Comics / Comic Reviews / Marvel Comics

The Invincible Iron Man #29

By Hervé St-Louis
August 15, 2010 - 11:51

Iron Man gives Pepper Potts an armour of her own. The American military signals that it is not happy with Tony Stark. Meanwhile, the Hammers continue to provide advanced technological toys to the world’s geeks and to promote their Detroit Steel prototype.

This series is no longer interesting. It’s boring to be frank. I understand that Fraction is trying to build up a major confrontation with the Hammer girls and Iron Man, but there is no point to all he writes right now. He seems to be more infatuated with turning Tony Stark into some kind of Steve Jobs and trying to be hip by connecting Iron Man to the world of smartphones, apps and geeks than really crafting stories about the military industrial complex and how it has always been a challenge for Iron Man. I’m not interested in reading stories about Tony Stark as a Silicon Valley mogul who creates a comic book version of the Tesla.

The problem with tying Iron Man so closely with what is happening today in the tech world, is that in three years, the story will feel dated. Showing every second character in the story carrying an iPhone-like device is the best way to limit the appeal of the story to just a few months. When someone reads the collected edition of this book in five years, in ten years, the geeky world of apps and smartphone look du jour will not translate well and will limit this story to an exploration of the year 2010.

The second problem with making Iron Man so close to the world of tech as it happens right now is that Fraction is not the most well read tech writer out there. By the time he shows us these fancy Iron Man iPhone comics, he’s already behind the curve. The idea of geeks manoeuvring drones on behalf of the US military is hardly fresh (the writer of this article is doing his masters in strategic studies and his thesis is about cyber security). What I’m trying to say, is that the best science fiction authors are the ones who push the limits and explore new grounds. They are not those who regurgitate information available for the last five years and present it as new groundbreaking stuff. Iron Man feels dated. It feels all geeky but it isn’t. The writer has a limited on grasp on technology and its strategic aspects. I’m not challenged by his current story and I should be. There is no imagination in his work. He has shown no ability to anticipate new trends. He just portrays trends that are already too dated by the time it hit the books. Can he even anticipate that there will be a bubble burst soon? Will he rewrite his Iron Man series at the last minute to adhere to that? Why doesn’t he write that story today, while the bubble still seems a few years off?

Larroca was sloppy this issue. The line width of the drawings was different and weaker than usual. He also reused some panels’ background by blowing them up in a close up, without adjusting the line width. It looks sloppy as the line is blurred and out of resolution. There was no hint that any of the contour lines in the book had been properly adjusted like in past issues. Photoshop will only cover so much negligence.

The creators of this series started strong with a package that was unique and interesting. But now they are falling on old tricks that worked the first two years of this series, but no longer can be relied upon right now. As a reader, I’ve seen their best work and this issue is not their best. It was poor and not innovative both story-wise and visually. They have become complacent and hiding their mistakes under layers of nothing can only work so long.

Rating: 5 /10

Last Updated: August 31, 2023 - 08:12

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