Comic Book Review: Invincible Iron Man #4

Showing that the Revolution is fair to everyone, Rokk is letting me(Thom) review the newest issue of Invincible Iron Man. I have been a Iron fan since the days of Black Lama’s War of the Super-Villains. Does anyone else still remember that epic storyline? Well, I had best get to the review before Rokk changes his mind.

Creative Team
Writer: Matt Fraction
Artist: Salvador Larroca

Art Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10
Story Rating: 6 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 7.5 Night Girls out of 10

Synopsis: The news is broadcasting Tony Stark talking about the recent superterror attacks. While it is being broadcasted, Reed Richards is talking to Tony. Reed is wondering how Tony answers questions without seeming rude. Tony thinks that Reed may be the only person smarter than him. Sometimes he thinks that Reed is physically stretching his brain to make himself smarter.

We now see that Reed and Tony are playing many virtual chess games at the same time. Reed complains that he only gets asked questions about science. His wife says that he comes off as being rude. Tony assures him that America thinks of him as their kooky science uncle. Everybody loves Reed.

Reed questions Tony about why he wanted him to look at the tech that was salvaged from the attack site. Tony says that this is S.H.I.E.L.D. business and he can’t quarantee that he will be the head of S.H.I.E.L.D. forever. He values Reed’s opinions, at least most of the time.

Reed tells him that the bad news is that it definitely is Stark tech. The good news is that it is repurposed Stark tech. Tony says that Ezekiel Stane(the superterrorist) is a scavenger, not an inventor. Stane needs Tony.

At the same time, Tony announces that Reed is in check in 2 of the games. Reed says that sometimes he would like to play chess the rest of his life. When he was a boy he would dream of being a chess grandmaster. Tony tells Reed that he never played chess when he was a kid. He learned it when he was fighting with Obadiah Stane(Ezekiel’s father). He thought if he understood the game, it would help him beat Stane.

Reed asks Tony to tell him about Ezekiel. If he is as good as he sounds, he is younger, more dangerous and possibly smarter than Tony. Tony explains that Ezekiel is everything that Stark Industries is not. He works fast, is extremely mobile, and has no central location. But he is not smarter than Tony. Tony knows this because Ezekiel needs Tony’s tech to pull off his attacks.

Ezekiel blames Tony for his father’s death and plans on using Tony’s own weapons to kill him. He used Stark tech to upgrade his own body to survive the attacks. Reed realizes that Tony has put him in check on all of the boards. Reed can’t figure out how Tony did that to him.

Next we see Tony working in his lab. He always calls it his garage no matter where it is located. Tony’s assistant, Pepper, walks in using a cane. She is recovering from one of Ezekiel’s attacks. Tony is working on an old piece of armor.

Pepper teases him that it is okay if he keeps working. After all, she is only the love of his life who survived do to a modern medical miracle and is now walking. Tony comments that her recovery time is amazing. Pepper says that as many hundreds of thousands of millions of billions of dollars he spent, she had better be up and moving. Even her hearing is improved.

She asks what he is working on. Tony tells her that he is building tracers to install in old Iron Man pieces. He will take it to the black market. When Stane buys them, Tony will be able to track him down.

Pepper does not want Tony giving Stane any more weaponry. Tony says that Stane has already bought the technology and is using it. He plans on giving Stane what he wants, then shove it down his throat.

Tony senses that something is wrong with Pepper. She finally tells him that the tech he put into her(to save her life) feels heavy and alien. She does not want something that was designed to be a weapon in her body. Even if it means that she is in a wheel chair, she wants it removed. She sees it as a bomb. Tony realizes that this is how Pepper sees him. He tells her to take it one day at a time.

Later, Tony is having a discussion with Maria Hill, the deputy director of S.H.I.E.L.D. She says that it is a miracle that Pepper survived and has recovered this quickly. She wants Tony to give the technology to S.H.I.E.L.D. It could save the lives of our nation’s soldiers and that Tony only uses it to save his secretary.

Tony explains that the tech used on Pepper cost two billion dollars. That it is not feasible for widespread implementation. He tells her that he can spend his money on whoever he pleases. Maria is not to call Pepper his secretary. Maria calls her his girlfriend and Tony tells her not to call Pepper that. They insult each other and Tony dismisses her.

Meanwhile, in a war torn area…Stane is commenting on the collection of people he has gaithered from various nations. He tells his girlfriend how hating S.H.I.E.L.D. and Tony Stark brings many people together. Stane’s latest upgrades has fixed his power problems. The problem is he has used too much of the tech to perfect himself. He does not have enough to arm the terrorists.

Stane’s girlfriend suggests they scale back the attacks. Stane says that they need to take out all four of the targets to kill Stark Industries. The four he has targeted are the legs that the whole business stands on. She will go shopping to get what they need.

In Long Island, Tony offers a piece of old Iron Man armor to a collector to sell on the black market. The black market item makes it’s way to the terrorists. Maria Hill notifies Tony that the tracer just came online. Tracers have come online in Long Island, Valencia, Tokyo, and Los Angeles. Tony tells her that taking out these four facilities will kill Stark Industries.

The Good: The art by Salvador Larroca has been a great addition to the series. Some of the scenes are amazing. My favorites from this issue were the room that Reed and Tony were playing chess in and the final page with the world map.

The other thing I found interesting was Pepper’s response to Tony using the tech to save her life. It sets up some interesting conflicts for the future. Pepper does not want the tech in her body but without it she might suffer from severe physical problems. She looks at the tech as though it is a bomb. Does she think that way about Tony?

The Bad: Matt Fraction’s script was disappointing. On occasion, his dialogue was okay but most of the time it was cliched. With the artist he is working with, I expect to see an awesome battle with a worthy opponent. Most of this issue suffered from talking heads syndrome. Let’s cut him loose so Salvador can loosen up his art.

Overall: The art made the story look great but when you read it, the story is a letdown. This issue appears to be a build up to the next issue. Hopefully, Salvador will have the opportunity to draw something more exciting.