The Invincible Iron Man #500

Iron Man #500

B

So, I have been kinda down on The Invincible Iron Man lately… I really felt like the previous storyline just ran on for way too long. And don’t even get me started on this whole ‘renumbering’ gimmick of Marvel’s. Anyways, what’s past is past, the previous arc had a decent enough ending when it finally got to it, and now here we are with issue #500. Matt Fraction delivers a standalone issue with the ever reliable Salvador Larroca—and friends—handling the art chores. So how’d it turn out? Not too bad actually.

I for one wasn’t expecting a standalone issue, but after the über-long ‘Stark Resiliant’ it’s kinda nice to have a one-and-done tale, even if it is delivered in a giant-sized anniversary issue. I ain’t kidding. This issue is thick. And fortunately not burdened with a bunch of the typical backup crap that usually comes with these issues. The bulk of the pages belong to the main story, with a short War Machine backup storyline which leads into the new series Iron Man 2.0—which, I assume, will feature War Machine. And of course there’s the usual cover gallery of all 500 issues of Iron Man, along with the inordinate number of variant covers they’ve been churning out lately.

On to the story! In the present Tony Stark is tracking down Peter Parker—once again he doesn’t know he’s Spider-Man, even though the clues are, like, right there in front of him—to help him deal with a remaining issue from his memory loss. There’s a weapon design that people have gotten their hands on, but Tony doesn’t remember designing it—Peter helped him—or why he did it. This leads them to a group in Brooklyn trying to build the thing for themselves after buying the plans, Iron Man and Spidey take the group down and afterwards Peter gives Tony a valuable piece of advice which may come in handy in the future…

And whaddaya know!? We get to see that very same future where Peter’s words of wisdom will save the day. I don’t really want to give too much away about this part of the story, really, it’s the most fun. Oh, alright, here’s some hints… Tony Stark’s descendants, the Mandarin and the post apocalypse! How’s that? I really liked the division of artistic duties, with different art teams handling different sets of characters throughout the piece.

So overall, a solid and fun read… nice in its unexpectedness, but nothing that really tied into last issue’s cliffhanger, or, I suspect, the direction this series will be taking in the future. But, then again, the glimpse of the future we got in this issue should be more than enough to tide us over for 30 days.

tags: iron man, matt fraction, salvador larroca

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