Before the internet even has a chance to stop buzzing about the trailer for “Iron Man 3,” the final issue of “Invincible Iron Man” hit the stands, closing a chapter of Tony Stark’s life under the marathon efforts of Matt Fraction and Salvador Larroca. As expected with the upcoming fresh starts for “Iron Man” in conjunction with an armor-plated character appearing in “Guardians of the Galaxy,” storylines are drawn to a conclusion and hints are dropped to the new tomorrow awaiting the Iron Man brand in November.
For now, however, Matt Fraction bids adieu to Tony Stark and the Resilient crew with a quick recap and display of what makes his run on this title memorable. Tony Stark is written closely in line with his movie persona. While this is the final issue of the series, every issue is someone’s first and Fraction gives the readers a recognizable Tony Stark coping with calamities and problems as only he can. The writer makes this issue a compilation of everything Tony Stark has been for the past sixty-plus issues: heroic adventures, technology gone awry, dastardly foes, wry humor, unwaveringly dedicated supporting cast and more than a little Iron Man flying to give Fraction’s partner in creativity, Salvador Larroca a chance to shine once more.
Larroca seizes those opportunities of Iron Man in the action and makes the most of it, giving readers some choice imagery with which to remember his work on this series. Larroca even has the chance to draw the classic red and gold armor (Mark V, I believe) with the widow’s peak helmet and large shoulder joints. Early in the issue that armor looks more current than later in the issue, but all the same, it is fitting that Larroca has a chance to draw it before signing off. Larroca’s art is hit and miss and slightly off in other spots throughout the issue, but no farther astray than the bobbles that have pocked the artist’s stint on this title.
A satisfying conclusion, “Invincible Iron Man” #527 might not have fans as excited as the two-minute-long trailer, but like the movie it seems primed to steer one of Marvel’s most recognizable characters into new directions. Stark bids his creative team farewell, has a heart-to-heart with senior management from Resilient and charts a new course. What all of that means and where it will lead Iron Fans remains to be seen. One thing is for certain though, what Fraction and Larroca contributed to the legend will be tough to overshadow.