Written By: Brian Michael Bendis
Art By: Mike Deodato
Colored By: Frank Martin
Lettered By: VC’s Clayton Cowles
Release Date: 8/3/16
Price Tag: $3.99
The wait is finally over! Tony comes face to face with teen genius Riri Williams!
Invincible Iron Man #12 opens with Tony sitting in (enjoying a nice lunch) the ruins of the now former Stark Tower. We then immediately switch gears to a flashback to three weeks ago where the billionaire reveals to the Stark Tower board members that his girl Friday has been running the place without their knowledge.
Stark’s behavior has been questionable as of late. To his peers, he has been acting erratic and otherwise preoccupied with all that’s been happening in his already hectic life. It’s understandable of course. I mean, he is still grieving the loss of his best pal Rhodey. Also, there’s the little matter (extremely urgent matter) of a possible brewing war with the Inhumans — the ones responsible for demolishing Stark Tower. Needless to say, we get to see Tony in a much different light in this issue than the previous ones.
With Tony playing a pivotal role in the ongoing Civil War II event, it’s still a little baffling how we’re just now seeing the event tie into Invincible Iron Man. This isn’t a complaint. The issue overall had some interesting moments. Brian Bendis manages to incorporate the drama going down in the main Civil War II title smoothly. So even if you haven’t been following along with Marvel’s major crossover event, you won’t be totally lost.
Bendis covers a lot of ground in this issue. For any other writer, juggling mutilple subplots at once would seem like a daunting task. However, Bendis does this with ease.
Okay now for perhaps the most important part of this chapter. The highlight of this issue is Tony’s much anticipated first encounter with the future Iron Man herself, Riri Williams.
As mentioned, Tony has been out of the loop lately. He’s been dealing with Inhuman related world saving events so much so that anything not directly related to those things was pretty much not on his radar. So it’s time for him to catch up. First and most important order of business: pay a little visit to a teen genius who built her own Iron Man suit.
After reading that newcomer Riri Williams will be the next to don the Iron Man suit, I was initially skeptical. I held off further judgment on her till she interacted with Tony or others in the Marvel Comics universe. She is expected to play a significant role in future comics. I was mostly eager to see how well she is written when interacting with other heroes and geniuses.
So was the meeting of the minds everything I had hoped for? Yes! It has been a while since Tony met someone who’s as eager to build and tinker with tech as he is. Seeing her match wits with Tony, albeit briefly, made this otherwise dark issue a bit joyful.
Since the start of Invincible Iron Man, I haven’t particularly liked the art. Mike Deodato’s work doesn’t exactly do the great writing justice. It just doesn’t fit. More specifically, every characters’ movements and facial expressions come off as being clunky and wooden. They aren’t depicted as conveying the full depth of emotion that Bendis puts forth which is sad. On a positive note, Deodato is excellent at drawing details in the environment. Everything from the rubble of Stark Tower to Tony’s ‘Hall of Armors’ is marvelously detailed.
The coloring also could be a little better. Colorist Frank Martin slathers every page with dark, gloomy colors that make each panel hard to see. He uses a type of color scheme and shading that really only works in horror comics in my opinion.
Invincible Iron Man #12 is not the strongest issue in the series, but rather one that showed the most improvements over the others. Nonetheless, those who are curious about the soon-to-be Iron Man Riri Williams should definitely pick this book up!