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Invincible Iron Man #8

Review by Paul Bowler

The search is on in Invincible Iron Man #8: The War Machines Part 3, with Rhodey still missing in Japan after searching for the biohack ninjas that were tracking Madame Masque. Fortunately Tony’s new assistant / life coach Mary Jane Watson just happens to have Peter Parker’s emergency phone number, enabling Stark to call on Parker’s wall crawling bodyguard for assistance. Iron Man and Spider-Man must team-up to rescue War Machine, and somehow find a way to stop a deadly new menace to the Marvel Universe!

Its repulsor rays to maximum power and web-spinning action all the way as Brian Michael Bendis brings two of Marvel’s most iconic characters together in Invincible Iron Man #8, as Iron Man and Spider-Man join forces in Tokyo to find Rhodey. Following a quick flight across the Pacific, Iron Man soon encounters Spider-Man, and together they discover a clue that might lead them to War Machine. Bendis crafts some really fun moments between Iron Man and Spider-Man in this issue. The banter between them is priceless at times, with Tony being all serious – at least initially – in the face of Spidey’s wisecracks, but is not long before the jokes and flip remarks eventually send them on a path to becoming an even funnier superhero double act as they confront Rhodey’s captors.

Invinvible Iron Man #8

Tony’s shape-changing Iron Man suits AI, Friday, is also beautifully written by Bendis in this issue, and it feel like she’s really evolving into a major character in her own right now. Friday gets some great lines of dialogue, especially once Iron Man and Spidey team up in Tokyo, and in a brief flashback the AI has an interesting scene with a less than impressed Mary Jane Watson that ends on an especially poignant note.

Having been stripped of his War Machine armor, Rhodey is now a prisoner of Tomoe and her biohack ninjas. Although we don’t learn much more about Tomoe over the course of this issue of Invincible Iron Man, it’s clear that her armor seems able to attract and assimilate all forms of technology, and it also mimics similar shape-shifting aspects of Tony’s armor. However, as Tomoe and the ninjas soon discover, Colonel Rhodes is not someone to be underestimated – even if he has to fight for his life wearing only his underwear!

This is another fabulous looking issue from artist Mike Deodato and colorist Frank Martin. Set against the gleaming Tokyo Skyline and the industrial gloom of Tomoe’s shadowy lair, Mike Deodato has clearly had a blast drawing this exciting team-up between Iron Man and Spider-Man. The level of detail bestowed on the Iron Man armor is astounding, Deodato also draws a great Spider-Man as well, and I love the scene where Spidey’s mask is reflected in Iron Man’s faceplate – you can just imagine the look on Tony’s face underneath. Rhodey’s fight against the ninjas also proves to be a big highlight of the issue as well. Frank Martin lavishes every page with a sumptuous palette of colors, blending vivid tones and inky shadows to bring added intensity and atmosphere to each scene. Deodato and Martin’s work is perfectly in key with the beats of Bendis’ script, balancing the humour and drama perfectly, there is some terrific moments of characterization, and the electrifying face-off between Iron Man, Spider-Man, Rhodey, and Tomoe is brilliant!

Facing jetlag, embarrassing boxers, and a technology that even Friday is unable to counteract, Iron Man, Spider-Man, and Rhodey must risk life and limb as they battle Tomoe and the lethal biohack ninjas that are out for their blood. Invincible Iron Man #8, with its exciting action-packed story by Brian Michael Bendis and excellent art by Mike Deodato, is another hugely impressive issue in The War Machines storyarc, and its thrilling cliff-hanger ending is guaranteed to leave you on the edge of your seat until the next issue.

Publisher: Marvel / Writer: Brian Michael Bendis / Art: Mike Deodato

Color Artist: Frank Martin / VCs Clayton Cowles: Letterer & Production

Cover Artists Mike Deodato & Frank Martin