Monday, December 26, 2016

Invincible Iron Man #2 Review and *SPOILERS* - Marvel Monday

Army of One

Written By: Brian Michael Bendis
Art By: Stefano Caselli, Marte Gracia
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: December 21, 2016
Publisher: Marvel

*Non Spoilers and Score At The Bottom*

To say this title is being put under a microscope every single issue is an understatement. This was probably one of the most talked about comics this year and last month we finally got the first issue of it. I personally found it to be an enjoyable comic but not one without some flaws. The issue felt more like a zero issue than a first issue but we needed to be better acquainted with the character that we were going to be following, after all we didn’t really know Riri Williams that well. The first issue accomplished that goal but now that we know her backstory, we need to see what she can do. Where the story goes from here is what’s important. So let’s stop talking about it and just jump right into this issue.

Our issue gets a quick introduction from Riri in which we learn that she is going to be trained by Tony Stark’s AI. The way that Tony is going to train her is by having her fight a rather large group of his old suits. Riri barely has a moment to prepare before Tony launches his assault and Riri is already on her heels. She begins to fly away from the group in order to get some distance but she is quickly caught up to and sent flying into the harbor below. We cut to a flashback of Riri’s past in which she is once again talking with her friend Natalie, who we know was shot in a previous flashback. This flashback takes part before that event and the two mostly talk about nothing in particular. The conversation eventually changes to a boy that Natalie likes and Riri agrees to have her back with him. The flashback ends with Riri revealing to Natalie that she is building a rocket pack and will someday use it to fly.

We cut back to the fight in which Riri is able to stop herself from entering the harbor by just a hair. Unfortunately, another suit tackles her from behind and the two go underwater. A group of people has formed to watch this battle at this time. While underwater, Riri notices a small bit of water running down her cheek and realizes that her suit’s seals aren’t as tight as is necessary. We cut to another flashback, this one taking place after the shooting. The doctor informs Riri’s mother that her husband didn’t survive and Riri asks him about Natalie. The doctor refuses to tell her anything as she is technically not a family member. Riri sees an opportunity and runs past him into the emergency room. She sees a lot of people hurting until she comes across a body covered up. She pulls back the sheet and begins to cry as she sees her best friend lying dead on the table. Riri begins to mourn before the hospital employees grab her and escort her from the emergency room.

Back in the present, Riri is able to rise out of the water and lose the suit that tackled her. This is when she begins to run and the rest of the suits follow her. Tony lectures her that she can’t simply run away and the two begin to argue a bit. We cut back to the flashback once more and Riri and her mother are interviewed by a detective looking into the shooting. Unfortunately they are unable to tell him a whole lot but behind the detective a news story is breaking and Riri sees the many heroes doing what they can to help people and she sees Iron Man on the screen. We cut back to the present and Tony is still questioning why Riri is running when she turns around and Tony’s suits begin to fall motionless. Riri celebrates as she reveals that she wasn’t running from Tony but simply buying time for her to upload a virus that would make Tony’s suits fall out of the sky. The AI of Tony even gives Riri props before they fly off. The issue ends with Tomoe and her group reentering the story. They believed that Tony Stark was dead but the news has reported several Iron Men fighting in the skies. Whether Tony is alive or there is a new Iron Man, Tomoe wants them dead because she dare not take the chance of her plans being interrupted. This is where the issue leaves us.

Invincible Iron Man gives us yet another issue that is just kind of around. It is far from a bad story but not a whole lot happened in this story that we didn’t already know. This story does a good job at establishing the relationship between Riri and her new AI version of Tony Stark but little else happens. We get a rather lengthy fight scene which is beautiful and a lot of fun to look at but it lasts the entire issue and doesn’t really do much to push the narrative along. In addition, we get a flashback story that tells us just how much Riri was affected by the death of her best friend Natalie. However, I found that the first issue is an excellent job at telling us how much her death hurt Riri and how it affected her going forward. Granted, this story gave us even more of why Riri is the way she is but it felt kind of redundant. However, as much as I have to complain about in this book, I still really enjoyed it and found the art very nice and it looks like we might be getting some actual story now that Tomoe has entered once again. This issue isn’t as good as the first issue but is hardly reason to jump ship.

Bits and Pieces

Not a lot happens in this issue. In the present day we have Riri undergoing a training exercise and while it is entertaining and fun to look at, it does little to advance the plot. Meanwhile, in the past we get a story about a loss in Riri’s life that we already kind of explored in the first issue. While it added a little more context, it ultimately felt redundant. This issue does give us a nice rapport between Riri and Tony and a cliffhanger that will hopefully get the ball rolling in this comic. This wasn’t as good as the first issue but I found it to still be an enjoyable read.


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