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‘Invincible Iron Man’ #1 is a story that puts Tony Stark through the paces
Marvel

Comic Books

‘Invincible Iron Man’ #1 is a story that puts Tony Stark through the paces

‘Invincible Iron Man’ #1 is out in comic shops on December 7th.

New beginnings are always exciting, especially when it comes to superheroes like Iron Man. The character has had many transformations over the years, including Christopher Cantwell’s fantastic run, which ends with Iron Man #25. Enter Gerry Duggan and Juan Frigeri’s Invincible Iron Man #1, out December 7th. We have an advance copy of the first issue in hand, which moves forward with everything we know about Iron Man while leaning into the character’s rich history.

With Iron Man’s 60th anniversary in 2023, it’s great timing to kick off Duggan and Frigeri’s run, and this first issue is a compelling start. A few unlettered preview pages have confirmed a few things. Probably the most important is we get a new armored assailant for Iron Man to fight over New York City. We also can see Tony Stark using armor that flies onto his body. These elements amount to a more traditional feel for the character after years of him wearing his fair share of super-futuristic armors and space battles.

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Invincible Iron Man #1 is heavily captioned, with Tony Stark’s internal monologue driving every page of this first issue. He’s got a lot to think about, be it a helpful recap in the opening pages to catch us up on how we got here or his reactions to harrowing events in the issue. Based on what Duggan brings into these captions, it’s clear he’s playing with the character’s history as if to bring all those past events to a head. That helps recontextualize things for the reader and grow the character as Duggan and Frigeri advance the character’s story.

This issue does an excellent job of reminding us that Iron Man has been through a lot, has done a lot, and changed significantly over the years. For a serial story superhero, you realize by the end of the issue this character has had more development than most. That’s an exciting element, as it’s pretty clear Duggan understands this character and promises to take him to new places. As Duggan told me on the AIPT Comics podcast, history is a big part of this series, and that’s obvious from this issue.

‘Invincible Iron Man’ #1 review

It may not be future-tech armor, but it still looks cool.
Credit: Marvel

Through those reminders, we see Tony Stark has had a blessed rich lifestyle, but also one with persistent bruising and significant failures. You get the sense in his current state of mind he’s brooding and a bit sullen, and when things get far worse for him, he is seriously pissed off. He’s not depressed, though, as his inner hero won’t allow it. Thankfully Duggan doesn’t forget to give Tony a bit of a kooky personality, which lightens the mood. By the end of the issue, Tony’s got much further to fall, and it’s clear he will be testing his resolve by the end of the story arc. It’s a strong premise that’s similar to thrillers like The Game, which can have gripping moments as Tony faces some unknown larger threat.

Frigeri’s art is good to downright superb at times in this issue. There’s an impressive action sequence in the air, for example, and Tony looks accurate no matter the bad haircuts of the past or his present longer-haired look. However, the weight of things is apparent too, be it a shard of metal puncturing a van or the crushing grip of the Iron Man armor.

Paired with colors by Bryan Valenza, the book looks gorgeous. Valenza brings a lot of shading and volume, especially in some destructive scenes. The armor in this issue isn’t shiny but a bit old and gritty, thanks to the colors.

This issue also does a good job of reminding us Iron Man is one hero in a world of heroes. It’s not an ensemble series, but the other heroes are in his orbit, which is a nice touch that helps make this feel important to the larger stories these characters share.

Invincible Iron Man #1 features brutal shocks while leaning into Tony Stark’s resolve in a story that draws you in and keeps you invested in the character. A thriller that puts you in Tony Stark’s head, Iron Man fights beautifully against the pressure of a constant and unknown threat.

‘Invincible Iron Man’ #1 is a story that puts Tony Stark through the paces
‘Invincible Iron Man’ #1 is a story that puts Tony Stark through the paces
Invincible Iron Man #1
Invincible Iron Man #1 features brutal shocks while leaning into Tony Stark's resolve in a story that draws you in and keeps you invested in the character. A thriller that puts you in Tony Stark's head, Iron Man fights beautifully against the pressure of a constant and unknown threat.
Reader Rating2 Votes
8
Does well to get inside Tony's head
Sets up a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad journey for Tony to fight through
Art gets the armor right and is consistent from beginning to end
Feels steeped in Tony's history
It's not exactly clear what kicked off the big event on a first-read through
9
Great
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