The end of the first arc for Marvel’s newest flagship title is here, and it’s a doozy. The issue picks up immediately with the new bromance team up of Tony and Dr. Doom dealing with Madame Masque in MJ’s Nightclub. It’s important to note that Bendis opens with the audience getting inside MJ’s head and her love affair with superheroes seeing how anything she tries to do is somehow tied back to heroes or villains, like them wrecking her latest venture.
In the opening arc, we’ve seen Tony being tossed outside of his usual wheelhouse as far as a run of the mill Iron Man adventure goes and it all comes to a head in this absolutely, downright dynamic battle. In everything from facial close-ups of Tony sweating to see what is making Masque lash out like she is doing to the indigo bolts of energy that Masque lets out at a moment’s notice, Dave Marquez and Justin Ponsor do their best to up the ante of this arc closer. And everything reaches payoff. Bendis even gets to flex his writing muscles into exorcism territory and does a good job of handling Tony under duress, Doom leading the charge as far as magic and mysteriousness is concerned, and A.I. Friday giving comedic relief with a Star Trek reference or two. Tony, throughout the arc, has had to rely on and go to others to seek solace or aid in matters bigger than himself and this issue is no different. He’s been dealing with magical matters and seeing how it’s a character with personal ties to him being affected, we see a sympathetic Stark try and put an end to this “demonic” firefight mid battle.
In the aftermath of the Masque fiasco, we get a type of epilogue that lines up more with the cover for issue 4. And it’s here Bendis reveals another side of Tony to the point that he’s becoming a better person both in and outside of the armor. Bendis keeps things balanced and gives us fluctuating degrees of Iron Man and Tony Stark respectively. Whereas Iron Man is more chatty with the superhero banter, Tony is more somber and humble when he talks to people. He recognizes who he is and wants to get his life together because of trouble he may or may not have inadvertently caused.
Overall, Invincible Iron Man, which is the flagship Marvel title, has concluded its first arc with definite promises of change for several characters and that will almost likely include pushing Iron Man and Tony to their limits especially since seeds are being planted for Civil War II during the next arc!