Monday, September 21, 2009

Invincible Iron Man #18

So we got two issues of Invincible Iron Man this month, and it kind of shows. The plot actually moved forward in this issue, with all our main players getting something to do (even if for Maria Hill, that was only getting rescued).

Matt Fraction has really painted a sad picture of Tony Stark in this story. The penultimate chapter of World's Most Wanted has Tony hiding out in the cave where he first created the Iron Man mk1. The big bulky armor looks old-fashioned, but still dang intimidating. I have to assume Stark has some plan that will put him over Osborn next issue, but at this point it looks like the original suit vs. the modern Iron Patriot armor that Osborn stole, and that's not going to be much of a contest. I love the time Fraction spends on HAMMER technician Walsh. The poor guy is ex-SHIELD and does retain some loyalty to Tony Stark. But he dutifully follows orders and has caught Stark slipping up numerous times over the past few issues. I love seeing Walsh wrestle with his conscience each issue, then break down and do the "easy" thing and follow orders. I hope this dude gets a heroic moment, which would be neat to see.

As expected, Pepper Potts was disguised as Madame Masque, but her plan goes further than that. After freeing Black Widow and Maria Hill, the Rescue armor inserts a virus into HAMMER's mainframes, and it seems this virus is also affecting the other Iron Man suits that Osborn has procured. Maybe we're in for a swarm of empty armors coming to bail out Tony next issue. At this point, Stark's supporting cast could make a strong argument that they should get armored ID's full time. War Machine and Rescue are easy, but with a little digging, I bet there could be a fleet of Iron Men out there.

Salvador LaRocca can handle the emotion and "acting" scenes, but I like the way he puts together his action sequences. The freeze-frame style worked well both in the crash and when Stark is ambushed by some local youth.


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