INVINCIBLE IRON MAN #5
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Penciler: Stefano Caselli
Colorist: Marte Garcia
Letterer: Clayton Cowles
Release Date: March 22, 2017
Plot- Riri Williams finishes her fight with the Iron Golem and has a discussion with S.H.I.E.L.D.
Story- In the last issue of Invincible Iron Man, Riri and Pepper were facing off with the Techno-Golem and hordes of lightsaber-sword-thingy wielding ninjas. This is really just a check off the list of chores for most super heroes but Riri is new to this and we were able to really see her put that M.I.T. noggin of hers to good use. I mean how cool is uploading a virus to corrupt the Golem’s Technopathy powers? She essentially defeated the enemy that Tony Stark could not, and I find that commendable.
There was a nice helping of character exploration in Invincible Iron Man #5. Her mother gets a monologue that allows her to talk through how she feels about what her daughter is doing. I like that this was added in. Often times, a story will focus so much on the heroism that we lose the close sight of the human aspects of these characters that make us love them. That’s why I like that last issue and some of this issue. Riri was outside of her suit. That’s why I like that she defeated a respectable enemy without the use of her “powers” which in this case his technology. Her true power is that mind.
We’re starting to get a better feel for the type of person Riri is too, now. We know that’s smart. We know that due to her being so smart, and always working on a higher IQ plane than the rest of us lowly humans, she has a few social problems. But we also see in this issue that she’s far from impressionable. When Agent 13 more or less “tells” her that she’s going to become a S.H.I.E.L.D., Riri tells her, that will absolutely not become a S.H.I.E.L.D. trainee. Sharon takes obvious offense to this, but it’s cler that Riri can care less. These are the kind of personality traits I like to see in my characters. Strong ones. They may not act exactly like I want them to, but as long as they stay true to who they are, I’m happy.
In any case, Brian Michael Bendis never fails to bring new interesting twists into his writing. Before the issue closes out we get a conversation between A.I. Stark and Friday. In other words, get ready for a technological apocalypse storyline because that’s where we are headed. I feel somewhat indifferent about this, because the story has been done, countless times. At the same time, I didn’t see the Stark A.I. going this route, because it has the mind of Stark. At the same time, he could very well be going that route because it has the mind of Stark. Something tells me we may get another Ultron plot out of this, but who knows?
Art- The cover art is incredible looking. Some detailed work featuring an awesome collaboration of a lot of the “All-New” Marvel characters. However, I would be lying if I say that I was disappointed that none of these characters appeared in the issue. It was somewhat misleading. I was expecting at least Ms. Marvel to make a cameo appearance (since she’s standing right next to her), but the issue itself had nothing to do with any of them. That always throws me a little.
On the pages, the work is to die for. Stefano Caselli is one of my favorite artists and the fact that they teamed him up with Brian Michael Bendis on this book, speaks volumes. He’s extremely expressive with his art, and the story telling is phenomenal. As always, he’s delivering us top notch work. You can tell he studies his characters too. Riri looks amazing in every panel. I appreciate the care he puts into his work.
The colors are also on par with this level of work. The flashbacks have a necessary desaturation and things like the l lightsaber-sword-thingies have the vibrant color they need to stand out. Invincible Iron Man definitely has one of the most visually appealing art teams and they actually draw Riri like a teenager, as opposed to a pinup model. On comic book pages, that means a lot. That means the artist is aware of what they are drawing and the diversity of their audience. It’s amazing work.
Verdict- Invincible Iron Man #5 was a wrap up to the last issue, and did some necessary character fleshing. The writing was well done, but at the same time, nothing particularly mind-blowing happened here. That doesn’t mean every issue needs to have that, but there are some that really do the job of getting us to turn the pages faster than not. That being said, the reveal at the end does prompt me to want to read on. It’s a pretty nice hook. The solid writing and S class art team really propels Riri forward, but I’m still waiting for that thing that gets me excited like I do for every issue of Ms. Marvel.
Star Rating: 4 out of 5