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Review of Invincible Iron Man 2 (4 stars) June 10, 2008

Posted by lotrking in Comic Book Reviews.
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Overall rating: 4 out of 5 stars

First off, this is definitely one of the coolest covers I’ve seen. Most definitely a candidate for 2008’s cover of the year! (And don’t forget to vote for 2007’s!)

So far, the second issue in this series continues to impress. Will Matt Fraction’s take on Iron Man be as already legendary as Brubaker’s on Captain America or JMS’ on Thor? It’s hard to say, so far his writing is impressive, but I’d say it still has a way to go before it reaches the earlier mentioned levels. Having said that, this series so far still seems to excel at its primary mission: introducing new movie fans into Iron Man’s current world while staying entertaining enough to impress seasoned readers.

The actual story begins right where last time left off: in the middle of Iron Man’s raid of an A.G.M. base. Tony takes out the remaining goons before stumbling on a new variation of an old villain: M.O.D.O.G. When I first heard that he would be appearing in this month’s issue I feared his goofiness (c’mon, you don’t get more goofy than a giant talking head with itty bitty limbs for an evil villain) would drive new readers away. Luckily, his presence is extremely short and consists of him ranting before Tony completely pwns him and literally throws him into the atmosphere. (I’m glad to see that Fraction wasn’t sensitive about showing Tony kill terrorists, especially annoying ones.) I also have to award coolness points to Fraction here because so much story was packed into this first part that I originally thought the issue was almost over already (sadly) before realizing I was only on page eight! Once again we have a writer who can keep a large amount of satisfying action and plot into a compressed space, unlike certain other writers who will have a fight scene fill half the issue; those types of issues can still be very enjoyable, don’t get me wrong, but I always feel a little cheated when I can read a comic in five minutes.

From here the scene moves to the Philippines as a ceremony honoring the brave deeds of several Philippine super heroes is attacked by more of the “Suicide Iron Men.” After this, we see that Ezekiel has currently sold his services to a crazed zealot who seems to be on a crusade of his own. Unfortunately, we don’t see his motive for wanting to kill several Philippine citizens. I realize Fraction may be trying to “save some for later” in terms of story, but not knowing a motive seemed a little out of place. I really think learning his reasoning would have helped the story make more sense. But then, you can’t have everything, so hopefully we’ll learn more next time. The story progresses as Tony, Rhodes (as War Machine), and Pepper investigate the scene of the attack and realize it was the same technology from the earlier Tanzania attack.

Later, Tony goes to the funeral of one of the fallen Philippine heroes as we get our first guest star of the issue (and my first complaint about the art!) Thor arrives at the services and we get to observe a rather awkward “non-interaction” between the two, this being (presumably) their first meeting since Thor #3. My art complaint comes from the first shot of Thor’s face. Not only does it look extremely two-dimensional, but the coloring makes it look like a bad computer animation (you know that moment in the movies when a character is replaced by a virtual stunt double and you can tell because he looks “fake,” that’s what Thor looked like here). Eventually the two share a few brief words, and we are left knowing there is still a great deal of animosity between the two (in a rather humorous way, no less!)

Lastly, Tony travels to a gala he his hosting in Taiwan and we get a bit more of the great character dynamic that exists between him and Pepper before the whole situation explodes (literally and figuratively). Another art complaint has to be thrown in here. I’m not sure whose idea it was to use a photographic background in a couple panels, but it looked tacky and clashed horribly with the rest of the “cartoon” art. Nonetheless, the “explosive” ending has me excited for next month’s installment, so I’m willing to overlook a little bit of bad art. I can’t stress enough how much fans of the movie need to pick up on this series! (That means you!)

-LOTRKing

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