Writer: Brian Michael Bendis / Artist: Stefano Caselli, Alex Maleev / Marvel Comics
What is difficult to predict in the last days of Bendis’ Marvel run are where the stories will end for him or the arcs he’s on. Of course these comics are written well ahead of when they make it to us. But considering his deal with DC has been in the works for a while, it’s anyone’s guess if certain plans stayed on an original timeline, were accelerated, etc. I only ponder this as the story arc of finding Tony Stark is moving…gingerly to put it mildly. After the cliffhanger of the mystery man climbing out of the power armor chamber, we don’t get much more of that this issue.
Which isn’t to say that it’s a bad issue or is uninteresting. I really enjoy the fact that the story has fused with Doom’s Infamous Iron Man (also drawn by Maleev). Bendis does a good job of using the story from Infamous but not making it inaccessible for those that don’t read the comic. Seeing Doom vulnerable and not in control of a situation is refreshing and lively here. The chicken’s come home to roost for Doom, but we still haven’t connected him to larger story.
I love the character that is Riri Williams. The way Bendis has rounded out Riri’s cleverness and ingenuity to this point in the book is fascinating. All of her fights have been fun and often hilarious. The fight with Hijack (and her realizing how big a threat he is) is no exception.
What I don’t love is Mama Stark aka Amanda just being…a lot. Amanda solves everything by hitting them has kind of run its course, whether it be out of her mourning or general persona. Especially when we do have more interesting characters in these scenes that she seems to be sucking the air from.
The art is about 90% spectacular, evening managing the flip from Caselli and Maleev. And as I eluded to before, I enjoy the Infamous Iron Man art move, but I would also like to see that expanded. I wonder if we will get Maleev drawing more of the book as this arc continues and the books become merged even more.
This issue had plenty of interesting elements, but didn’t move the story forward much at all. Hopefully we get the Doom / Riri reunion sooner rather later and see the search for Stark take center stage.