Bruce Castle Presents: The Amazing Iron Man!

Large Cover of The Invincible Iron Man #5 (50/50 Meinerding)

Invincible Iron Man #5 (****1/2)

Ezekiel Stane wears a shirt that portrays Captain America’s skull and beneath it says “TONY WAS RIGHT”. That’s one of the many little extras that Fraction packs into each issue of his Iron Man run. It’s turning out to be a hell of a first arc. Fraction puts his own unique spin on each of the characters and even manages to prominently feature his own original creation, the aforementioned Ezekiel Stane. If you felt a little bored with all the talking last issue, you’ll be pleased that there’s a lot of fighting in this one. The armor clangs and the tough talk is believable. Last issue I complained about Larroca’s art, but I did say he could draw the armor well. So, because of the shiny combat included, the issue looks great. Fraction manages to create an amalgam of continuity wank and new reader friendly material that should please everyone. The finale is shocking and contains a bit of poetic justice. I don’t believe what appeared to happen on the last page is possible, but I certainly wasn’t expecting it. This series continues to impress.

Amazing Spider-Man #570 (****)

This arc is half over. It’s the point when you can usually tell how you’re going to like the story. I’ve enjoyed the previous two issues, but they weren’t very special. Romita’s art is gorgeous and I like Slott’s style. Both creators handle Spidey extremely well and the addition of the Thunderbolts is a plus. But it was nothing more than a slightly above average tale with some laughs and pretty art. That’s not such a bad thing, but villain copycats like the ridiculous Menace and the new Anti-Venom detracted from the stories’ quality. However, after reading this issue, I’m starting to think that New Ways To Die will be better than I once thought. Sure, we have copycat villains, but we have the originals as well. Slott creates fascinating encounters between these baddies which I’m sure will continue. The issue contains a lot of a quality action and an ending that leaves me wanting more. Thankfully, I’ll satisfy that want in only of couple days. This arc isn’t the most original nor is it required reading, but it’s fun, well-written, and did I mention the awesome John Romita Jr. art?

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