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Monday, December 27, 2010

DAMN Good Comic of the Week -- INVINCIBLE IRON MAN #33

Once again, Invincible Iron Man proves that it's by far one of the best superhero books on the stands today.  In the final ninth part of the "Stark Resilient" storyline, writer Matt Fraction and artist Salvador Larocca finally go all out with the various plot threads that have been on a slow, steady burn for the past several months.

Starting off with nothing less than Tony Stark racing his prototype repulsor technology-powered car as villain Detroit Steel and numerous drones keep blowing up things all around him, Fraction adds to the drama by taking Iron Man Family members War Machine and Rescue off the board.  The conflict is essentially resolved in a cease-fire that both the characters and readers know is all too temporary, but of course, Fraction isn't content to leave things at that.

No, he amps the tension up even more by placing War Machine under direct control of the United States military for standard national security reasons.  And then, he goes and brings none other than Ezekiel Stane, the major threat from his first storyline "The Five Nightmares," back into play.  Oh, and if that isn't enough to keep you reading, there's the revelation that Sasha Hammer's father is none other than Tony's arch-nemesis The Mandarin, who welcomes ol' Zeke into the family.  Dun-dun-DUN!!!

Lately, I've been having a big problem with various DC and Marvel titles jacking up their prices to $3.99 for the sake of a disappointing 8-page backup story that rarely justifies the extra dollar.  Thankfully, this particular backup also written by Fraction, "Good Morning, Tony," doesn't fall into that category.  Told silently through the storytelling device of Tony Stark's internal and external technology, it gives readers an idea of how Tony must view the world around him.  Everything is reduced to soulless, streaming bits of information or completely unimportant conversation from a random girl he meets, dates and later beds all in the span of three story pages.  It's a fairly disturbing look at his central character and definitely worth the added expense.

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