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Stark Got Played

August 5, 2010

Tony Stark’s new direction in life continues in Invincible Iron Man #28.  Unfortunately, he’s already made a big mistake in heading over to Tokyo under these circumstances.  When Maria Hill sees something going on over there, she gets her analysts (who include that fat guy from World’s Most Wanted who kept ratting Tony out), and they find out that the terrorists were wearing old capekiller armor.  They keep an eye on the Hammer girls and Detroit Steel while Iron Man and War Machine arrive on the scene.  Justine Hammer and her daughter Sasha Hammer make Tony look silly by pointing out that Detroit Steel has handled the situation, while Tony keeps staring at Sasha.  Sasha shows Tony the dead body of one of the terrorists and the Stark Industries logo on the capekiller armor.  In Stark Resilient headquarters, Bambi Arbogast has gathered three extremely bright people to work for Stark Resilient, but they’re tired of waiting.  However, Bambi ensures them how important they are and that Stark will arrive there.  Tony and Rhodey return, and Maria yells at them, specifically Tony, for screwing up.  Tony then wonders why Maria is infuriated with him, and if it’s something he forgot with the whole memory thing.  We get a brief flashback to her time sleeping with him, but she doesn’t mention anything.  Tony insists he’s seen Sasha before, but as he goes to check old tapes to find out about his hunch, he bumps into Bambi and the three potential hires.  One of them fixed stuff and established a barter system in a community with high unemployment, another, Tim Cababa, used to work with the Triumph Division, and the third knows Carson Wyche.  Tony then informs them that they have six weeks to build a resistor-powered car for an upcoming expo to wow investors and eventually introduce repulsor tech to the market.  Later, Tony watches the tapes, and he figures out, based on admittedly poor quality images, that Sasha was Ezekiel Stane’s girlfriend and accomplice from all that time ago.  So he decides to throw a party.  And elsewhere, Pepper Potts grins, her chest glowing.

Well, I have to admit, if I were in the same situation as Tony Stark right now (assuming I also had the brains/know-how/everything to actually do what he does), I would be a tad more… worried about this noose that seems to be tightening around my neck.  Then again, I’m not Tony, and the semi-nonchalant way he’s dealing with it is just so characteristic of him.  And he’s going to figure out if he’s right about Sasha Hammer by throwing a party?  That’s just so Tony.  I mean, Matt Fraction has gotten Tony Stark down from day one, and that continues to be the case, despite the major change in Tony we’ve seen as a result of his memory loss and change in operations.  And I love how Fraction continues to build Tony’s new supporting cast.  Both of the non-fully named new employees seem really interesting, and Tim Cababa is a great addition, referencing the Filipino superhero team, the Triumph Division.  All of them have different views that really round out the group/company as a whole, when you add them to Tony, Maria, Bambi, Carson, Rhodey, and Pepper.  And I just love how insidious the Hammers’ plot is.  It really makes me wonder if Ezekiel Stane isn’t going to just pop back up out of nowhere.  Or was he getting played too?  The possibilities are great.  Fraction may actually be outdoing his previous work on this title, which is saying a lot, considering what he’s done thus far.  And Salvador Larroca really has got his mojo back.  For one, I can finally tell the difference between Justine and Sasha Hammer, since Sasha’s of Asian descent.  Wouldn’t it be great if her father was the Mandarin?  Well, so long as it wasn’t that terrible new version of the Mandarin Fraction just introduced.  I mean, this storyline is fortunately making me forget that annual.  Anyway, everything else Larroca does just looks so much better.  Still don’t really like Tony’s new armor, but that’s not his fault.  He didn’t design it.  So this book is still one of my absolute favorites.  Sure, this issue wasn’t that action-paced.  It wasn’t even as action-packed as last issue.  But a lot more happened, and Fraction wrote it just so well that I can ignore that.  And it looks like there’s going to be an exciting party coming up soon.  It’s a great time to be an Iron Man fan.

Plot: 9.0      Art: 9.1      Dialogue: 9.2      Overall: 9.0

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