jonesdeini's Invincible Iron Man #500.1 - What It Was Like, What Happened, And What It's Like Now review

Invincible Iron Man 500.1

Brother Stark takes 'em church and TESTIFIES!!!! 
 
The Good 
Okay, so I gotta admit, I initially HATED this issue. Tony at an AA meeting? Really, man? We're STILL beating that inebriated horse? When I began reading this in my local shop I immediately felt like this was a "Sagas" with more pictures. Like a comic book equivalent of watching a clip show, with a little cast and director commentary. But I was wrong, very wrong. What this comic is is an excellent retelling of Tony's origin. We get Tony's story straight from the mouth of the man himself. The ups (which are surprisingly few in his eyes) and the many, many downs. Sure, a lot of it is nothing we've never seen before, but seeing it through Tony's eyes is incredibly illuminating.  
 
Last issue I wasn't impressed by Larroca's offerings on the pencils and felt he got highly out shined by the guest artists. This issue he's triumphantly back in his usual form. Every facial expression he gives Tony this issue is perfect and brings Fraction's dialog to life. As Tony is telling his tale to the others at the meeting you can see the effect it has on him, you can literally see him coming to realize things about himself. I especially like the panels which show his relationship (or lack thereof) of with his parents. Another (of the many) poignant panels is the one of Tony's 15th birthday party. After Tony couldn't provide the party pad, his "friends" left him high and dry. Really, really sad stuff. I guess one could say that's where it all began the boozing, the womanizing, the depression. Tony says that for years he lived inside a shell, burying himself in work, women, and alcohol. That one of the reasons he became a hero is because deep down inside he had a death wish and he was banking on one of his enemies granting it.  
  
Towards the end of the story we see some interaction between Tony and Pepper. I love what Fraction's been doing with their relationship during his run. A LOT has happened between the two and judging from Tony's reaction to what she had to say on the phone, she's ready to talk about it all. A few issues ago she confessed to Jarvis that she's not in love with Tony. Based on the bits of the conversation we get to see on Tony's end, one could speculate that she's decided to have "that" talk with Tony. You know there's soooo many satisfying moments I want to talk about in this issue but I don't want to spoil it for you guys. This comic is really something that one should experience for one's self. 
 
The Bad 
There's no action in this issue, of course Fraction's entire run has been light on action so if you're reading this you likely weren't expecting any in the first place 
  
I'm not a fan of this .1 crap, I like my numbering in wholes, thank you very much. And if you going to use a decimal why not .5? 

The Verdict 
BUY THIS COMIC!!! I can't recommend this title enough, but even more so, I couldn't recommend this issue enough.  
This is far and away one of the greatest comics I've read in my life. I'm a psych major, so intense character studies like this are right up my alley. In recent years a lot of fans of Iron Man have become former fans and a lot of people who've never liked that character have had plenty of ammunition to use against ol' Shell Head. However, this issue sheds light on the why of what Tony has done not only recently but throughout his life. Hate or love the guy I defy to read this issue and then walk away with the same view of him as you had previously.  

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