Writer: Brian Michael Bendis / Artists: Stephano Caselli and Alex Maleev / Marvel Comics
These last months since learning that Brian Michael Bendis will migrate to the world of DC from Marvel brings a bittersweet flavor to some of his last comics. The Invincible Iron Man #597 was a gourmet dark chocolate bar. This book is packed with the sweet Bendis-isms that we’ve come to adore (especially if you’re like me and started reading comics in the early 2000s). With that sweetness comes a stinging reminder that this is some of the last of the Bendis magic we’re going to get from Marvel Comics for a long time. Drawn by Stefano Caselli and Alex Maleev, The Invincible Iron Man #597 continues the “The Search for Tony Stark” story, an indomitable Bendis Trinity of restoring Tony Stark to the world, continuing the development of Riri Williams and following Dr. Doom’s progress adopting the Iron Man moniker.
I’ve been fairly critical of the slow progress in this particular arc. In this book, Riri Williams a.k.a Iron Heart is moving forward after the board of Stark Enterprises repossesses her Iron Heart technology. In the process, she finds people more than willing to assist her with her search for Stark. That is the cumulation of this comic’s progress in the task laid out in the story-arc title. Normally, this would frustrate me but the majority of the book was devoted to Doom. For those of us who fell in love with Bendis and Maleev’s incredible book, Infamous Iron Man these pages devoted to Doom’s adventures are golden. This portion finds Victor Von Doom at a low point, struggling with his crusade to right the decades of wrongs he’s enacted as Dr. Doom. He curses a certain figure from his past and fondly remembers another before he’s faced with the classic Avengers villains, The Wrecking Crew.
The quippy dialogue between the Wrecking Crew is some of that classic Bendis writing. Bendis really shines when answering the question, “What do heroes and villains talk about between epic fights and adventures?”. His answer is often hilarious and always entertaining. Tacked onto the glorious art of Alex Maleev makes this one of my favorite creative teams of all time. I am simultaneously excited to see what Bendis can do with a whole new universe to play with and saddened that I won’t get it from the Marvel Universe.
9 Unconscious Piledrivers out of 10
Reading Invincible Iron Man? Find BNP’s other reviews of the series here.