I love Matt Fraction’s writing. I don’t love Salvador Larroca’s art. I just don’t like his style. Don’t get me wrong, he renders machines wonderfully. If this series was about the suits, Larroca would be fine, but Fraction is writing about the characters. This story is about Tony, Pepper, and Maria. Each of those characters has their own distinct voice, and it’s a lot of fun to read about their adventures. But just to be clear, no matter how good Fraction’s writing is, Larroca’s art hinders this book.
On the bright side, I still love this arc. We’re only about halfway through, which makes this one of the longest Iron Man stories, but it will probably be one of the best. Besides handling the characters brilliantly, Fraction’s also throwing every villain he can at poor Tony. No matter how great or obscure, just about everyone who’s tackled the “Golden Avenger” is making an appearance. Some of the more obscure villains are getting modern updates, like the Controller. It’s always nice to see lame villains cause fear.
Invincible Iron Man is one of the few books right now that’s using the new “Dark Reign” status quo effectively. The fact that Fraction is able to pull off a great Iron Man story while servicing Marvel’s current event is impressive. Don’t let the Larroca art repel you, stay for the great characters.