Invincible Iron Man 500.1
Written by Matt Fraction
Art by Salvador Larroca
Colors by Frank D’Armata
Letters by Joe Caramagna
Release date: February 2, 2011
A couple of months back when Marvel Comics announced their Point 1 Initiative, their stated goal was to get new readers to give some of their books a chance. Not just current comics readers who may not be reading particular series they were releasing, but they also wanted these issues to rope in new readers who had never picked up an issue before. The first of the these .1 issues has been released, with Invincible Iron Man 500.1, so it’s time to see if Marvel will be able to reach their stated goals.
So, is this issue going to bring in those unfamiliar with Iron Man, or maybe those only familiar with the movies? In my opinion, no. This issue is page after page of Tony Stark telling his past during an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting. There is a lot of talking and hardly any action, and while it may be an interesting character study, it is page after page of talking, and I don’t think that is going to get you a lot of new readers. Hardly any mention is made of the current status quo of the book, and if you don’t already know a fair amount about Stark and his past, this issue isn’t going to make a whole lot of sense to you. Writer Matt Fraction clearly has a handle on the character, and he shows off his understanding in this issue, but that doesn’t make it an enjoyable read.
The other problem with this issue is the art. I’ve really enjoyed Salvador Larroca‘s work on this series from the beginning and I don’t really dislike it here. However, pretty much all he gets to draw is talking heads, and that is not his strong suit. His almost painterly style works well when drawing action scenes and technology, and there’s no chance for him to that here. Also, Larroca has been very consistent with keeping to the release schedule and the book has been coming out every month without hardly any breaks. You can tell that the art on this issue was a bit rushed as it is just not up to Larroca’s usual standards. This just isn’t as good as it could be, and I don’t see it attracting a lot of new readers.
I think this issue is kind of a failure, but that doesn’t mean I can’t recommend the series. If you’re looking for a good place to start on this series, pick up the recently released 500th issue or just go back and start at the beginning. It’s a great series and well worth picking up, I just don’t think this issue best exemplifies what makes the series great. This issue is getting a 2 out of 5.