Invincible Iron Man #20-24 : Stark Disassembled


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Invincible Iron Man ( 2008-12 ) series is absolutely my favorite. Matt Fraction is clearly inspired by the movies if the style of the armor and Tony’s quips go by but then he did envision this story after the success of Iron Man ( 2008 ). Laroca , the artist working on the artwork is absolutely brilliant. I love the artwork, one of the big positives of this sub-arc of a bigger arc. In this comic bundle, Tony Stark has deleted his own brain . Norman Osborne has taken over Stark industries and everything is a high octane mess . He is at his lowest here.

The Good

The comic has a slow and beautiful narrative and the artwork to back the story itself . I love the scenes inside Tony’s head when he’s figuring out who he is . You cheer for him when he digs up his armor in the middle of a desert like wasteland and I personally loved his empathic denial to be like his parents. As a child neglected and compared to your parent/parents this line really resonated with me and made me fall in love with this imperfect and morally complex hero . I love his pre recorded speech for the avengers. It’s an amalgamation of what he is and what the avengers can achieve together. This speech is a highlight and is also a very clever addition of the next sub-arcs name , Resilient.

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His further encounter with Dr Strange is a pleasure to read especially due to the rhetoric of great artwork . His eventual return to the land of living is accompanied by the usual Stark ingenious and sass . Fraction’s story is engaging and shows a vulnerable side to this invincible golden avenger .

The Bad

The chief antagonist Ghost is not my favorite Iron Man villain . He’s menacing yes like a pest and is irritating to the readers and so is Tony’s insane subconscious belief that his parents are his protection against the big bad world that directly contradicts with the last few pages of the comic arc . Maybe it’s meant to be a revelation to Tony or a means to find himself again yet as a reader it felt very wierd but then that’s forgivable. My pet peeve in this story was the portrayal of Pepper . She’s incredibly selfish as in doesn’t even want Tony to wake up from his self induced coma . Now I would have understood if Cap objected since he’s the guy Tony originally went up against and everything went to s@#%* . I get that Tony was forced to kill her husband after a fatal injury ( Basically allowing his euthanization in the hospital ) in the previous World’s Most Wanted Arc of the series by Fraction but she insisted on it and now she’s unwilling to save her on/off lover aka boss for an RT that makes her smarter and simply out of spite and jealousy. The worst part though doesn’t end with this . If you want to continue with the larger story arc then you’ll be suprised by her loyalty which remains the same as before the whole brain deletion fiasco which leads to story defects .

The bottom line is that as a standalone this comic arc is amazing . Beautiful artwork and a unique storyline and engaging characters make it worth your time . As a part of Fraction’s Invincible Iron Man arc , this book is a shadow of its former action packed predecessors . The angst and psychological analysis of Tony’s psyche is intresting but boring at times . The female characters have bonding scenes that remind us of typical Stark behavior. In the end though this comic arc is a tragedy combined with slivers of comedy and an insane high of recovery . The faults in the comic can be blamed on  Fraction’s ambitious story arc that should have been shortened instead of being this long arc that declined dramatically at the end of its glory pages and frankly ended on a muddled note with too many loose strings that begged to be tied together more efficiently .

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