Sunday, March 20, 2011

The Invincible Iron Man #502

While I've been enjoying the Iron Man comic for the past couple of years, I have to say that this issue did not work for me - in fact, it was downright irritating.

The story by Matt Fraction has Tony Stark being held captive by Spider-Man's opponent, Dr. Octopus.

That villain is suffering from brain damage - the result of too many super-powered blows to the head - and he is trying to force Stark to "fix" him by threatening Stark's friends and by threatening to detonate a nuclear weapon in Manhattan. Doc Ock has two of his associates - Sandman and Electro - threatening one of Stark's friends.

So here's where this issue goes wrong. It treats these three villains like they're fools and bumblers - not worth Iron Man's time and effort, since they've been defeated so many times in the past by a "loser" like Spider-Man.

I suspect that attitude was meant to be taken as just more of Stark's snarkiness (if that's a word) - but it comes across as a real slam to these classic villains and to Spidey.

Making matters worse is the fact that Pepper Potts uses her repulsor technology to hold her own in a fight with Electro and Sandman. Again, nothing against Pepper, but these are villains who have gone up against some of Marvel's heavy hitters - the Sandman took on the Fantastic Four, for crying out loud. They deserve better treatment than this.

The final sin is that by the end of the issue, nothing has changed and all the characters are right where they started.

The bright spot is the art by the always-outstanding Salvador Larroca - but otherwise this issue leaves me cold.

No doubt rabid Spider-Man fans will heat things up...

Grade: B-



Jozeph Dukö said...

I used to read a lot of Iron Man, but somewhere I decided not to read it any more, it's been about seven years since I read an Iron Man comic. Is now a good time to jump on? The character has always interested me, and to be honest I really can't remember why I stopped reading. I would really like to get back on board, but is the series, as a whole, worth the time?

Chuck said...

Jozeph, I'd say this is a good time to jump on board. I dropped Iron Man for a while post-Civil War, but the new creative team is writing the character along the lines of the film Tony Stark, and the stories have been pretty good. The ongoing storyline started last month with issue 501, and it's as good a place as any to jump in.

Dom said...

Every issue since #500 has had ties to the Spidey-verse (we do not count the ridiculous issue #500.1 which I have re-written the ending of on I'm not saying it's bad or good; however, I was more into the Iron Man stories before this current arc and I'm a huge Spidey-Fan.

Nice Grade Chuck!

Chuck said...

Dom, I'll have to check out your re-write - it had to be an improvement. Issue 500.1 should be avoided.