Written by Matt Fraction
Art by Salvador Larroca
I had already made my decision to drop this title after this issue and, after having read said issue, I don't regret it in the least. Now, that's not to say this was a bad issue or that this title is horrible or anything like that. There are just certain books / themes / stories that relate to certain people and not to others. I can recognize that there are good parts to this title and I can see why people enjoy it, but, as I've gone on at length about in previous reviews, this book just doesn't work for me with the deliberate movie feel and direction.
As predicted, the stunning "death" of Iron Man last issue was simply a dummy robot Ezekiel Stane destroyed and it was being remote controlled by Tony, along with dozens of others, in an attempt to stop all four suicide bombings orchestrated by Stane.
While Stane eventually realizes he didn't actually kill Stark, it's too little, too late on his part and Tony, along with several remote controlled Iron Men armours, shows up to lay down the law. However, Tony quickly realizes he won't be able to stop all the bombers in time and opts for a controlled electro-magnetic pulse to shut down the Starktech / Iron Man hearts the suicide bombers were using.
As a side effect, it also disables his Extremis armour (How? We've seen him reboot from EMPs dozens of times and he knew this one was coming as he was the one to set it off) and Stane's bio-armour (defeats the purpose of being built into his skin, but I digress). This leads to some good, old fashioned fisticuffs between the two. What stunned me was that Tony, who's been shown to have some very capable combat training prior to this series, barely takes down Stane in this armourless fight. He does put Stane down decisively in the end, but it wasn't looking good for a little while there.
Verdict - Check It. As a concluding chapter to this opening arc, I think the issue accomplished what this series set out to do - ie. remaking the comic Iron Man so it is more in line with its movie counterpart - but I'm still a little disappointed they threw out all the work done in Director of SHIELD and took several steps backwards with the character, much like they did with Peter Parker in Brand New Day, to do so.