The Invincible Iron Man 19 (December 2009)

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Fraction finally gets himself a great cliffhanger… too bad it’s in the “last” issue of the arc.

Apparently, Fraction learned a lot when he was working with Brubaker, including how to make one arc lead directly into the next, to the point the only reason it’s an arc is because you’re calling it an arc. In some ways, if it weren’t for the… ahem… gradual pacing, these Marvel books would be just regular seventies and eighties comics. One leads to the next.

Only, they make a big deal out of the trade branding.

Anyway, it’s an amusing issue. Tony’s real smart–knowing Pepper will succeed (she finds Black Widow wherever Fraction misplaced her) and J.A.R.V.I.S. will call the media to interrupt Tony’s inevitable fight with Norman. He also knows Norman will respect U.S. law and not pull the plug on his respirator.

And the important hard drive? Obviously, a backup.

CREDITS

World’s Most Wanted, Conclusion: Into the White [Einstein on the Beach]; writer, Matt Fraction; artist, Salvador Larroca; colorist, Frank G. D’Armata; letterer, Joe Caramagna; editors, Alejandro Arbona, Warren Simons, Ralph Macchio and Joe Quesada; publisher, Marvel Comics.

The Invincible Iron Man 18 (November 2009)

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Okay, I was off… Pepper hid Madame Masque in the Crimson Dynamo armor, which means she wasn’t exactly worried about her dying in the explosion.

I think Fraction was trying to make Black Widow funny in her appearances this issue–she disappears while at H.A.M.M.E.R. (don’t hurt ‘em) but I imagine she’ll be okay. Incidentally, the humor fails. He doesn’t explain enough to make it funny.

Tony ends up in Afghanistan again this issue–for his completely modified origin (I would have thought first Gulf War made more sense as a place for him to create the Iron Man armor, but I guess they’re really keen to fit the movie). He has a drawn out scene with some armed kids. He punches one.

He’s smarter this issue than last, which doesn’t make sense.

Pepper is Luke Skywalker at the end, she’s there to rescue Maria.

Fraction really likes Star Wars.

CREDITS

World’s Most Wanted, Part 11: Kids With Guns vs. The Eternal Angel of Death; 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 17 (November 2009)

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Tony gets real stupid this issue. Maybe too stupid. I’m not sure how Fraction’s going to bring this off at the end and keep the character. He might just have Tony restore a backup or something.

Anyway, the issue opens with Pepper Potts in Madame Masque’s outfit. Fraction is apparently saving that reveal for next issue, but it’s pretty obvious. It’s also implied Pepper managed to lock Madame Masque in the Rescue armor.

Some more lazy Larroca faces–this time, as usual, Norman Osborn. Larroca’s back to relying on the colorist for shading. It doesn’t work well.

Maria Hill and Black Widow get captured and Captain America has a one page cameo. Oh, Tony might have lost so much of his memory he thinks Steve Rogers is still alive. Or maybe he just knew Steve was trapped in time all along.

At this point, Maria Hill stuff is beyond tiresome.

CREDITS

World’s Most Wanted, Part 10: Ashes and Snow; 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 16 (October 2009)

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If the Marvel movie guys are reading Fraction’s Iron Man and liking it, I hope they’re telling Gwyneth Paltrow to start working out. Besides turning Maria Hill into a really boring character who PTSD (over the Controller incident, which Fraction resolved in maybe two pages so he’s just filling with her) and making Tony forgetful, he’s also turning Pepper Potts into this really thoughtfully written female superhero.

There’s some silly stuff this issue–Madame Masque babbles sweet nothings to Tony for like three pages (and then just babbles in general) and I’m wondering if Fraction’s trying to bring in Iron Man’s rogue’s gallery throughout this arc. I’d never heard of the Controller, who’s an Iron Man villain, and I guess Madame Masque is too. I hope however created her sued the pants off “G.I. Joe.”

Anyway, it’s a good issue, no forced cliffhangers… it even survives too much Black Widow.

CREDITS

World’s Most Wanted, Part 9: Titan of the Nuclear Age; 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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