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Invincible Iron Man #593

Review by Paul Bowler

A startling new era for Marvel’s armored Avenger begins in Invincible Iron Man #593 as Marvel Legacy gets under way. The comatose body of Tony Stark has vanished! Now it falls to Stark’s friends and foes, those who have overseen his business interests and assumed the mantel of Iron Man since his battle with Captain Marvel during Civil War II left Tony in a medically unexplainable coma, to finally decide who will succeed him as the Invincible Iron Man!

Well, now that we’ve got all the hoo-ha with Secret Empire out of the way, Marvel can concentrate on getting things back on track with Legacy. To be honest, this is bit of a quirky issue of Invincible Iron Man, there is a sense of getting back to basics and core elements of the character, which I guess is what Legacy is meant to be all about, and the return to the series’ original numbering – along with a great cover by Adi Granov – gives you a real sense that you are witnessing the start of something with great potential here.

The issue is positively bursting with insightful character moments and exposition, and writer Brian Michael Bendis keeps Invincible Iron Man #593 on an even keel as he skilfully juggles the numerous plot threads. Tony’s AI, Friday is every present throughout, quickly brining us up to speed with current events: with Tony’s condition in stasis at a Stark Facility, Riri Williams role as Iron heart (whose Armor is run by an AI downloaded from Stark’s consciousness), and Victor Von Doom’s self-proclaimed path to redemption as the Infamous Iron Man.

The Star Expo that opens the issue, overseen by Stark’s Mother, Amanda, and Mary Jane Watson, is a poignant affair tinged with both sadness and hope; despite the dour board of directors resolve to spoil the party. Throw in the mystery of Tony Stark’s body going missing and a tense face-off between the Thing and Victor Von Doom after an incident at Riker’s Island, and you have an issue that poses as many questions as it does answers.

Featuring the work of artists Stefano Caselli and Alex Maleey, with Color Artists Marte Gracia and Alex Maleev, Invincible Iron Man #593 ticks all the boxes visually and stylistically, and the transition between artists and color artists doesn’t impede the overall enjoymenty of reading the issue. The panel layouts are straightforward, nothing fancy, the characters and location are well realized, and there’s a nice jaunt around the Marvel Universe as everyone concerned ponders who ya gonna call when Tony Stark goes missing!?! Although there’s probably enough story in this issue for a couple of issues, for me though, the standout scene was between Victor and The Thing, where some especially scathing home truths are finally aired – and about time too!

Ok, now I’m a big fan of Iron Man / Tony Stark. However, I wasn’t impressed with his fate at the end of Civil War II, Riri Williams was ok as Ironheart, but I didn’t really warm to Doom being the Infamous Iron Man that much, and having skipped Secret Empire completely I’m hoping that The Search For Tony Stark Part 1 sets things up for Tony’s return as the one, true, Iron Man. The question is, is that what’s happening here in this issue?

That’s something this issues surprise ending will certainly leave us guessing about for now. While the story is adequate enough, I was hoping the art would be a bit more spectacular, but it’s still a fairly good issue for fans and newcomers alike. Suffice to say; if Marvel Legacy is all about getting back to the core mechanics, ethos, and distinctive look of Marvel’s most iconic characters, then Invincible Iron Man #593 is definitely a step in the right direction.

Publisher: Marvel Comics

Writer: Brian Michael Bendis / Artist: Stefano Caselli & Alex Maleev

Color Artists: Marte Gracia & Alex Maleev / Letterer: VC’s Clayton Cowls

Cover: Adi Granov