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Writer: Brian Michael Bendis / Artist: Mike Deodato / Marvel Comics

I’ve mentioned this before, but at this point, I don’t even refer to Invincible Iron Man as a comic book anymore. It’s basically what I imagine a Netflix-distributed Iron Man sitcom would be if Robert Downey Jr. would ever sign up for such a thing. You have a lecherous but brilliant man-child recovering from his formerly fast life, coming to grips with his need to be a better person. You have two female characters (Mary Janes, and yes, his AI totally counts) who have no aim to be his love interest that have basically become his babysitter and, at times, Jiminy Cricket, and you have the uptight Black best friend who essentially has his shit together more so than Tony. It’s like you have Scrubs, Three’s Company, and Whatever-That-Charlie-Sheen-Sitcom-Was-Called and a Marvel movie all rolled up into one.

The disappointing part about this issue is that it is, in fact, not lead in for Civil War II as the cover advertises. Still, I get that the upcoming crossover is a thing and we should expect Marvel to smack us in the face with it over and over, so I’m willing to overlook that. Iron Man teams up with Spider-Man to find his lost friend, War Machine, who is in pretty dire straits. Bendis’ experience writing (and man crush on) Spider-Man makes the exchanges with Iron Man about as entertaining as you’d think they would be, because if Brian Bendis can’t write Spider-Man after 15 years of writing him, we’re all lost as a species.

The real highlight this issue is an armor-less Rhodey holding his own against a cabal of lady techno ninjas. It’s nice that Bendis is allowing enough room for supporting characters to stand on their own and prove their worth… especially non-binary characters that have been famously labeled as second fiddles.

Visually, it just doesn’t get better than Mike Deodato. Bendis’ script allowed a little more room for him to show off his stuff. I just wish most of this story weren’t happening at night so far. That way, we could get just a little more color out of this book.

Bottom Line: We could probably get a little more depth out of this story arc’s latest villain and the color palette isn’t as exciting as we’d like, but still a solid offering that highlights Rhodey earning his keep on #TeamIronMan.

8 Don Cheadles out of 10

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