The GeeksverseThe Invincible Iron Man #500

The Invincible Iron Man #500
Published on Saturday, January 22, 2011 by

Written by: Matt Fraction
Art by: Main: Salvador Larroca; Ginny: Kano; Howard: Nathan Fox; Tony: Carmine Di Giandomenico
Colored by: Main: Frank D'Armata; Howard: Javier Rodriguez; Tony: Matthew Wilson
Lettered by: VC's Joe Caramagna
Cover Art: A: Salvador Larroca; B- Joe Quesada w/ Danny Miki & Richard Isanove; C- John Romita Jr w/ Klaus Janson & Dean White
Editor: Alejandro Arbona

This issue is, somewhat, told in 4 parts. There’s the main story that takes place in the present and a future story told from three points of view. The main story has Tony discovering a weapon he had been making back after the Civil War, that he can’t remember anything about. The future has Tony and his children working to stop the weapon that the Mandarin ended up making and was going to destroy the world.

The story is about one of Tony’s worst ideas being made “public” where any terrorist group can get ahold of it and the results of that weapon being made. And it’s a bad weapon. Really bad.

The pacing is well done, as Fraction shows Tony and Spider-Man in the present confronting the first attempt at making the weapon and Tony’s realization that the plans are out there for all to see. Cut throughout Iron Man and Spider-Man’s fight is the future. The way Fraction sets it up is we meet Ginny Stark who is building a bomb, and Howard Stark who is codenamed “War Machine” and is on the wrong side. We then see that the Mandarin was triumphant and has Tony Stark as his personal slave.

The story is bleak but ends up nicely as all three Starks work together to bring about the Mandarins downfall. And the story comes full circle as Peter Parker helps Tony figure out a way to make a failsafe for this weapon in case anyone ever does build it. Which is the method we see in the future, being used, before Tony comes up with it in the present.

It was a nicely crafted and laid out story. Fraction did a good job of bringing it all together, present and future with a bit of the past from Tony’s time before he wiped his mind and forgot it all.

The art is an odd mix. From Larrocca’s clean and tight pencils in the present to the more chaotic work of the others in the future. I’m not sure why Marvel went with three artists to show the future, since all three’s work is somewhat similar and it does make it somewhat of a mess to follow as switching styles every other page, or so, is a little jarring. Having just two artists would have made for a better reading.

I’m an old Larrocca fan from way back. I’m not that fond of his latest work. It’s too clean, if that makes any sense. The linework and the layouts are still good, but it appears too CG and I don’t know if he’s doing CG work nowadays or not.

The Invincible Iron Man #500 receives
3.5 out of 5

A good read is well crafted but really doesn’t have any effects outside this issue.

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