Writer: Brian Michael Bendis / Artist: Stefano Caselli / Marvel Comics
My prevailing thought while reading through this issue was that, “this is cute.” That’s both a compliment and probably less so, to be honest. After Riri’s showdown with Lucia Van Bardas where she boastfully proclaimed in her best Debo voice “this is my bike now, punk,” we learn that in fact, words have consequences. Sort of. S.H.I.E.L.D. has arrived in Latveria expecting to handle the international incident of Riri crossing sovereign borders with aggressive militaristic action and instead learn that she is, for the moment, Queen of Latveria. Like, I said, “cute.” And part of me has to remember, that cuteness is permitted in a comic book where the protagonist is a quirky 16-year-old girl. The storyline and idealist impulses of Riri as the sudden matriarch of the country has a lot to like about it, especially the indigent back and forth with Commander Carter.
What is a bit of a disconnect for me is that the proclaiming that there would be consequences for this action, hinted at in the lead-in and during the issue, don’t really come. It makes sense that there should be some consequence to Riri’s actions, but they don’t really happen, not in this issue anyway.
The art, per usual, is pretty great from Caselli, who especially uses some splash pages to great effect. Most of the issue is conversation driven with lots of facial reactions to Riri and her actions. The only place this doesn’t completely nail the emotion is near the end when Riri has a moment of release from all that happened. But, it’s nitpicking the Mona Lisa, the issue does look fantastic.
Riri has a short but consequential (of sorts)romp as Queen for a day at Latveria that shows a lot of heart in sacrifice for any of the disasters that could have befallen her hastiness.
Reading Invincible Iron Man? Find BNP’s other reviews of the series here.