After the first six issues of “Invincible Iron Man,” I decided to drop the book. The writing wasn’t to my taste and I couldn’t stand the art. I gave it a complete story to win me over and it didn’t. But, then I read and reviewed issue seven, which was, quite frankly, a fantastic issue. It fired on all cylinders, but I wasn’t totally convinced. I would give it another chance, especially as “World’s Most Wanted” looked interesting. Well, the 2.5 stars I gave this issue suggest the odds of me picking up the next.
I still can’t stand the art. It’s ugly. Look at the preview for this issue and note the muted, bland colors. Or the awful-looking video playing behind Norman Osborn that doesn’t fit into the art at all. Or that Salvador Larroca has apparently lost the ability to depict characters in any consistent or pre-existing manner. Can anyone tell me where the opening scene takes place, because the art gives no impression as to location? I assume outside, because of the dark skies, but even they are vague and unclear, particularly when the POV in the second and third panels on page one is looking down at the reporters, which should provide something other than clouds as a background, wouldn’t you think?
The art doesn’t get much better as the issue progresses aside from the odd panel here and there: awkward positioning, a lack of backgrounds, inconsistent characters, and unattractive coloring.
The writing, though, is better than the art in that it is competent and has no major flaws. Except that it’s boring. I don’t know how or why, but for a story where Tony Stark is on the run as his world crumbles around him and an insane villain has taken his place in the eye of the public, I’m bored silly. Not much actually happens. Not much has actually happened in this story and this is part three. It takes this long for things to get going, which they do, at the very end of the issue.
The final two pages of the issue are the only ones with any excitement and drama as Stark, Maria Hill, and Pepper Potts are all on their own, and all on the run from Osborn and H.A.M.M.E.R. Before that, it’s a lot of fretting and humming and hawing. I’m not an action junkie who hates talking heads scenes, but when nothing is actually said, I have to demand more.
It’s not all bad as there are moments of wit; Osborn’s manipulation of the media is well done, particularly later in the book, and Pepper Potts is a genuinely interesting and compelling character. But, those things are easily outweighed by moments like a H.A.M.M.E.R. agent striking a man in the face with the butt of a gun when asked for a search warrant and saying, “Here’s my @#%$&@$ warrant, hippie.” Yes, yes, it’s the “Dark Reign” and all, but really?
All in all, neither the writing nor art make me want to continue reading this series despite the cliffhanger ending. You can’t say I didn’t give “Invincible Iron Man” a fair shot, though.