Writer: Brian Michael Bendis / Artist: David Marquez / Marvel Comics

Since Iron Man (specifically, Robert Downey Jr.) seems to be Marvel’s movie mascot, it only makes sense for the Armored Avenger to get the ball rolling as we move into the “All New All Different” regime after Secret Wars (even though Secret Wars has STILL not ended. Whined about it last time… whining about it again). At first read, it may not seem like there’s much about the title that’s “All New” or “All Different,” but Brian Bendis is great for quietly planting seeds for an evolution in a character you may not have seen coming. Anyone who kept up with his run on X-Men will make an excellent character witness to substantiate this fact.

Invincible Iron Man #2 Panel

As we find ourselves in Issue #2, this becomes clearer as Iron Man finds himself at odds about how to handle an apparently restored Victor Von Doom. The exchange between the two old enemies is mostly entertaining and the added banter compliments of Tony’s A.I., Friday, only makes it that much more lighthearted and unconventional. Granted, I want to take Doom’s whole new… umm… thing at face value, but it is a bit of a pain in the ass that we don’t exactly know whether or not it’s tied to the events of Secret Wars because Secret Wars isn’t over yet. No, it’s not really Bendis’ fault, but it just seems like an unnecessarily annoying question to have looming over readers’ heads.

Meanwhile, Madame Masque, who seems more out of her mind than usual, is still up to no good on the other side of the globe. While the Doom stuff seems to make for great tone setting, the Masque material makes for a great twist on the sort of fun we’ve come to appreciate Iron Man stories like this for. I appreciate Bendis’ approach because it’s not necessarily about an All New All Different Iron Man so much as All New All Different approaches to old problems like his batshit crazy ex and Doctor Doom. Where the art is concerned, thank the Comic Gods for David Marquez. I mean, as it is, his panels are just super clean and classy. But watching him show off the different modes of Iron Man’s new armor is more than enough to geek out over. The different modes so far seem to be able to act as both a scalpel and a broadsword, depending on the situation.

Bottom Line: Bendis has stepped his game up from one issue to the next. Tone setting, pacing, action… everything seems to have been handled better than before. Also, this is some of the best David Marquez artwork I’ve ever seen. No joke.

9 Unnecessary Downtown Hulk Fights out of 10

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