In the wake of the Serpent War, the Mandarin and Ezekiel Stane make their move.
Invincible Iron Man #510
Tony and Splitlip melt down the weapons made by the Uru metal. Splitlip decides to come work for Stark Resilient and live among humans on Earth. Meanwhile, Stane and the Mandarin start their schemes by having Blizzard freeze out all the potable water in Abu Dhabi. In Seattle, Stark and Split attend an AA meeting, but Stark leaves quickly after the meeting begins to deal with an emergency. As Iron Man, Stark is able to stop the two A.I.M. agents using an particularly powerful weapon that actually manages to cause Iron Man’s suit to short circuit and crash after he takes out their vehicle. One of the A.I.M. agents proves to have one of Stane’s “heart bombs” and explodes. Later, Tony is subpoenaed to hand over the biometrics of his suit realizing someone is aware of his sobriety during the Serpent War. That someone? The Mandarin.
This issue is a fairly good one. We’ve been teased this whole Mandarin/Ezekiel Stane/Sasha Hammer collaboration for quite sometime now. I don’t doubt this will be more than just a four or six part story as it seems these three enemies of Stark’s look to destroy him in all facets of his life. Where do they start? In the courts – both legal and of public opinion.
I’m not entirely sure how most fans felt about the whole idea of Tony getting blasted in Svartalfheim, but I don’t see Tony’s future development having to go through the whole alcoholic thing again. I knew it would weigh heavily again because you don’t just write a recovering alcoholic by having him say “Well, I got drunk… I just won’t do that again!” and forget it. You also don’t gloss this over. It sends a bad message. You can show him stepping off the wagon. Matt Fraction is a smart writer and while he telegraphed this movement pretty obviously in #500.1, but he’s not just sweeping it under the rug once Fear Itself came to an end.
He’s also not appearing to travel down the road we’ve already seen before. I like the idea of where Fraction appears to be going with this. Let him think about getting drunk, but don’t toss him down that spiral of alcoholism. Let him face it one day at a time. I’m not an alcoholic. In fact, I hardly touch the stuff, but I do have a cigarette habit, so I understand addiction and how looking at the end goal too much makes each day harder and almost impossible to quit. I like the realistic take on it. I like the idea of him eventually needing to face it time and time again and seeing him have to make the choice to not drink.
In a more minor aspect, I like seeing Split Lip hanging out with Tony still. In his own, foul mouthed way, Split is charming. It should be fun seeing him in this series going forward.
A COMIC BOOK BLOG RATING
|I really like where this arc is heading already. I like the take on Tony facing the fact that he hopped off the wagon for a bit and curious how he will continue to handle that while having to deal with three pretty bothersome opponents. And, as always, Salvador Larroca’s art is spectacular.||Not much. Let’s see where this takes us!|