“Long Way Down” kicks off as the Mandarin’s plans for The Invincible Iron Man enters its next stage.
Invincible Iron Man #516
In Charlotte, Iron Man is attacked by a new Firebrand and Crimson Dynamo. Just as he is about to bring down the villainesses, his armor is shut down again by Justine Hammer. Instead, Detroit Steel takes down the two baddies. As Charlotte burns, Captain America and Ms. Marvel come to offer Tony some help in whatever way they can. Stark tells them he’s taking a leave of absence from the Avengers. Stane unveils a new weapon for the Mandarin, but when it fails, Stane’s given a beating he won’t soon forget. Stane and Sasha Hammer discuss their side plan to betray the Mandarin, but Stane is concerned about the Mandarin’s power of him. In Seattle, Cababa and Pimacher, employees of Stark Resilient, are enjoying a quiet evening, when Pim receives a text from Sasha Hammer. He kills Cababa and reveals himself as the Spymaster. At the Pentagon, Tony barges into General Babbage’s office to tell him that, effective immediately, he’s no longer Iron Man.
With this first issue of a new arc, Matt Fraction is laying down some foundation for the next few issues. Mandarin is still tirelessly sending the goon squad after Iron Man. Tony finds himself completely unable to confidently remain in his armor as it shuts down with the worst possible timing. He’s even unable to accept help from two of his closest allies in Cap and Ms. Marvel. He’s likely realized that Mandarin’s pointy fingernails has reached so far as the Pentagon as Detroit Steel is carrying off bad guys without anyone knowing truly what’s going on. So, Tony quits being Iron Man with the likelihood that Rhodey will be seeing some action in the main suit again soon. How long will this be the norm for the series? I’m torn between wanting this to actually play out for a while as Tony does some less-than-flamboyant work to take back control over his own suit and actually seeing Iron Man take on his rogues gallery on his own. Either way, I’d say this is a good start to see how this plays out. If I really had to guess, based on Fraction’s M.O. on this series, I bet Tony’s going to be working that underground angle for a while.
A COMIC BOOK BLOG RATING
|Good start to the new story. Interesting threads starting to get their legs. Great art from Salvador Larroca.||As with many first parts, this story still has some stuff to shake out but it’s off to a good first issue.|
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