Iron Man and Ezekiel Stane make their final stand against the Mandarin.
Invincible Iron Man #526
The Mandarin is drilling to the center of the Earth. He plans to destroy the planet before returning the beings he claims are in his rings back to space where he says they belong. Iron Man, Zeke, Whirlwind, Blizzard, and Living Laser fight hard but don’t seem to make much headway. They get help from Stark’s friends, the Dynasty and Triumph Division. In Seattle, employees of Resilient transfer control of the Swarm (micro-sized robots) for him to weaponize. While Zeke deals with Mandarin, Stark turns the Swarm onto the Mandarin’s drill and destroys it. He then turns his attention to the robotic home of the Mandarin’s rings and wipes it out. However, Tony doesn’t really feel he’s won when he learns that Zeke’s handling of the Mandarin goes against how he operates as a hero.
Effectively ending the main story of “The Future” (even though there is still one final part that will likely serve as an epilogue to the entire Matt Fraction and Salvador Larroca run on the title), this issue works very well on an action level. It’s more or less a book that features an all out war between Stark and his allies and the Mandarin and his rings. On a pure comic book level, this entire story has been well crafted with these last two parts pretty darn exciting.
What’s more, there’s a nice theme and a nice little moment with Pepper getting rid of her Rescue alter ego that makes this more than a big, dumb action issue with lots of things getting smashed and blown up. The one major theme that ran through the entire arc to this point is how much Stark’s friends really mean to his heroic efforts. Tony is the kind of guy who really believes that there’s nothing he’s unable to do on his own, but rarely realizes that his support group from those like Pepper Potts or James Rhodes all the way up to the Avengers have always been there for him even when he’s shouldered everything. It’s easy to understand that a man with that high of an ability to tinker and think his way into and out of situations might have thought that dealing with the Mandarin was his burden, but there was no way he could have even been put into this situation without aid from some of his worst enemies. Then, when that wasn’t enough, along comes more help from his many travels looking to return a favor. It just adds that nice touch of the man who has everything never truly realizing how much he means to others.
One issue remains in this creative team’s impressive run. While I’m excited to see what Kieron Gillen can bring to the character, this has been a great ride.
A COMIC BOOK BLOG RATING
|Nicely plotted and very exciting. As always, beautifully illustrated.||Nothing major to pick at. Just a great book.|
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