I can’t think of a good Iron Man run. I can think of good Iron Man stories all day long, but all Iron Man runs seem to follow a typical formula. Tony is sorry he was a dick at the end of the last volume. Tony is starting over, back to basics, revamping who he is. Tony does good things. Tony does something for the greater good that is kind of a dick move. Tony is now a dick. Tony is more of a dick. Tony is the supreme dick. Tony is sorry he was such a dick. Rinse, repeat.
In the Bendis penned Invincible Iron Man #1, Tony is starting over after the events of Superior Iron Man, creating a new armor and starting fresh. But this time it’s probably totally for sure going to stick. The new suit is a blend of old suits and allows him to do everything all his previous suits could do. Tony has a date, Madame Masque makes a return, and the last page is a bit of a surprise to change-up the status quo. It’s a pretty standard start for a new Iron Man volume. It’s good, if by the numbers. Tony’s the main focus here, outside of the costume. He’s extra quip-y here, more in line with his Cinematic Universe portrayal, and being confronted with his image as both a narcissistic genius and man whore, setting up yet another arc where Tony tries to reinvent himself.
So if it’s by the numbers, why is it good? Well, by the numbers isn’t bad. It’s a genuinely fun read. The dialogue here is quick and snappy, with more than enough surprises peppered in from a quick Thor cameo to a discussion about the mutant gene that takes a surprising twist. It’s a fast read, and one that keeps your interest long enough for you to care for the character with the hope that you’ll come back, with a surprise last page that makes sure you do.
But the real star here is David Marquez’s art. I’m an unabashed fan of Marquez’s art, and it steals the show here. Tony’s armor is gorgeous, something distinctly Iron Man while being almost unrecognizable. It’s the lines; the soft, curved lines of the armor are a contrast to the normal sharp, futuristic tech lines Tony’s armor has, and it creates a visually dynamic appearance.
Mind you, the book still has flaws. The focus on Tony means the book is a lot of exposition and dialogue and not a lot of action. And things like Tony’s armor being a merger of all his previous armor feels like a handwave to creating a swiss army knife for Tony to pilot. But the flaws aren’t so big that you find yourself lost. It’s an enjoyable read. With a new love interest and an old-is-new-again status quo, maybe this new Iron Man truly is invincible. Time will tell if Tony goes back to being a dick.