Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Artist: David Marquez
Colorist: Justin Ponsor
When Secret Wars first started, I was extremely excited to get into it and all the tie-ins. Now, a few months later, I desperately want to get back to a non event Marvel line. Some may call that event fatigue, which it may be, but I can’t deny the quality that came out of that event. That being said, this week Marvel produced a bunch of their new number 1’s for the post Secret Wars universe (which is still technically happening but that’s a whole other subject), and one of the new books I was most excited for was Bendis and Marquez’ Invincible Iron Man.
One of Bendis’ most heralded run on a marvel title is his New Avengers/Avengers multi year epic. For me, the best character he wrote in that series was Tony, as his quippy, fast paced dialogue fit the character perfectly. With Editor-in-Chief Axel Alonso came out to say that they wanted to make Iron Man the focal point of the new universe, it only made sense to put Bendis on the book. All that said, this was a perfect issue for both the new universe, and for just a new Iron Man book. We open on Madame Masque acquiring some tech from a disgruntled AIM supplier or worker (more on Masque later), and are instantly thrusted into the action. When we get to Tony, we see him working on a new armor, to really put a stamp on this new run, and we are given classic Tony banter right away. Also, I cannot say how much I love the introduction of Friday, the holographic almost secretary that Tony created. Their dynamic really let Bendis flex his dialogue muscles. The story appears to be Tony going to deal with Masque, as he begins to in this issue. With a very odd, question inducing cliffhanger (maybe Secret Wars related?), I definitely have to come back for issue 2. A nice little tidbit to grab in the middle of the issue, which looks like it could come into play in a big way, was seen in the introduction, and possible love interest of Tony, in Dr. Amara Perera, who is a complete equal to Tony in intelligence, and has a crazy secret in terms of the larger Marvel universe. In short, Bendis did exactly what you want in a first issue, established a strong sense of characterization and introduce compelling story-lines which require you to come back.
I haven’t read a huge ton of comics drawn by David Marquez, but what I have I’ve really enjoyed. This issue looked like the best work I’ve seen from him, with a nice sense of cartooning and excellent facial work, with an almost Stuart Immonen level of character rendering. Marquez takes the small, banter moments that Bendis does so well, and adds so much dimension to the character before we even read the words. It was just really solid storytelling panel to panel, and a perfect clean style for Iron Man. On top of that, his design work in this issue is excellent. The armor design is sleek, practical, and right in today’s zeitgeist. What really drew me away, however, was the intricate detailing in Madame Masque’s mask. There appears to be a gold dragon or something along those lines in the mask, but in a hard to describe, almost crisp rendering way.
I can’t think of a better way for these two to introduce the new Iron Man than what we got with this first issue. If you like ANYTHING involved with this book (Bendis, Marquez, Iron Man, etc), I urge you to check this out. If you’re feeling a little jaded on the constant relaunching; I would say that this is looking to be a gem you don’t want to miss regardless.
5 Cures out of 5