Before joining Marvel Comics, writer Matt Fraction had already established his reputation as an emerging new talent with his work on Last of the Independents. Fraction's tale of a bank robbery gone wrong earned him a coveted "A" grade from Entertainment Weekly, as well as interest from Marvel. After taking on a short story assignment in the anthology title X-Men Unlimited, Fraction was handpicked to launch two of Marvel's biggest projects for 2006: Punisher War Journal with artist Ariel Olivetti, and Immortal Iron Fist, with co-writer Ed Brubaker and artist David Aja. Both series met with overwhelming critical and fan acclaim, selling out their respective first issues within days of release. This led to two even bigger projects: The launching of Invincible Iron Man, a high-profile first issue premiering the same month as the blockbuster film; and Uncanny X-Men, written in tandem with Immortal Iron Fist partner Brubaker. In addition to his Marvel work, Fraction writes Casanova, an off-beat series illustrated by Gabriel Bá which recently moved to Marvel's Icon imprint. He is also a talented filmmaker and graphic designer, heading up the MK12 firm with a worldwide client base that includes Adidas, MTV and Cartoon Network's Adult Swim. Fraction remains one of Marvel's most popular writers; other credits include The Order and Thor: Ages of Thunder.
I'm starting to lose track of how many times the Iron Man series has been rebooted in recent years. The storyline collected in The Five Nightmares covers issues #1-7 of the 2008 Invincible Iron Man series, and is written by Matt Fraction with illustration by Salvador Larroca.
In The Five Nightmares, we're introduced to Ezekiel Stane, son of the deceased Obadiah Stane (a.k.a. Iron Monger). The younger Stane is the very definition of a twisted genius, and has embarked on a full-fledged "bleeding edge" technological campaign of terror aimed at, you guessed it, Tony Stark. For the first time since the classic Iron Man: Armor Wars saga, Iron Man has to deal with rogue Stark technology being used to harm and kill innocents.
This is the first story I've read by Matt Fraction (Uncanny X-Men, Punisher War Journal), but it won't be the last. He successfully weaves a story that acknowledges past Iron Man continuity as well as incorporating some of the elements that made the Iron Man movie so effective. The action is intense, and the pacing barely gives you a moment to catch your breath. Fraction's dialogue is sharp as well, borrowing a page from Warren Ellis.
The artwork is every bit as impressive as the writing, if not more so. I've been an admirer of Salvador Larroca's work for more than a decade, and he really outdid himself here, delivering the best-illustrated Iron Man arc since Adi Granov's painted pages. The digital coloring has a lot to do with that, I'm sure, but this might be Larroca's best work to date.Read more ›
Invincible Iron Man has received a lot of praise, and in some ways I can see why. Its well scripted and layed out, and its art is beautiful. What lacks is an engaging plot, I agree with the fellow reviewers. All the pieces are set up, but it fails to make use of its potential. I ended up enjoying the ending, but it barely began to start strong.
Maybe it's the soft artwork that puts me in a slow trance, or maybe its Tony's narrative that doesn't quite strike interesting. Or maybe it's the villain, who still feels unexplained and half-done. After reading this whole trade, I see the potential, but they're just off to a rough start.
1st iron man issue i ever bought. Had some knowldge of iron mans past. But overal found it to be a great jumping off point. Art looked fantastic and loved the story. Kept me hooked and was excited to start reading vol2
Iron Man has been getting battered around a lot lately in the Marvel universe and Matt Fraction was given the helm of a new Iron Man book to deliver a high-action atmosphere in the vein of the movie. Though not completely successful since Fraction has been forced to hang onto the foibles that Marvel has placed on the Golden Avenger's shoulders his first story arc is an interesting romp that adds elements to ease movie fans into Iron Man comics.
The story faces Iron Man off against Ezekial Stane, the son of former business rival Obidiah Stane, the super villain later known as Iron Monger who is defeated in the classic Iron Man Vol 1. #200 and the movie's star bad guy. Using Stark's stolen technology he arms a new generation of terrorists and transforms himself into a sort of living Iron Man, a sort of Iron Monger 2.0. He makes a great, if not mildly generic villain (I'm getting sick of terrorists, I know you're trying to be topical and everything Marvel but give us some good old super villains without making them as lame as you have been recently). The old Armor Wars stolen technology yarn may be classic but it's getting a little tired, and the ending is a bit of a cop-out with a few logic gaps.
The subject matter is a bit heavy with violent terrorist attacks and a high body count so it might be wiser for parents to look into the Marvel Adventures Iron Man trade paperbacks if you want to get something for the little ones who are newly into Iron Man.
Pepper Potts also plays a dramatic role and grows closer to Tony than ever before in another obvious nod to the movie. Fraction's Tony Stark rectifies some of the problems I've personally been having with Iron Man recently and the epilogue hints at a Tony that's turning back into his old self.Read more ›
Definitely liked the comic. Nicely sets up the storyline for the remaining volumes. All characters portrayed as they are with weaknesses and faults. Well written and worth the money. I didn't like the ensing but overall a great read.
This was a pretty good story. Attempted to be deep; Tony's sense of responsibility for his tech, his people and the world around him. It came through alright but could have used more in-depth discriptions of Tony's "Five Nightmares". Also could have gone deeper into the mind of Ezekiel Stane; his grudge against Tony just didn't do it for me. This in sorta the way mainstream comics have gone today; not too wordy. But Matt Fraction brings puts it together well enough. He is one of my favorite writers in the business today.
My one real problem was the art. No sir, I didn't like it. The faces, to be exact. All of the men were so dark (and this is coming from a Black guy) and inconsistant from frame to frame. But Pepper Potts and Maria Hill (who should have been darker) were fair complected. Just weird, for some reason.
The final issue in the trade paper back actually brings the whole thing home and it has a amazing guest star.
I say pick the book up. Especially if you're a fan of the movies and have never read a comic.