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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Fantastic Writing and Art + 2009 Eisner Award WinnerAug. 29 2009
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This hardcover collects issues 8-13 of Invincible Iron Man. It takes place right from the start of the Dark Reign series.
The writing and art are fantastic. There are good moments of character development despite being crossed over from other Dark reign events. When was the last time that you have been surprised of where the writing could take Iron Man? Matt Fraction and Salvador Larroca won the 2009 Eisner Award for "Best New Series" with their collaboration in this Iron Man series.
NOTES ----- * This is the first part of the "World's Most Wanted" story arc. The last issue in this hardcover will leave off in the middle of the story. You'll need to wait until February 3, 2010 for the next hardcover Invincible Iron Man Volume 3: World's Most Wanted Book 2 Premiere HC to come out (or you'll need to visit your local comic shop and get the individual issues). Since this hardcover doesn't really conclude anything, there will be plotlines that seem like filler such as Maria Hill's encounter with an old Iron Man villain.
* Bonus materials are minimal : There are 2 variant covers and 2 ads for Dark Reign. That's all.
* You don't need to have read the previous hardcover Invincible Iron Man, Vol. 1: The Five Nightmares (v. 1) (also by Matt Fraction and Salvador Larroca) or any of the Dark Reign tie-in issues but it helps. The dust jacket and summary page briefly catch you up.
* I've been a fan of Salvador Larroca's art and design since his work with Chris Claremont in the great collaboration in Fantastic Four Vol. 3 #4-32. But I'm not in love with the Mark 1616 armor in this series. It reminds me a bit of Brandy's armor from the old Rom Spaceknight comics.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Overall, the comic is a fun, if frustrating, readDec 18 2009
- Published on Amazon.com
For those of you who didn't go to see Iron Man when it was released in 2008, here's a quick character synopsis: After terrorists capture billionaire genius Tony Stark and force him to provide them with weapons, he decides to use that time to build a powerful suit of armor to defeat his captors and escape to freedom. Seeing this experience as a powerful awakening, Tony makes it his mission to protect the world as the invincible Iron Man.
But what happens when he fails in this mission? When he was named head of S.H.I.E.L.D., the planet's foremost spy agency, it was Tony's job to protect the world from all threats, foreign and domestic. And although he lost a lot of friends in the superhero community during Civil War when he acted as the principal proponent for superhumans to register their identities with the government, he received much public adoration. But after the events of Secret Invasion, when aliens infiltrated every aspect of our society, that same adoring public tears Stark open like a lion would a gazelle. Even though Stark--along with every other superhuman on Earth--was able to halt the invasion, Stark's failure lies in letting the aliens get as far as they did and as close as they did in the first place. The world wants answers, and leading the committee on bringing Stark in for "questioning" is the man who now holds his old office: Norman Osborn.
As the man erroneously given all the credit for stopping the alien invasion, the former--and seemingly "cured"--Green Goblin, Norman Osborn, is given Stark's job as director of S.H.I.E.L.D. (now H.A.M.M.E.R.). Osborn is in, and Stark is out. And priority No. 1 for Osborn is to get that list of all registered superhumans' identities. But Osborn hits a snag when Stark downloads the only copy of said list into his computer-like brain, and as Stark slowly begins erasing the data--an act that will eventually end with being brain dead--Osborn calls upon forces both legal and illegal to bring in Tony Stark, the most wanted criminal in the world.
An exciting premise for sure, but after reading this volume, I remain torn on Matt Fraction's writing. I love his sharp dialogue and deep characterization; a particular exchange between Osborn and Stark early in the book exemplifies these strengths perfectly. In just two pages, he shows us Stark's smug confidence, Osborn's underlying mania, and he does it with crisp, believable discourse between the two men. Fraction's gift with words is second to none in the comic-book industry, and that's why it's so heartbreaking that the actual content of the book fails to deliver.
Simply put, the plot leaves one wanting more. Perhaps it's too soon to judge as this is just book one of two, but I felt that there was way too much going on with secondary characters to keep me interested. For long stretches, we delve into the subplots involving former S.H.I.E.L.D.'s deputy director, Maria Hill, snake-in-the-grass villain Norman Osborn, and love interest/burgeoning superhero Pepper Potts. While there are still ample moments featuring Iron Man (it is his name on the cover, after all), Fraction seems to cram way too much in (such as Potts donning a new version of the Iron Man armor and Hill battling a D-list supervillain in Texas), giving us scenes that I can only describe as superfluous at best and filler at worst. But again, this is still only the first of a two-volume set. There are undoubtedly elements that Fraction has yet to reveal, and if the plotlines tie together in a nice little bow at the end of volume two, I'll gladly eat my words.
Rarely disappointing, however, is artist Salvador Larocca. What I like most about his art is that, to me, it is distinctive. The problem I have with many comic-book artists is that their characters are more or less interchangeable, with my main grievance being that everyone's face looks the same person to person. But Larocca is able to give everyone distinction, giving them each little nuances that deepen the characterization started by Fraction: When Tony smiles, we see that he's cocky, self-assured, and that he already has a plan brewing in that genius brain of his; when Osborn smiles, we can see that madness behind the grin, and how he'll do anything to achieve his wicked goals. Larocca isn't just drawing characters here; he's drawing true individuals.
Overall, the comic is a fun, if frustrating, read. The playful banter, exciting characters, and gorgeous illustrations should be enough to keep the casual comic-book reader entertained. But for those looking for a deeper story, you may be better off waiting until the second volume hits the stands. As a single-volume collection, The Invincible Iron Man: World Most Wanted Book One will leave you, well, wanting more.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Another Great Iron Man StoryNov. 17 2010
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I still think the Lex Luthor as President and Norman Osborn as some super-powerful government employee have been a huge misstep for both DC and Marvel. Marvel still has a ways to climb after the mess of Civil War, and Norman Osborn isn't helping.
On top of that, there's the return of the token evil ex-girlfriend -- right after the token evil girlfriend (TEGF) in The Five Nightmares, the last story of Iron Man. While the first story's TEGF was just there to be there, at least in this story she serves a vital plot point, but it seems so generic that it's one of the weakest points in the story. But I'm getting ahead of myself.
Tony Stark's story is a nice jog down memory lane. As much as it is a game of cat and mouse between Osborn and Stark, it's a reflection of how far Tony Stark has come as Iron Man. His mental degradation forces him to go from the pre-Extremis height of human/machine integration down through the ages until eventually he has to come back to the start of it all for him. The friends and enemies he meets along the way further his story, instead of merely being there to expand the scope of the story.
I think this story shines with Pepper Potts as well. She definitely gets her moments to shine, and her own story is not only a good one, it's just fun to follow. She even gets to step into her own suit, and it's a great bit of character interaction between Stark and Potts about her powers, the use of the suit, and the understanding they share about what she refuses to do. Compare this to All Star Superman, where Lois Lane gets Superman's powers for 24 hours on her birthday; the story becomes so underwhelming and about everyone but Lois Lane that I was left wondering why Grant Morrison even bothered.
Maria Hill's subplot about being controlled for a moment seems rushed, and I think they could have left that out entirely. It doesn't really go anywhere except to give her some angst and some cheesy bonding with Black Widow. Besides that though, it's not bad.
Overall, this is a really fun story to follow. I'd highly recommend both volumes as great value for money.
Action packed!July 20 2010
DJ Joe Sixpack
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"The Invincible Iron Man, Vol. 2: World's Most Wanted" Written by Matt Fraction Illustrated by Salvador Larocca (Marvel Comics, 2009) ------------------------------------------------------ I am so mightily burnt-out on Marvel's endless string of mega-meta-crossover events that I really hadn't planned on reading any of the-bad-guys-take-over "Dark Reign" arc... But the prospect of finally seeing Iron Man get his comeuppance was too tempting, and I tracked down this GN collection to see what happens to Tony Stark after he loses his job as head of SHIELD, and becomes a wanted man himself. From start to finish, this was a fun, fast read, with swell artwork and a sleek script that pulls you along at a fast clip. And now I am into the whole Norman Osborn-runs-the-world thing... it's pretty delicious. Sigh. Guess I'll delve into "Dark Reign" after all... Make Mine Marvel! (Joe Sixpack, ReadThatAgain book reviews)
Plot is getting better, art has deterioratedJuly 29 2010
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This 2nd vol of Fraction/Larroca's Iron Man has a very interesting plot- Stark is outted of SHIELD and is hunted down by Osborn. I rather like the fact that Pepper Potts and Maria Hill are also fugitives. What I thot was not interesting were the panels where anyone inside an Ironman suit "sees the world", with computer graphics, displays. It may work in movies but in a comic, this slows down the action.
Putting Pepper into a female Ironman suit... silly. What was the point again?
Finally, I think that Larroca artwork has deteriorated. In vol 1, he overdid the drawings which were literally too dazzling. Here, the drawings look funny, Sienkiewicz-like sketchy stuff.