“World’s Most Wanted” picks up the story of Iron Man following the conclusion of “Secret Invasion.” That said, the story retraces some of the events that led to this point, but for readers who pick this up expecting a gateway into the world of Iron Man, access is a little more restricted.
Fraction is firing on all cylinders, guiding Tony Stark and his iron-plated alter ego into a strange new “Jerry Maguire”-esque existence. This issue gives Tony a release from the pressures and complications set upon his shoulders during “Civil War” and offers a reset button for his karma. Fraction provides a very entertaining Stark, and allows us to read what’s going on in Tony’s mind in this story.
Additionally, Tony Stark has made a new enemy, one that carries a grudge until he has an opportunity to bludgeon his foe with it — Norman Osborn. Swiping Stark’s place as the governmental superhuman liaison, Osborn wastes no time trying to access the Superhuman Registration Database and the secrets awaiting therein.
In his attempt to access those files, Osborn is shown to still harbor some madness and an almost terrifying singularity of purpose. No doubt, following Stark’s triggered safety, Iron Man will be the target of Osborn’s vim and vinegar for some time to come.
Larocca and D’Armata are nigh inseparable regarding the art in this issue. It truly is difficult to tell where Larocca’s rendering stops and D’Armata begins, as the two work seamlessly together. This book is visually stunning, but it also has the ability to render real world in a manner that is almost tangible.
Undoubtedly, this story is going to gain steam as it heads into the next issue and beyond. Marvel’s propensity for “tradeworthy” story arcs provides Fraction with an exact set of parameters for his pacing. The final, entire story of “World’s Most Wanted” is sure to be a nice hardcover collection. But why wait? The action is here right now and Iron Man is perched on the precipice of becoming an honorable hero once more.