The New Iron Age
Marvel celebrates the 500th issue of The Invincible Iron Man by reverting back to its original numbering and taking a look at Tony Stark's distant future.
The ProsThe decision to use a present story to connect the reader to the future timeline is very effective here, giving the reader both a point of reference for what's happening and a reason to care about new characters who aren't given much introduction. The decision to jump right into the middle of the future timeline without any back story may catch you off guard, but it ultimately pays off here. While the future timeline is used to provide action and excitement , the present events guide the reader through the plot line.
A well-written guest appearance by Peter Parker provides the writers with a means to seamlessly jump from the current events of the last few issues to an unrelated story that still ties in to Tony's self-induced amnesia problems. The writers handle Peter/Spider-Man expertly, especially in the confrontation with The Bastard Sons Of Wilbur Day.
The art in the issue is great. The decision to use different artists for Ginny's, Howard's, The Mandarin's and the present scenes worked out beautifully. It gives each character and situation in the story its own distinctive feel and really adds to the storytelling.