Written by Matt Fraction
Art by Salvador Larroca
At this point, you either love Invincible Iron Man for the accessibility and its ties to the recent movie or you are annoyed that they take so many liberties with the character in favour of said movie.
I fall into the later category, but I'm not hating this series or anything. It's just I think I'd rather they just call it Ultimate Iron Man or Iron Man: The Movie Adaptation.
Case in point, this issue has a fight with Maria Hill about the Starktech that Tony has developed for his company and tells him he should share this with SHIELD and the people putting their lives on the line everyday. instead of holding it out for himself and his 'girlfriend', Pepper.
That's a great point on her part, but Tony has already given SHIELD numerous upgrades over in the Director of SHIELD book, mainly in the form of Tony's personal Iron Man armour wearing field team, among other things.
It's just little things like this and the bigger things, like the complete retconning or ignoring, take your pick, of Tony's Extremis powers. Ya, he still has the suit, but the Extremis powers end there.
The biggest annoyance I have with this issue, though, is the cover. There is no fight with Ezekiel Stane in this issue. Stane never shows up in that armour and only has about a page or two worth of cameos. Iron Man doesn't fight anyone in this issue. If none of this happens in this issue, why end the last one with Stane wearing that armour and then promote this one with a cover showing the two of them fighting in their armours?
However, these, cover notwithstanding, are all minor nitpicks and, like I said in the opening paragraph, if you are currently liking Invincible Iron Man, you'll still love it with this issue and most people will probably enjoy this. Hell, I enjoyed this. It's just more of a Brand New Day kind of feeling. It looks like an Iron Man comic, it reads like an Iron Man story, but it's not the same Iron Man I've been reading for the past few years and it's jarring, to say the least, and only serves to pull me out of most issues.
As for what this issue was about, that can be summed up in a one word - filler. Nothing really happens here. It's entertaining enough that I'm not pissed at the obvious filler nature of the issue, but all Tony does is take some old Iron Man tech, toss it on the black market with a trackign device installed and waits for Stane to buy it, which he does. The rest is just some talking heads with a creepy looking Reed Richards, Maria Hill and Pepper, all of which only serve to summarize previous issues or provide mildly entertaining conversations.
Verdict - Check It. Not much happens, but it's the same slow burn pace that this series has had since it launched. I don't love it nor do I hate it, so it'll probably come down to whether you liked the previous issues or not.