In the mid-nineties, I was co-owner of a comic shop. I loved that job for a lot of reasons. One of them was that I got to read a lot of the books. I’m mentioning this now, because back then, I had a much better idea of what was going on all over the Marvel and DC Universes. Now, I don’t get free comics, and I have a lot less time for reading. So I don’t know as much. All of which is a roundabout way of saying I have no idea why Tony Stark isn’t Iron Man anymore, and, alternately, why Dr. Doom and some kid named Riri Williams is.
But, whatever’s behind it, Riri is the star of one of the two Iron Man books. This gives what I guess is her origin. It cuts back and forth between ten years ago and now. Riri is diagnosed as being a super genius. I wish they’d chosen another term for that, because I can’t read it without thinking of Wile E Coyote. At any rate, that’s apparently what they are now calling people like Reed Richards, Victor Von Doom, and Tony Stark. So intelligent they are in a class apart from most of the rest of us. We get to see Riri grow up, make friends, be a quirky genius, and definitely end up with motivation to fight crime.
In the now, she builds her own version of the Iron Man armor (which seems to keep happening throughout the Marvel Universe). She ends up fighting her first villain, which is almost more a test run of the suit than a serious fight. By the end of the issue, she gets a special delivery, which proves to be something that popped up over in the other Iron Man book, too. It should make her crusade a lot easier.
Plot: I’ll give this a 4 out of 5 for plot. While I’m tired of new (and younger) versions of almost every hero out there, I like Riri. She’s a cool kid with a big heart. It was a good story which gave us a good idea who the main character is.
Art: The art was good. Riri moving through the years was executed well, as was her kinda ugly prototype suit (not be confused with Prototype). I’ll give it a 3 out of 5 for art.
Positives: Riri is a good character. I like her, I’m rooting for her already. New hero stories can be hard, but this is well done. I like that her suit isn’t perfect first time out. Something that complicated really shouldn’t be.
Negatives: I don’t get how someone clearly not rich can build armor like this. I don’t care how smart you are, the stuff you’d need to build this doesn’t come cheap. And I don’t like Marvel’s recent burst of new characters who are all kids. Do they know kids are not really the ones buying comics these days? At least they aren’t the stores I go into.
It’s an interesting beginning to the new Iron Age (oh come on, someone was going to say it). I’ll be coming back to follow Riri’s adventures for a bit at least.
Invincible Iron Man #1
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Artist: Stefano Caselli
Colorist: Marte Garcia
Letterer: VC’s Clayton Cowles
Cover: Stefano Caselli & Marte Garcia