My Week In Comics: Invincible Iron Man #5

Writer: Matt Fraction
Artist: Salvador Larocca
Colors: Frank D'Armata
Letters: Chris Eliopoulos

Last issue, we saw Tony Stark (it's amazing that post-Civil War, we can call them by their real names without it sounding awkward) use Ezekiel Stane's hatred for him to his advantage, throwing out bugged Stark technology and guessing correctly that the son of Obadiah will scoop them up to fuel the upgrades on his person. Now, Stark has opened up four of his major business locations all over the world for guided tours, one of which he expects Stane to be in. Sure enough, Stark finds him and what comes next is a furious battle of armor vs. armor, Iron Man vs. Iron Man 2.0. But can our hero survive a fully upgraded and totally angry Ezekiel Stane?

Judging from this issue, it seems that for once, Matt Fraction and co. are doing something right. Maybe it's because its the climax of their story arc or because I'm easily blinded by all the pretty repulsor lights and histrionics of superhero fights, but it doesn't matter here. This issue stands alone well on its own. Fraction maintains a steady pace in this story, the tension doesn't let up and it only keeps building up until the big fight at the end, where he finally lets loose with Stane's character. Zeke demonstrates just how far removed from the original his suit is, declaring "You're a relic, grandpa." before he totally unloads on Stark. You're actually scared for our hero, and for good reason.

Salvador Larocca's art takes a noticeable improvement in this issue...or maybe it's because he doesn't have to draw that many faces, what with the two shellheads fighting in their armor and all. But again, it doesn't matter here. His art is more detailed, and his fights more kinetic. And thankfully colorist Frank D'Armata is laying off the super-browns in this issue somewhat, the people in this issue not looking like they got burned in God's little oven or looking like Filipinos (i.e.: Me).

Invincible Iron Man proves the better of Iron Man's two titles this month, with killer art, killer story, and a killer ending that will possibly shock everyone (except for me of course...). What's next for the Iron Avenger? Thankfully, this issue makes me want to find out.

My Rating: 9/10

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