Comic Review: The Invincible Iron Man #22


The Invincible Iron Man #22 is a Marvel Comics release written by Matt Fraction, with artwork by Salvador Larroca, and colours by Frank D’Armata.

The Story

This issue is part three of the five-part ‘Stark Disassembled‘ arc, in which Tony Stark puts himself into a persistent vegetative state, in order to protect the secrets in his mind from the corrupt Norman Osbourn. However, before he started down this road, Tony left a plan with specific instructions on how to revive him. Now Tony’s friends have gathered in Boxton, Oklahoma, and each has a task to perform in his his revival: Maria Hill has a hard drive with a back-up of Tony’s personality; Pepper Potts has the world’s last repulsor generator, which has to be transplanted into Tony; and Captain America must use his shield as a conductor, to harness the energy of Thor’s lightning, and kick start Tony’s repulsor. Meanwhile, Madame Masque has recruited the help of the insidious tech-spy know as the Ghost, and she wants him to find Stark’s body, and pull the plug on him before they can bring him back.

Last issue left the story on a huge cliffhanger, with the energy harnessed from Thor’s lightning pouring into Tony’s chest, and Tony’s body jerking violently, as he screamed out in pain. Well, did it work? Sadly, it would appear not. Tony is alive, but is still stuck in a coma. Little do his friends know, but Tony is stuck in a bizarre landscape inside his own subconscious, and he’s afraid to leave.

Meanwhile, in the real world, Captain America, Warmachine, Bucky and Thor have had to leave, and the Ghost has found out where Tony’s body is hidden. Now Mariah Hill and Pepper Potts have to relocate Tony’s body, before the Ghost has a chance to kill him. Then Captain America returns, and he bringst Doctor Strange with him. Now Doctor Strange must journey into Tony’s subconscious, and see if he can bring him back out.

The Rating

Growing up, I was never a huge fan of characters like Captain America or Iron Man. Growing up in a small town in the north of England, these all-American superhero types just didn’t really hold much appeal for me.  This has all changed now though, with Ed Brubaker on Captain America and Matt Fraction on Iron Man, these two series have become an indispensable part of my pull-list. Matt Fraction’s run on this title has been nothing short of legendary, and on this latest story arc, he’s really outdone himself! In ‘ Disassembled’, Fraction has broken the character down both physically and mentally, and has revealed a frightened and emotionally scarred man at the core of Stark’s brash playboy personality.  Stark’s vast empire lies in ruins, the Iron Man is gone, and now Tony is trapped inside his own subconscious, and the only way he can break free of this cage he has built for himself is by depending on his friends. It’s a brilliant storytelling technique on the part of Fraction, and acts to show fans who the real Tony Stark is. After this arc is over, Fraction will begin the process of rebuilding a better, stronger Tony Stark. One, at least partially, absolved of his guilt over the civil war, and the death of Captain America. As the Marvel Universe moves out of the Dark Reign and into the Heroic Age, I can’t wait to see where Fraction takes the character!

Salvadore Larroca’s artwork on The Invincible Iron Man has been consistently brilliant, and actually seems to have gotten better and better with each new issue. In this issue, many of the scenes consist of people just standing around Tony’s hospital bed, but Larroca manages to breath life into these otherwise ordinary scenes. His depiction of Stark’s subconscious is dark and enchanting, a world full fear and paranoia that is almost tangible. The best scene in the whole issue though, is a double-page splash that illustrates what it looks like when Doctor Strange leaves his own body and journey’s into Tony’s mind. When I turned the page and saw this scene, it almost took my breath away! It’s an absolutely astonishing scene, and definitely some of Larroca’s finest work!

The Invincible Iron Man #22 is a flawless example of how comics should be done. The storytelling is perfect, the artwork is divine, and there isn’t one thing to fault in the entire issue. Fraction and Larroca are creating a legendary run on this title, and ‘Stark Disassembled’ will go down as one of the defining stories in the the history of the character. I can’t recommend this series highly enough!


Related posts:

  1. A Three-Page Sneak Peek Preview of Invincible Iron Man #20
  2. Invincible Iron Man #21: ‘Stark Disasselmbled Part Two’ Sells Out With No Plans for a Reprint
  3. Marvel Unleashes Iron Man’s New Armor
  4. February’s Previews Magazine to Spotlight Marvel’s Invincible Iron Man #25 and DC’s Brightest Day #0
  5. Advance Comic Review: Stumptown #1

Speak Your Mind

Tell us what you're thinking...
and oh, if you want a pic to show with your comment, go get a gravatar!