Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Review - The Invincible Iron Man Volume 2

Written by – Matt Fraction
Art by – Salvador Larroca
Published by – Marvel

The manhunt is on!
With Tony Stark in disgrace and on the run, the orders have come down from the highest level to every mercenary, mobster and Osborn minion: “Bring me the head of Tony Stark”
The Invincible Iron Man Volume 2 collects together issues 8 to 13 of Fractions and Larroca’s ongoing Iron Man series.  I have to say I was a bit sceptical going into this, I’d read volume 1 the Five Nightmares about six months ago and didn’t enjoy it, at all. However the wife was kind enough to buy me volumes 2 and 3 for Christmas and they’ve been in my too read pile since then. So looking for a superhero fix on the weekend I decided to give volume 2 a go. I’m so glad I did this six issue collection fairly rockets along and besides a few niggles with Larroca’s art this is a corking collection of comics.    
In the aftermath of the Skrull Invasion Tony Stark has been deposed and Norman Osborn is King of the castle. Stark has been held to account for the failure of the Avengers and S.H.I.E.L.D to prevent the Skrull invasion and when the Skrulls plant a deadly virus that renders all Stark Industry tech obsolete, things get really bad for our boy Tony. Forced to hand over everything to Osborn and H.A.M.M.E.R, Tony is backed into a tight corner and when Osborn goes after the Superhuman  Registration Database the only copy of which is held in Tony’s enhanced Extremis brain he is left with only one option. He runs.  Along the way he manages to get into Maria Hill and scraps with War Machine as well as giving Pepper Potts a fancy new ladies Iron Man suit (you know what I mean).
Matt Fraction really does seem to get Iron Man his Tony Stark is authentic and speaks and acts how you would expect him too, yes sure he’s a cocky tech head but he is also fiercely loyal to his friends but you are left with the distinct impression especially at the end of issue 13 that trying to wipe his mind of the information Osborn wants isn’t going to work out well for him.
So with Fraction’s writing being excellent through out, it’s time to air a few problems I have with Loarroca’s art. Number one the inconsistency with peoples faces from panel to panel this was a problem for me in the first volume and it doesn’t get any better in the first half of this collection.  Gripe number 2 is the seeming photo referencing of actor Josh Holloway, Sawyer from Lost as Tony Stark, it’s very off putting and kept dragging me out of the story. Instead of turning a page or moving onto a panel and thinking ooh look there’s Tony Stark I’m left thinking ooh look there’s Sawyer from Lost with a moustache. All though it’s very noticeable in the first couple of issues once Tony’s on the run and in disguise i.e. sans tash and shaved head it seems to stop or become not so noticeable. However on the plus side for Larroca he does draw a great Iron Man and his War Machine is quite simply a stunning piece of art, so see it’s not all bad news Salvador.

So all in all this is a fine collection of Iron Man comics. If you’ve seen the films and fancy reading an Iron Man comic you should give this a try, with this volume and a little research you really couldn’t do much better as a start point.
Rating 5 out of 5 – a great collection and start point for any Iron Man fan if you’re willing to accept Sawyer as Tony Stark.

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