I’m catching up on a LOT of issues so some of these will be short – the Iron Man one is longer.
I love Iron Man! I don’t think this is any secret to those of you who know me. Matt Fraction and Salvador Larroca have been leading us on a fantastic ride through the worst year of Tony Stark’s life. Tony continues to be on the run from, well, the whole world. Even as we see his intellect degenerate, it is becoming clear that Tony planned for any contingency. It’s also pretty clear that even a “stupid” Tony Stark is still smarter than the average bear. He is making the armor simpler to use which is leading to next month’s return of THE CLASSIC ARMOR!!!!!!!! I don’t care who you are, if you like Iron Man then you like this armor and it is always cool to see it return!
Maria Hill managed to escape the hold of the Controller and that escape gave us some nice insights into her background. Up until this issue she was just a S.H.I.E.L.D. hard-ass trying to make it in a post-Fury world. In a page worth of panels we got to see what made her work so hard and, in turn, so tough. She manages to complete her mission to retrieve the mysterious “X” drive, but the fight with the Controller left her bleeding pretty bad so it remains to be seen if she’ll actually live through this.
Pepper Potts gets caught in a little hot water when she’s interrogated by Norman Osborn and H.A.M.M.E.R. Fortunately Tony’s planning strikes again and, although Norman can’t do anything to her legally, we do discover that: Yes, Norman has a bunch of Iron Man armors in Avenger’s Tower. No they are not usable due to some key missing components. Yes, Norman’s scientists are trying to find a way to make them work. No, those scientists are not as smart as Stark.
This story is really gearing up and the last page with Tony is a hell of a cliffhanger – he’s not lookin’ too good, but hopefully Pep is coming to the rescue. I literally cannot wait for issue #14. I’m going to hitchhike to the Marvel offices in NYC to see the next issue as soon as possible.
Or maybe just wait.
Also there’s an armored Super-Villain in here called Shockwave. He is WAAAAAAAAYYYYYYY old school – like from “Shang-Chi Master of Kung Fu” old school. I really like his redesign. Oh, and the whole Madame Masque story looks like it will launch next month! Just like the old days. I’m really looking forward to this!
We are getting some of the untold back story in this issue covering their being drummed out of the FBI and a weird connection to the Captain America of the 50’s – possibly – or the real Cap, hard to say just yet. Jeff Parker and Gabriel Hardman are doing a great job of bringing these forgotten heroes into the present day. This issue is getting the team ready for a conflict with the New Avengers – apparently early than anticipated. I forget that The Agents are disguised as criminal masterminds. And now that they have forged a deal with Norman Osborn all the real heroes are ready to strike and kill.
Again we see different art styles for the different eras which is really nice for the story telling and no one does their recap pages better. Even if you just check out that first page in the shop you’ll get a kick and a feel for how good this book is. Smart, fun and worth a read if you have an extra 3 bucks.
Not going to spend a lot of time on this.
Hawkeye and Mockingbird are adventuring together, relationship on the rocks, they are hunting A.I.M. This issue shows a little bit more of what Mockingbird went through on the Skrull planet…
I’ll confess I’m bored with this story. I think they could have covered what they needed to in 2 or 3 issues. There’s a big explosion at the end, it looks like these two are getting back together. I’m bummed that I’m still going to spend 4 bucks more because there is one more issue – but I can’t help myself. I came this far I’m going to the end.
Normally Free Comic Book day issues are kinda’ lame – at least that’s been my experience. They rarely have anything to do with what’s going on in real continuity, they are watered down and, while designed to bring new people to comics, are rarely a good example of what modern comic books are like. This issue did not suffer from that problem!
Brian Michael Bendis and Jim Cheung bring the people a story that, while technically not part of what’s going on in the bigger universe, is still very relevant. Basic premise is that the frost giant Ymir has started to convert Earth into his own kingdom. That may sound like a spoiler, and it kinda’ is, but not really. It’s all a very clever ploy to bring the New Avengers (Captain America, Spider-Man, Ms. Marvel (Carol Danvers), Spider-Woman, Wolverine, Luke Cage, Ronin, Mockingbird and Iron Fist) and the Dark Avengers (Iron Patriot, Venom, Bullseye, Moonstone, Dokken, Ares, Captain Marvel and The Sentry). We’ve been promised this meeting for a while but, while it starts out like they are going to fight, the bigger problem of Ymir keeps every one civil.
Thor has already gotten pasted by the elemental giant and it’s up to the two teams to try and take him down before the whole of Earth is destroyed – You knwo, typical super-heroes saving the world plot. Turns out the Twilight Sword is on Earth. That’s a bad thing.
Seeing the two teams come together is exciting and tense. The end leaves a big opening for the next conflict and, if you can still find a copy, I recommend picking one up. Thank’s to Enrique for picking this up for me!
See you tomorrow!