It’s been a while since I reviewed something, so this time I’m taking a look at a collection of the first two major story-lines of Matt Fraction’s Invincible Iron Man run – one of which had some influence on the plot of Iron Man 3.

The Invincible Iron Man Omnibus, Vol. 1

Written by Matt Fraction
Art by Salvatore Larroca
Contains “Invincible Iron Man” 1-19
Available from Amazon.com

The Premise

Part 1 – The Five Nightmares: Ezekiel Stane, the son of Obidiah Stane, has been salvaging Tony Stark’s tech, and has been using it to make Suicide bombers. Tony has to track him down and put a stop to his plans.
Part 2 – World’s Most Wanted: Following the events of Secret Invasion, Tony Stark finds himself on the run from Norman Osborne, who wants the SRA database, which Stark is keeping in his brain. Norman will stop at nothing to get the files – but how far will Tony go to keep him from getting them?

High Points

Pepper Pots super-heroism as Rescue is spectacular, and makes me wish that she’d gotten her own suit of armor in Iron Man 3.

Also, Tony’s slowly disintegrating mental state is very well written.

Low Points

Norman Osbourne is a little too cartoonishly evil here. I get that since he became the Green Goblin, he’s always been evil, but having him as the government appointed director of HAMMER means that he should at least be trying to keep those impulses in check. Here, he doesn’t even try.

This leads into HAMMER itself – the organization goes too far into being a group of jack-booted thugs for the organization to last for longer than a month without an congressional inquiry.

Honestly, this whole storyline makes me wonder how Dark Reign lasted as long as it did.

Scores

Originality: Five Nightmares and World’s Most Wanted are both, admittedly original and inventive, outgrowths of earlier plotlines. 4/6

Artwork: 5/6

Story: 6/6

Characterization: See the low points. Otherwise, the other characters are fine. 4/6

Emotional Resonance: It’s rough getting these characters get backed further & further into a corner – which is what makes the conclusion such a moment of triumph. 6/6

Flow: 6/6

Overall: The Five Nightmares is one of the best Iron Man stories of al time – up there with Demon in a Bottle. 5/6

In total, The Invincible Iron Man Omnibus gets 36/42.