The end of an era for Tony Stark and The Invincible Iron Man.
Invincible Iron Man #527
After Iron Man stops a man trying to repurpose Stark tech into a bomb, he’s taken in by S.H.I.E.L.D. to be questioned about what happened with the Mandarin. He tells them that he was compromised but everything is good now. They don’t exactly trust him and wonder if there’s still anything lurking in his tech that might crop up again. He’s released and he goes into seclusion to reflect on what’s happened and what will be next. He does learn that Bethany Cabe, his security chief, let Ezekiel Stane use a cell phone to which he called Sasha Hammer. Tony realizes that Stane and Sasha will be killing Justine Hammer, and despite trying to get her to listen to the warning, she is indeed reported missing (and based on what’s shown, likely real dead). Tony comes out of seclusion long enough to tell everyone he’s taking an extended vacation. He’s not telling anyone where he’s going, other than it won’t be on Earth, and that he will for at least a few weeks if not a month or more.
This is a week of conclusions for long runs on some of my favorite titles at Marvel. This issue effectively closes the book on the fantastic run by Matt Fraction and Salvador Larroca that had far more high points than low. After being in charge of S.H.I.E.L.D., being pegged as a traitor by Norman Osborn, to losing the last few years of his memories, to being controlled by the Mandarin, Fraction’s done a lot to Tony. He even had him fall off the wagon and get pissed during Fear Itself. This is most certainly a somberly toned book. It’s not high in action. We got plenty of that in the last couple issues. Instead, this is an issue that has more of the feel of having a bow nicely tied to bring an era to a close.
When it is all said and done, Tony’s much different today than he was when Fraction found him. He’s seen things that’s made him question his hardened belief in science over religion. He’s had to live as the “villain” when the government was twisted and was after him. It’s time for him to now clear his head and await his next big adventures. This issue, like much of the Fraction run, feels a great deal like a character study. There’s a chance to stop and slow down and look around at all Tony’s done for those who believed in him. To that note, he now has to do something for himself. It’s a fitting end to a fantastic run.
It’s going to be hard for me to look at another Iron Man comic going forward without Salvador Larroca’s gorgeous art and design of the book. It’s a look that has not only become synonymous with the character, but has always served as a striking sight. His last page of his run pretty much sums up how I feel. It’s Iron Man looking forward and heading to new places. It’s about as perfect of a goodbye an artist could give.
So, this brings to a close this series. Soon, we’ll be talking about Kieron Gillen and Greg Land’s work on the new Iron Man book. But until then, I just want to give my thanks to Mr. Fraction and Mr. Larroca for a great run.
A COMIC BOOK BLOG RATING
|Touching conclusion to a fantastic run. Art and script spot on.||Not too much negative to say in the least.|
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