The Invincible Iron Man 15 (September 2009)

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There’s the Larroca I know and love–getting Tony’s face inconsistent from panel to panel in the climax.

Fraction wastes maybe a third of the issue on Maria and Black Widow this issue. Black Widow’s getting and relying on intel Norman Osborn is planting, which suggests Bucky ought to find himself a better girlfriend. Fraction introduced the idea of a Captain America cameo like five issues ago… so far it’s an empty promise. I’m also not sure any cameo is going to make up for all the wasted Maria time.

Luckily, there are these wonderful scenes with Tony and Pepper. Apparently they get busy, almost kissing multiple times but there’s this very suggestive morning after scene. Though… last issue Pepper was talking about how she hadn’t showered in….

Never mind.

So, problematic plotting aside, it’s an excellent issue. And for the first time, Fraction comes up with a great cliffhanger.

CREDITS

World’s Most Wanted, Part 8: The Danger We’re All In; writer, Matt Fraction; artist, Salvador Larroca; colorist, Frank G. D’Armata; letterer, Joe Caramagna; editors, Alejandro Arbona, Warren Simons and Joe Quesada; publisher, Marvel Comics.

The Invincible Iron Man 14 (August 2009)

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Okay, I finally understand what’s going on with Tony and the hard drive brain erasing. He needs to go from suit to suit to use their power sources to power the deletion. He can’t just use the stockpile of suits he had in the first or second issue of the arc because Norman Osborn found them. Somehow.

Maybe.

Fraction’s never explained it clearly, but here he does, when he has Tony explain it all to the Crimson Dynamo. I thought the Crimson Dynamo was bad, but it turns out he’s not anymore. In fact, he mouths off to Norman in a really funny scene.

Larroca changes his style a little bit here, doing a lot more line work, relying less on the colorist for shading.

The issue’s got some good stuff, but it’s getting pretty clear Fraction’s hiding Tony’s final plan–if he wants his brain erased, there’re easier ways.

CREDITS

World’s Most Wanted, Part 7: The Shape of the World These Days; writer, Matt Fraction; artist, Salvador Larroca; colorist, Frank G. D’Armata; letterer, Joe Caramagna; editors, Alejandro Arbona, Warren Simons and Joe Quesada; publisher, Marvel Comics.

The Invincible Iron Man 13 (July 2009)

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Whew, lucky timing.

The issue ends with Tony having a stroke as he’s erasing his brain and making himself dumber–Fraction did a terrible job explaining the brain as a hard drive thing, I didn’t think it’d started actually erasing yet but apparently it has.

He’s on the floor, whimpering for Pepper.

Luckily, she’s decided to throw caution to the wind, piss off Norman Osborn and H.A.M.M.E.R. (don’t hurt ’em) and go find Tony.

Maria Hill finishes her adventure this issue. It’s really anticlimactic and turns out her whole story thread was a waste of time. But at least Fraction didn’t skip it and drag out other stuff.

I love Fraction’s writing on this book but I’m not sure it’s a good comic. Invincible basically started as the movie tie-in book and now it’s completely incomprehensible without reading every Marvel title.

As usual, great scenes, not at all filling.

CREDITS

World’s Most Wanted, Part 6: Some King of the World; writer, Matt Fraction; artist, Salvador Larroca; colorist, Frank G. D’Armata; letterer, Joe Caramagna; editors, Alejandro Arbona, Warren Simons and Joe Quesada; publisher, Marvel Comics.

The Invincible Iron Man 12 (June 2009)

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I can’t help but wonder if Fraction is plotting out this story line based on The Empire Strikes Back. He splits up his triumvirate, gives each their own challenges–this issue being the Han Solo in carbonite issue (Pepper gets arrested, Maria gets captured by the Controller).

Fraction once again fails to give the reader necessary information. Namor’s the big guest star this issue (Pepper’s dealing with an out of control plane à la Superman Returns and Maria has the Controller’s drones). Namor’s fighting Iron Man like it’s 1962. Fraction doesn’t give any explanation for why Namor’s buddies with Norman Osborn, why he’s mad at Tony Stark… nothing.

Does it have to do with Civil War or Secret Invasion? Marvel does how many crossovers a year? A thinking person cannot be expected to kill brain cells reading them.

Fraction’s writing ability makes Iron Man excel, but it gets frustrating sometimes.

CREDITS

World’s Most Wanted, Part 5: The High-End Technology Of Ultramodern Destruction; writer, Matt Fraction; artist, Salvador Larroca; colorist, Frank G. D’Armata; letterer, Joe Caramagna; editors, Alejandro Arbona, Warren Simons and Joe Quesada; publisher, Marvel Comics.

The Invincible Iron Man 11 (May 2009)

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Okay, here’s Fraction’s problem–he’s doing too much at once. He’s got Maria doing something, Pepper doing something and Tony doing something. Tony gets the most attention, leaving Pepper and Maria stuck without a lot of space.

Fraction follows this formula every issue–it’s like having two backup stories injected into the main narrative. The scenes resonate because they’re compelling (more compelling than what Tony’s doing actually) but there’s never any payoff. They don’t get the big dramatic cliffhanger.

Take this issue for example, Fraction spends maybe a third of the issue on a staged fight between Tony and Rhodey (what’s up with his cyborg eye, by the way?). Pepper’s just gotten her own Iron Girl armor, much more interesting. Maria’s discovered a town where everyone’s being drained of their precious bodily fluids on a bad guy’s whim, also more interesting.

Fraction writes a great comic, it’s just paced for a trade.

CREDITS

World’s Most Wanted, Part 4: Breach; writer, Matt Fraction; artist, Salvador Larroca; colorist, Frank G. D’Armata; letterer, Joe Caramagna; editors, Alejandro Arbona, Warren Simons and Joe Quesada; publisher, Marvel Comics.

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