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Rebuilding The Company

June 25, 2010

Pepper Potts wants Rescue back.  And in Invincible Iron Man #27, she tries to lay down the law to Tony Stark and get him to give it to her.  She comes up with argument after argument about why she should get it and issues about his memories, and he keeps bringing up reservations.  Ultimately, Tony tells her that he needs her as C.O.O. as Stark Resilient, and if she can keep that up, she can be Rescue.  She rather shows him up immediately by reminding him about his upcoming appointment.  He’s meeting with Bambi Arbogast, a former Stark Industries employee (and actual Iron Man supporting character from a while back) who’s been working with her great nephew on providing local businesses requiring food direct links to small farm crops.  Now that’s done well, Bambi wants to be back with Stark, even though, as Stark points out, she won’t be getting a regular paycheck for a while, and he’s still Iron Man.  As Bambi tells him about the Nikkei 225, a Japanese stock market index, we cut to Tokyo, where a group of terrorists attack a subway.  Detroit Steel, decked out in Japanese colors, takes out the terrorists, and the Hammer girls make nice with the press and the public.  Of course, they’re the ones who provided the terrorists with the tech they were using.  Pepper goes into surgery, and Tony and Bambi get info about Tokyo.  Then, Tony, all armored up, meets with Jim Rhodes, who’s decked out in his new War Machine suit.  Rhodey expresses a bit of reservation about remaining in the suit, comparing it to gambling, but he agrees to go out anyway.  Justine Hammer contacts her general pal as he learns about the Tokyo incident, telling him that they’ve signed on with Japan and that he’ll have a “gap” to fill.  Then, Tony and Rhodey move out towards Tokyo.

At this point, although I enjoy the rebuilding that Tony Stark is doing, I think the story is going a bit slowly.  Three issues into this arc, there has yet to be any fight between Iron Man and Detroit Steel.  In fact, Tony hasn’t even seen the Hammer girls yet.  Fortunately, the pacing is the only major problem with this story at this point.  I do enjoy the new supporting cast Tony’s getting in addition to Pepper, Maria Hill, and Rhodey (Carson Wyche and Bambi), and I especially like that Bambi is an actual preexisting Iron Man character.  She’s obvious aged a bit since then, but it’s cool.  I also love the Japanese scenes.  I can tell that Matt Fraction has been to Japan based on the scene, and the Japanese actually makes perfect sense.  That’s right, I read and speak some Japanese.  I do get annoyed sometimes when writers throw around other languages then use them incorrectly, and aside from minor issues with degrees of politeness, it’s spot on.  I’d be asking too much for them to get that right.  I also love how the Hammer girls are just being so devious with their strategy and tactics, and I know I’ll be happy to see them finally fight against Tony.  And even though Rescue may seem like nothing more than a female version of Iron Man, I’ll be glad to see Pepper in the suit again because of how much it’s enabled her as a character.  Salvador Larroca is maintaining the increased level of quality we’ve seen this arc.  I love his work with the Tokyo scenes, including the cosplayers.  I’m not too excited about War Machine’s new design, which is obviously supposed to be similar to the Iron Man 2 suit design.  The new suits are my main disappointment with the new status quo, but really, so long as the characters inside them are interesting, that’s secondary.  Iron Man and Detroit Steel finally throw down next issue, so the story should pick up.  So long as the pacing’s resolved soon, this’ll be another great installment in Fraction’s Iron Man epic.

Plot: 8.4      Art: 9.0      Dialogue: 8.9      Overall: 8.6

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