It’s a Trap! Invincible Iron Man

Let us here at PoP! guide you through a minefield of books that seem full of win from the word go, but which once you crack them open have you shouting… It’s a Trap!

First Spider-Man, now Iron Man? Tronvengers... Tronsemble!

I love Salvador Larocca’s art. I greatly enjoy Matt Fraction’s writing. So when the two came together on Invincible Iron Man, it was a dream come true. Rightfully so, as the team went on to win the Eisner for their fantastic storytelling, both verbally and visually. The book’s been a great ride, but somewhere along the way, I had cuts to make and IIM was dropped from my pull list. At the insistence of fellow PoP!Stars Lee and Jose, I gave it another shot.

It’s still great.

The number of moving pieces in play is pretty damned impressive, and the likelihood of them all becoming intertwined even moreso than they already are would seem pretty high. Tony’s still being targeted by the Mandarin’s smear campaign for operating Iron Man drunk, and resultantly turned to Reed Richards to purge himself of Extremis in an effort to show the world he’s given up being Iron Man. Enter Rhodey, who has faked his own death and gone off the grid to return as the new Tron-eriffic Iron Man (would this be 3.0?). It’s nothing that hasn’t been done before, with Rhodey subbing in to get Tony off the hook, but it’s still a pretty interesting new take on it. Add in Spymaster, Stane, and Detroit Steel, and you’ve got a winning recipe for insanity that should keep you well and truly entertained.

And there’s the trap. The book is great; so good, in fact, that it won’t immediately hit you how glaringly it conflicts with current continuity. Specifically: this book takes place prior to Avengers vs. X-Men, Marvel’s current event book. An event in which Rhodey is in outer space as War Machine and Tony is here on Earth Iron Manning it up like always. Now, sure… it’s not like I thought this story was going to end with Tony Stark having given up the suit for good, or Rhodey bisected, or anything that dramatic. Still, you can’t try to tell a story with events meant to dramatically alter the status quo when another book taking place AFTER those events is being released concurrently and showing nothing to have changed.

IN FACT, because this story hasn’t concluded, it can’t even really be referenced in AvX, which further diminishes its perceived impact within the Marvel U. Even if/when everything returns to normal, you could have Tony reference these events for years to come as being a significant and life-altering experience. It will ring a tad hollow, however, considering they don’t seem to be bothering him a lick over in the myriad AvX titles, wherein he’s playing a big enough role and getting sufficient screen time that at least a “Man, I still haven’t even fully recovered from that shit with the Mandarin” would be warranted.

I know a lot of people will make the argument to ignore continuity in favor of enjoying the story before you, but sometimes it’s easier said than done. I can forgive characters being in too many places at once. I can deal with costuming inconsistencies. But when I’m reading a story that SHOULD be impactful to a character, and I already know it won’t be because I’m already seeing them on the other side of it, no worse for wear, before the story has even finished? That’s just too much.

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Who ARE these people!?

Jason Kerouac is a co-founder of Panelsonpages.com. He spends roughly half of his waking life in servitude to the Giraffe. Raised in a town in New Hampshire you've never heard of, he now lives in Indianapolis, IN and is pretty sure that's a step in the right direction.

Comments (4)

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  1. I love Invincible Iron Man. So much so, that this never occurred to me at all until you ruined it. Dick.

    In all seriousness, the story is really good, so it should be left alone. You’ve often made a case for writers focusing on story over continuity, after all.

  2. I think in both of those instances, I was very much in favor of continuity being honored and writers finding other ways to tell their story. It would have been simple enough, here, btw… Wait.

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