Virginia “Pepper” Potts, along with Tony Stark’s mind, and Riri Williams herself, are all taking on the role of Iron Man to try and take on a load of ninjas in this issue of Invincible Iron Man. Although Pepper is kind of putting a damper on Riri’s dream of fighting ninjas, it’s still a dream to work with her, according to the new Iron Man herself. As it turns out, both Pepper and Tony know the Techno Golem, whose ninjas are fighting on its behalf. It takes all three of them and a stranger to take on this team of villains, and even then, it might not be enough.
Iron Man hasn’t quite been known as a humorous comic book series, but Brian Michael Bendis changes that. With Riri in place of Tony as Iron Man, she kind of makes the subtle humor in this series work, like when she uses a random kid’s laptop to help save Pepper or when she reacts to the kid’s browser history.
Pepper is in on the humor, too, when she can’t remember Riri’s name and calls her “Rachel” then freaking “Reggie!” What?! Pepper is shown in a serious light, too, though. When Pepper was originally a secretary with a crush, she is now a hero herself with armor of her own.
The only real problem I have with this issue is the abruptness with which it ends. Yeah, it’s a cliffhanger and leaves us wondering whether Riri’s plan worked, but it seriously came out of nowhere. There is a good and steady pace throughout the issue, but a lot of it seems choppy, like the transitions aren’t as good as they could be.
Artist Stefano Caselli does a great job of illustrating this issue with the same slightly humorous tone that Bendis writes with. The characters are emotive, but often times seem either unrealistic or way too emphatic. Nonetheless, they get the storyline across really well.
The inking is done fantastically. These are some really clean lines with a decent amount of detail and beautiful colors from Marte Gracia. They are so realistic that even Iron Man’s armor shows off its reflective surface that plays with the light sources.
Fans of Iron Man, and specifically Riri, you’re going to love this issue. Even so, we don’t see all too much of just her—it’s more of Riri, Pepper, and Tony all together. I’m not sure if I like the focus on all three instead of the title character, but it sure as hell makes for a good story. This is a great read that is going to leave you craving more.
Written by: Brian Michael Bendis
Illustrated by: Stefano Caselli