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

So, here we all are in the beginnings of the All New All Different Marvel era (and STILL two issues away from Secret Wars, an eight issue event that should have been over in August, coming to an end, but I digress). Who better to get the ball rolling than Marvel’s mascot that isn’t Spider-Man: Tony Stark himself.

Before we get into the content of the book, I think it’s worth pointing out that my copy of Invincible Iron Man comes with a cover made out of fancy fashion magazine paper and yet, is still the cheapest of this week’s relaunch titles. That’s a little odd, but it can be overlooked, considering it’s relaunch time and there’s always bound to be a couple of overpriced #1 titles.

Brian Bendis starts us off with Tony Stark facing a common problem for a superhero whose superpower is basically technology: the fear of becoming outdated. I realize this might initially come across as old hat for fans of Matt Fraction’s run, but Bendis brings an upbeat enough voice to it that, mixed with buddy cop banter from his A.I. Friday, it’s fun enough to keep the pages turning. It’s refreshing to read an incarnation of Tony that takes plenty of cues from the RDJ version in the movies. Commonly, Iron Man books approach this sort of material with our hero being sort of down in the dumps about his lot in life. And let’s face it… unless you’re Batman, nobody these days really wants to read about a modern day Howard Hughes who doesn’t like the things life is showing him.

The highlight of the issue would definitely be Tony trying to get away from his dubious reputation with the ladies during a hot date. And, of course, there is a Much Hyped Twist Cliffhanger that, while still awesome, would probably be more awesome if we knew exactly how Secret Wars ended.

Visually, there’s almost not enough great things to say about this book. This is top notch, A+ David Marquez work. Every panel is a wonder when it comes to detail, sleek and clean in its execution. The new armor design is gorgeous in its angular and simplistic approach even though we didn’t get to see Tony really open her up just yet.

Bottom Line: After spending almost 15 years writing Iron Man in some form or another, Bendis makes the most sense to step up to the plate. Though we don’t get quite as much action as we’d like, a very promising start as far as character development and setting the tone goes.

8 Repulsor Rays out of 10

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