Tuesday, 5 July 2016

Invincible Iron Man, Volume 1: Reboot Review (Brian Michael Bendis, David Marquez)

Madame Masque/Whitney Frost is stealing powerful magical relics from around the world - but why? Iron Man/Tony Stark must team up with an unlikely partner in the post-Secret Wars Doctor Doom (who looks VERY different now!) to stop her - in a swish new armour of course!

Woah - a GOOD Iron Man book! These are rare, guys. After a few years of Kieron Gillen’s extremely low-quality Iron Man run and Tom Taylor’s incorrectly-named Superior Iron Man, it’s taken Marvel’s top writer Brian Michael Bendis and artist David Marquez to turn the fortunes of this character around and give him the kind of quality he deserves - Invincible Iron Man is fantastic! 

Bendis captures Tony’s voice perfectly: he’s charming, funny, self-deprecating and vulnerable at all the right moments and you can’t help but like this dude - almost exactly like how RDJ plays him on screen. The story is fast-moving and exciting with lots of big action scenes and, coupled with Marquez’s extremely slick art style and Justin Ponsor’s colours giving the visuals a stunning polish, it reads very cinematically - you’re caught up instantly and it barrels along nicely. 

The inclusion of Doom was good; like a lot of Marvel fans who read Secret Wars I was interested to see where they’re taking his story and we see what happens next for him in this book. It was also cool seeing Mary Jane Watson appear - Tony clearly has a type - and Doctor Strange too (you can tell there’s a Strange movie on the way from all the appearances the Doc’s been making across numerous Marvel titles recently!). 

My issues with the book were the same as with all of Bendis’ comics: way too chatty! I get it, he’s good at the dialogues, but he overdoes it like cray - too many scenes are full of Tony and another character blathering on, trying to outwit one another and coming off as irritating bores instead. Bendis’ other writing weakness is endings, in that he can’t do them well at all. He starts like a champ, he’s all about the middle, but ask him to put a cap on things and he crumbles. We do get a complete story arc here but it’s a standard overblown silliness sort of superhero finale. 

However, those are my problems with Bendis - I’m sure plenty of readers will love the chattiness of his characters and won’t even blink at the ending. Overall, the good definitely outweighs the bad. It’s just great to read a quality Iron Man book for a change. Bendis and Marquez show that in the right hands Iron Man can be an awesome character - after too long we finally get an Iron Man comic that’s as good as the cinematic Iron Man has been!

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