scene that also sneaks in a fun comment about Tony’s new suit. The colors by Justin Ponsor are really sumptuous, brining added clarity to every scene, there are some gorgeous plays with light in the laboratory, and the shape-shifting antics of the new Iron Man suit stylishly gleams with fluid movement and deep shadows between forms.

When this issue catches up with Madame Masque in Montreal she isn’t best pleased about being lied to, after wrapping up her business here with ruthless efficiency, Whitney suddenly gets a surprise visitor… These closing moments are absolutely riveting, perhaps more so because of the emotional context of the situation and relationship between the characters, and the unexpected shock ending is sure to take you by surprise.

Invincible Iron Man #2 is another strong issue in this new series. Actually, the pace of this issue seemed to flow even better than the first, and I really liked seeing the form Tony’s new armor initially took on to face Victor Von Doom. Invincible Iron Man #2 is fast-paced, featuring a great story by Brian Michael Bendis; impressive art by David Marquez, and rich colors by Justin Ponsor, this series is one Marvel’s most impressive new titles, and well worth checking out.

Publisher: Marvel

Writer: Brian Michael Bendis

Art: David Marquez

Color Artist: Justin Ponsor

VC’s Clayton Cowles: Letterer & Production