See all reviews of Invincible Iron Man (9)

Brian Michael Bendis–the man sure knows how to write a cliffhanger, doesn’t he? You’re right, I’m getting way ahead of myself, talking about the last page of Invincible Iron Man #5 before I even talk about everything that came before it! On to the review…

Invincible Iron Man #5 (Marvel Comics)

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Like that cover? Just an FYI–it has nothing to do with the story inside. Sorry, no superhero selfies!

Old-school Iron Man fans who are reading the current volume of Invincible Iron Man out of loyalty to Tony Stark–or his AI–may be disheartened to learn this issue is extremely light on their favorite goateed genius. Instead, Bendis uses the space Stark would have loaded up with quips with some quality time with Riri Williams’ mother.

It’s not often writers can share so much about a character through panel after panel of dialogue, but not all of them have Tony’s AI to play with as a plot device. Riri’s mother thinks Tony’s listening, so she unloads. Hey, you try being the mother of a 15-year-old superhero.

Also hard? Not having a name. I don’t believe we’ve learned Riri’s mom’s name yet (according to my memory and the Marvel Database). If I’m wrong, correct me in the comment space below (preferably without calling me an “idiot”).

But credit to Bendis for fleshing out Riri’s supporting cast so early on in the character’s history. It’s clearly a priority based on his treatment of Ultimate Aunt May and Miles Morales’ parents before–sigh, Riri’s mother.

Elsewhere in this comic, Bendis wraps up Riri and Pepper Potts’ rooftop confrontation with the Techno Golem and her tech ninjas. The villain isn’t the most charismatic (the curse of Iron Man’s rogue’s gallery), but the battle presents a chance for Bendis to revisit Riri’s relationship with her late father (I’m telling you, Bendis loves writing parents).

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A bright spot in the issue–and one that surely strikes a chord with anyone in opposition to the current president–is when Riri stands up to Sharon Carter of S.H.I.E.L.D.

“Just because I have serious concerns and, I think, valid criticism of your systematic abuse of power in the name of global protection … does not mean I’ve taken a side against you,” Riri explains.

Amen, Riri! Ironheart continues to provide a fresh and youthful voice in the Marvel Universe, and proves she’s just as opinionated as her mentor.

Once again, artist Stefano Caselli turns in stellar artwork this issue. Together, with color artist Marte Gracia, Caselli consistently delivers one of the slickest-looking series on the stands.

Oh yeah, that cliffhanger. Sorry for being a tease, but you’ll just have to read it for yourself. Or just go to one of the comic websites that has surely spoiled it already. One thing I will say … this series may have just solved its lack-of-charasmatic-villains problem.

Invincible Iron Man #5
Is it god?
Another fun entry in this youthful series, but the cliffhanger is what will make you read the next issue.
One of the most visually appealing series on the stands
For Bendis, character development is always a priority
That last-page twist, though...
Riri's mother needs a name
The Techno Golem isn't the most exciting Iron Man villain
8.5
Great
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