Riri Williams’ first arc as the Invincible Iron Ma–err, the Invincible Ironheart comes to an end in Invincible Iron Man #6 by writer Brian Michael Bendis and artist Stefano Caselli. But just because it’s the end of an arc doesn’t mean Riri’s life is getting any easier. In true Marvel fashion, the young superhero’s life will only get more complicated in this series’ second arc.
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Artist: Stefano Caselli
Publisher: Marvel Comics
This continues to be a solid book. While Marvel puts out several quality series a month, there’s a formula here that should be emulated – a consistent creative team. Shocking, right? But really, I can’t emphasize enough the importance of a comic having a consistent creative team from one month to the next. If a book needs to alternate artists just to meet that twice-a-month schedule, just release one book a month.
Yeah, yeah, I know. That’s not how the business works. But kudos to Bendis and Caselli for giving readers a series worth their hard-earned $3.99!
Now, those of you who haven’t been reading this series are asking, “What’s so good about it?”
For starters, I respect that it shows what would really happen if 15-year-old became a superhero. Sure, Riri’s living out a comic book fantasy, but this isn’t teenage Peter Parker keeping his double life a secret from his clueless aunt. Everybody’s up in Riri’s business.
If it’s not the media (some of which wonder if Ironheart is actually Tony Stark), it’s the women in Tony Stark’s life – Tony’s biological mother Amanda Armstrong, Pepper Potts and Mary Jane Watson. They want to help Riri, and they want her to make herself at home in Tony’s laboratory – you know, the one with all the armors.
Although Armstrong is just about as new an addition to the Iron Man mythos as Riri, Bendis has done an excellent job of defining who she is and what she stands for. It’ll be fun to see her and Tony’s dynamic once he returns to the Marvel Universe (not spoilers, you know it’s coming). I’ve been less impressed with Mary Jane’s role in Iron Man’s world. She continues to feel like a stand-in for Pepper, which is made even worse when Pepper’s standing right next to her. Can she go back to Spider-Man’s world now?
Further complicating Riri’s life is the fact that M.I.T., the school she was enrolled in when she built her first armor, would like her to return to school and work with the institution in “building the future.”
Did I mention a certain team of young superheroes wonders if Ironheart would want to join its ranks? So yeah, Riri’s life has become more complicated, but it’s the good kind of complicated. She just doesn’t see what else we see this issue – new trouble brewing in Latveria, which pretty much ensures this book will be crossing over with Bendis’ Infamous Iron Man.
One thing about this issue does have me upset, though. I was really excited at the end of Invincible Iron Man #5 to hear the shocking words coming out of AI Tony’s mouth. He’d found a better way to protect the good from the bad. He’d reached a conclusion regarding humans, and the issue just ended with Friday looking both shocked and concerned. What a great cliffhanger – but where’s the resolution? I know Bendis likes to play a long game, but the lack of any follow-up on this plot really bummed me out.
Still, that’s the price you pay when you read a monthly comic book series. You need a reason to return, right? Fortunately, Invincible Iron Man has enough working in its favor in the writing and art department to help me move past the fact that Bendis is stringing me along with this possibly evil AI Tony plot.