The Marvel wedding evet is here. After getting engaged at the end of X-Men #26 Tony Stark and Emma Frost are tying the knot. The situation that caused this was not one out of love but rather convenience. With Tony and Emma forcing this marriage that brings together the Avengers and X-Men closer than ever how will the wedding go? Find out with our review of Invincible Iron Man #10.
Writer: Gerry Duggan
Artist: Juan Frigeri
Colorist: Bryan Valenza
Letterer: Joe Caramagna
“You are cordially invited to the wedding of Anthony Edward Stark and Emma Grace Frost… Come join the lucky couple as they exchange vows. Attire is Hellfire formal. Orchis raid to follow. Plus some exclusive wedding extras!” – Marvel Comics
Given how difficult it has been for the Iron Man franchise has had to sell as well as its heights tying the latest series, Invincible Iron Man, to the X-Men is not a bad gamble. Outside of Spider-Man, the X-Men franchise has been Marvel’s most consistent selling franchise. The lack of shamelessness both from the characters themselves and writing is what makes Tony Stark and Emma Frost “marriage” in Invincible Iron Man #10 work.
To Gerry Duggan’s credit he is well aware of how forced the pairing of Tony Stark and Emma Frost is. We see that with how the chemistry between Tony and Emma is one that is out of convenience. Both characters are in a spot where they need all the allies they can get. This does create a tension between them that could break the partnership at any time. At the same time, as long as they stick things out, Tony and Emma partnership be key in making sure Fall of X isn’t the end of mutants.
The success of this angle comes down to how the Fall of X direction is being utilized. In partnering Tony and Emma we see the Fall of X storyline isn’t just impacting the X-Men. Fall of X something, as we see with Uncanny Avengers and Uncanny Spider-Man, is something many Marvel big names are involved in some way. In turn, this escalates the current direction of the X-Men franchise to be bigger than most others in the Krakoa Era. Which goes back to how integral Krakoa has become over the years to the foundation of the Marvel Universe. They had such a far reach that once it started to crumble the impact was felt in other franchises.
This especially has helped elevate Orchis as a whole. They are not just a danger the X-Men are fighting. As we’ve seen with Invincible Iron Man, Orchis plans is multi-layered and using resources across the Marvel Universe. Feilong, through his hostile takeover of Stark Unlimited, has forced something like Tony and Emma partnering up to be a reality.
And as we see in Invincible Iron Man #10 there is a growing sense of overconfidence in Orchis. Because they’ve had such major wins against the X-Men and Avengers they are sweating any of the heroes. Feilong is more than willing to interact with Tony Stark because he knows he is in the driver’s seat. It all drives home how Feilong is a villain that, like Orchis as a whole, you love to hate.
Which makes the way Tony and Emma use Feilong’s overconfidence against him provide some logic behind their fake marriage. Orchis has had their defenses up for too long that there hasn’t been an opportunity like this to trick the organization. It speaks to Emma’s character in particular with how she used her telepathy to get around all of Orchis protections. Duggan made sure to still put over Feilong as a big threat as Emma’s showing, with Tony’s assistance, driving home how much they needed to do this.
Now with them having room Duggan shifting the story to Emma and Tony going on a mission to get all the Mysterium metal for themselves is an intriguing next step. We’ve seen how powerful Mysterium is and has been used for political exchanges. Now that is out the window as Emma seems to be planning to weaponize Mysterium with Tony’s help to fight back against Orchis. This mission can also help Tony as he is without his Stark Unlimited resources. So it could be a win for both but also paints a big target on them, creating the question of how Orchis will respond when they discover this mission.
The one aspect of Invincible Iron Man #10 that did not work was James Rhodes prisoner sub-plot. Duggan does a poor job integrating this storyline into the events of the issue. The way it was handled was more of reminding the reader of Rhodey’s situation than giving it any meaningful development. Even with not being familiar with this sub-plot the content came across as being reused from a previous issue. It does not help that Tony shows no concern for his best friend’s situation. Making Rhodey’s storyline as a whole forgettable as soon as you turn the page where we move on to Tony and Emma’s marriage angle.
Juan Frigeri artwork got the job done for what the story in Invincible Iron Man #10 called for. With no major action set piece Frigeri didn’t get much of a chance to show off. This was mostly a talking heads comic book, which isn’t Frigeri’s strength. Frigeri does get across what the tone the writing is hitting with each scene but as the issue goes along the art is a bit more rushed.
Gerry Duggan and Juan Frigeri deliver on answering the “Why?” question around Tony Stark and Emma Frost sudden marriage. Invincible Iron Man #10 embraces how forced the marriage is to elevate the roles Tony and Emma are playing moving forward. Which in turn leads this issue to achieve the goal of the marketing around this X-Men and Iron Man crossover story within the greater Fall of X storyline.
Story Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 6 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10