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Invincible Iron Man #13

Review by Paul Bowler

The end of an era draws nigh in Invincible Iron Man #13 as the ramifications of Civil War II begin to impact drastically on Tony Stark’s life. Rhodey’s death has increased Tony’s rancour with Carol Danvers and the Inhumans over the precognitive new Inhuman called Ulysses. Now recent events have left Stark Tower in ruins. However, the sudden arrival of reformed super-villain Victor Von Doom with an offer to show Stark what to do next could change everything, but will this spell the end of Tony’s company and Iron Man as we know it?

When it comes to a Civil War II tie-in, writer Brian Michael Bendis certainly delivers the goods in spades with Invincible Iron Man #13 as the fallout from the destruction of Stark Tower begins to settle over the Marvel Universe. After Victor Von Doom suddenly turned up to whisk Stark halfway across the world yet again, Tony finally gets to try and apologize to Amara for faking his own death, but it a reunion fraught with tension and hurtful asides that cannot be unsaid.

This is a powerful, moving, and often deeply emotional issue at times, as Brian Michael Bendis gives us a stark portrayal of Tony as he finally addresses his grief over Rhodey’s death head on. Viewing Colonel Carol Danvers worldwide broadcast on behalf of the Ultimates, where she deftly skates around the details of her new peacekeeping campaign to prevent disasters before they happen, only serves to fuel Tony’s simmering mistrust and rage even further.

Invincible Iron Man Cover A

The artwork by Mike Dedato is as beautifully rich and detailed as ever. Each scene flows seamlessly into the next, with smooth, refined page layouts that complement the narrative pace of Bendis’ story perfectly. From Tony and Amara’s frosty reunion, the flashback to the moment Tony went to see Rhodey’s body after he died is skilfully interspaced with events in the present as he views Carol’s broadcast to the world. The blend of raw emotions, spanning Tony’s heartrending grief, anger, and unwavering conviction, are all sublimely portrayed here by Dedato, and it all culminates in one little panel of silence tucked away in the corner of a page that conveys more than any words could say.

The tones and hues color Artist Frank Martin uses throughout this issue are utterly superb, from the shimmering amber shades of Carol Danvers broadcast, the vivid grandeur of Rhodey‘s memorial service is masterfully juxtaposed with the gloomy scenes in Tony‘s lab, along with Mary Jane’s brief, yet poignant appearance, and the flashbacks featuring Tony and Rhodey are a wonderful example of how story, art, and color can combine to produce a sublime fusion of emotion and nostalgia in the most moving way imaginable.

Ever since this volume of Invincible Iron Man began, the reformed Victor Von Doom has gone out of his way to become part of Tony’s life, usually appearing at moments that allow Victor to capitalize on or influence a given situation. While Victor’s motives remain unclear, this issue makes significant inroads towards the reasons for Victor’s uninvited appearances, and this time it wont be something that he can simply just walk away from either.

Invincible Iron Man #13 is another strong tie-in issue with Civil War II. Although its light on Iron Man action insofar as Civil War II is concerned, this issue is really more about Tony’s and Rhodey’s friendship, and the flashbacks of them in action as Iron Man and War Machine is one of the undoubted highlight of the issue, and it all rounds off with an unexpected face off that is sure to leave someone with some serious explaining to do. Invincible Iron Man #13 is another terrific issue from Brian Michael Bendis and Mike Deodato, with its powerful storyline and striking artwork; this is an engrossing issue that works on every level.

Publisher: Marvel

Writer: Brian Michael Bendis / Art: Mike Deodato / Color Artist: Frank Martin

VCs Clayton Cowles: Letterer & Production

Cover Artists Mike Deodato & Frank Martin