This write-up has been sitting in queue for a while. I read these books from the library a few months ago, but have been collecting my own copies since that time. Yesterday I finally picked up a shiny new copy of the first one at Emerald City Comic Con, and got it signed by Matt Fraction! Woo!
The Invincible Iron Man: The Five Nightmares, 2008
The Invincible Iron Man: World's Most Wanted Book 1, 2009
The Invincible Iron Man: World's Most Wanted Book 2, 2010
Matt Fraction, Salvador Larroca, et.al.
Premise: Tony Stark is down but not out. First, in the aftermath of Civil War, he faces his worst nightmare: someone running around making new weapons out of his tech. Then, after Norman Osborn takes over SHIELD, Stark and company go on the run to protect the very information that caused him to fight his fellow Avengers. Before the end, he'll take "self-destructive" right to the limit, even while proving that the one thing he does best is create. These three graphic novels compile the first 19 issues of Matt Fraction's run writing Iron Man.
These were downright awesome. Just awesome.
Sure, there are a few plot moments that on second thought had me scratching my head and saying, wait, how did that happen? Sure, there was a panel here and there where the art gets awkward or just oddly skewed, although overall the art is really strong. Also, a big heads-up, a giant crossover event happens in the Marvel Universe between Issues 8 and 9 (between the story arcs). So when you pick up the second book you're starting with a major shift in the status quo. Read the intro page, you'll be fine. Stand-alone stories are for wussies.
Anyhow. AWESOME: Still the bottom line here.
The first arc may be slightly more coherent, and the use of narration is much better there. The second arc, though, has tons of really satisfying moments. Also there's some seriously amazing ladies in these books. It's like a way-more-badass Charlie's Angels, with Pepper, Maria Hill and Black Widow all running (or striding confidently) into danger.
Pepper Potts. I love you. I thought I loved you before, but now I really love you. I love your loyalty and your fierce determination, I love your iron sense of right and wrong, and I just think you're swell. And I may have laughed aloud in maniacal joy whenever you got to be badass.
The third collection ends the story arc, but definitely lands in a dark place. I want to hug this book and tell it that it's going to be okay, in comics everyone will be okay, eventually.
In short: loved these books. Huzzah!
5 Stars all around.