The Daily Review: The Heroic Age The Invincible Iron Man #25 by Matt Fraction

Tony Stark is back after spending a year losing his brain and longer with his character losing his way. What direction will the new Tony take?

Summary: We start with Hammer Industries trying to sell giant armored defense suits to the US Military, who say no because Stark is back. Meanwhile, Stark and Pepper Potts try and figure out their next move. Stark Industries is bankrupt and Tony needs new Iron Man Armor, but he still blows off the US Military, leading them to call back Hammer who are also selling to terrorists. Tony’s memory stops at Extremis, but he’s read enough to know what happened thereafter. He decides to go to Reed Richards to build new armor, which works out to Extremis plus. Stark decides to rebuild his fortune by finally selling his repulsor technology for free energy, pissing off the world’s richest men in the process. Thor then visits, challenges Stark who then stands up for himself and they begin to rebuild their mutual respect, which is probably a good idea since they will both be in the new Avengers comic. Tony eventually suits up, showing off the new armor that apparently is inside him, and flies away.

Thoughts: This is how you do a comeback issue! Fraction has Stark as arrogant as ever, while still knowing he made mistakes. The problems are piling up almost immediately, from no cash to selling repulsor technology for a free energy world (obviously won’t work since Marvel parallels our world), to Hammer, to pissing off the government, to pissing off the rich, to his contentious relationship with Pepper. There’s an absolute ton in here and Stark’s personality through it all is finally once again likable with threats that play to his strengths (Rich, Military and Technology developers as enemies really work). Salvador Larroca’s art is clean and really gets over the bright new “heroic age” ideals without forfeiting the depth of the characters’ emotions.

Rating: 9/10 – This is how you do set up! An emotional core with relevant guest stars and plenty of future threats set up for a multilayered protagonist all make this must read.

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