InvincibleIronManRebootTony Stark is a man of many hats. He is a futurist. He is a philanthropist. And, most famously, he’s a superhero—the Invincible Iron Man. Or so he’d like to think.

Tony’s old enemy and ex-girlfriend Whitney Frost (aka Madame Masque) is gallivanting around the world, procuring various items of arcane powerthe sort of artifacts magicians go through a lot of trouble to keep out of the hands of unstable people like Whitney Frost. Even a brand new suit that incorporates all of the previous Iron Man upgrades in a single unit won’t help Tony face this threat. Unfortunately, Tony’s self-appointed back-up is the magician and master scientist named Victor von Doom.

Von Doom claims to have turned over a new leaf, but Tony wouldn’t be one of the smartest men in the world if he blindly trusted a guy who used to go by the name Doctor Doom. Still, with Tony’s first choice for mystic back-up (and awesome facial-hair bro) Doctor Stephen Strange otherwise occupied, Tony has no other option but to accept Doom’s help and watch his back.

Invincible Iron Man: Reboot will prove easily accessible to those readers who only know the character of Tony Stark from the Iron Man and Avengers movies. Brian Michael Bendis writes Stark in such a manner that you can almost hear Robert Downey Jr.’s voice in your head as you read every wisecrack. Bendis also crafts a number of effective mysteries into the plot, such as a never-before-seen gang of biotech ninjas who seem to be hunting Madame Masque for reasons totally unconnected to the main plot.

Unfortunately, while Bendis is a great comedic writer, he has an unfortunate tendency to write many of his characters with the same voice. That proves to be the case here. There’s little difference between the the dry tones adopted by Stephen Strange and Victor von Doom, save for when Bendis tries to force a gag into the scene. They fair better than the female supporting cast, however, with Tony’s new love interestscientist Amara Pererahaving no personality beyond the standard “vaguely disapproving but seemingly charmed in spite of it” attitude adopted by most of Tony’s love interests. Most disappointing of all is former Spider-Man love interest Mary Jane Watsonintroduced here as a new executive assistant for Tony Starkwho possesses none of the passion or spitfire attitude that made her a fan-favorite.

Thankfully, the artwork by David Marquez is another kettle of fish altogether. Marquez is a fantastic artist, capable of depicting both the intricate electronics of Stark’s advanced technology and the weird but indistinct energies of the magic that is thrown around by von Doom and Madame Masque. Marquez is also a fantastic fight choreographer, with all of the book’s action flowing smoothly and naturally from panel to panel.

This book is well suited for the Teen audience it is aimed at. There’s no romance more intense than a kiss, no material racier than a quick shower scene that shows nothing more than a bare back, and no violence more disturbing than a number of bodies crumbling into dust. Long-time Marvel readers may blanch at some of the characterization but newcomers will find this an excellent entry point into the world of Iron Man.

Invincible Iron Man Vol. 1: Reboot 
by Brian Michael Bendis
Art by David Marquez
ISBN: 9780785195207
Marvel Comics, 2016
Publisher Age Rating: T+ (13 And Up)

  • Matt

    | He/Him Librarian

    Reviewer

    A librarian with over 10 years experience in public and academic settings, Matthew Morrison has been blogging about comic books for nearly as long as they’ve had a word for it.  Over the past two decades, he has written regular columns, commentary, parodies and reviews for such websites and blogs as Fanzing, 411 Mania, Screen Rant and Comics Nexus.  He has served as an Expert in Residence for a seminar on Graphic Novels and Comics for Youth and Adults at the University of North Texas and has given several lectures on the history of comics, manga and cosplay culture at libraries and comic conventions around the country. In addition to his work for No Flying No Tights, he is the Contributing Editor of Kabooooom.com and maintains a personal blog at MyGeekyGeekyWays.com.

Liked it? Take a second to support us on Patreon!
Become a patron at Patreon!