Tony’s situation is pretty dire. The death of War Machine has left him broken. Superheroes are dying left and right and are on the verge of civil war. And the solution to all of this may be a fifteen year old girl in her garage in Chicago. We get to find out what happens in what the cover promises to be a poignant end to the story arc; is it good?
Invincible Iron Man Vol. 3: Civil War II (Marvel Comics)
Invincible Iron Man Vol. 3 is honestly a bit of a downer. Tony’s life is in shambles and he doesn’t know where to turn or what to do. Stark Industries stock is plummeting. His friends are dying, and the ones who are still alive are on opposing sides of a great conflict. What’s a man to do?
Judging by this book, not a whole lot outside of feeling sorry for himself. Unfortunately, while we get tastes of interesting story threads, they don’t end up going anywhere in this volume. We see Riri Williams, but only for a brief scene. Most of this reads as an advertisement for Civil War II.
And it’s a surprisingly short read at that. For a volume called Invincible Iron Man Vol. 3, Invincible Iron Man only takes up half the volume–three issues. The rest of the book is padded out by three issues of 2007’s Mighty Avengers #9-11. It seems an odd choice, and only makes the lack of development in the main story sting even more.
What is written is written fantastically, though. It’s a very emotional book and tugs at the heart strings. We’ve all been in a situation similar to Tony–okay, so our superhero friends may not have been killed, but we’ve lost loved ones. We’ve struggled with finding our place in the world and rising above our shortcomings. We’ve disagreed strongly with people we love. Bendis has an obvious knack for bringing out the relatable sides of these larger than life superheroes, and he does so with aplomb here. There is a scene with Tony and Carol Danvers that got me right in the feels.
I was not a fan of Mike Deodato Jr.’s artwork upon first glance, but it really grew on me. And by the end of the book I can’t imagine anyone else drawing what we saw here. As I said, this book is really less about action and more about the pain and strife Tony Stark is going through. Deodato’s facial expressions convey these emotions perfectly, and really help add emotional weight to what is a pretty serious situation.
Is It Good?
Invincible Iron Man Vol. 3 honestly feels a little deceptive. It’s only three issues of that series, with three issues of a decade old series to pad out the hardcover. What we do get here is a great read with beautiful artwork–so long as you’re not looking for action–but there simply isn’t enough of it, and many questions go unanswered. Unfortunately, this reads as a primer for Civil War II and nothing more.