REVIEW: Invincible Iron Man #594 – “Slow and Steady”

Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Pencilers: Stefano Caselli & Alex Maleev
Colorists: Israel Silva & Alex Maleev
Letterer: VC’s Clayton Cowles
Price: $3.99
Release Date: 11/22/17
Rating: T+

Invincible Iron Man

Plot: Riri Williams, Mary Jane Watson, and Amanda Armstrong continue searching for Tony Stark’s body. Unfortunately the Stark Industries Board of Directors take action to stop the ladies’s search. Meanwhile Doctor Doom deals with the fallout of the prison break from last issue.

Story: My main criticism is the lack of progress for the overall story. The primary factor with this is how this issue tries to tell two stories at once. For Riri’s story we learn the Stark Board of Directors is trying to stop the search. Also the other half of the issue is Doctor Doom fighting super villains he locked up in Infamous Iron Man. The idea of the Board stopping Riri’s search is an idea that’s too repetitive. Also Doom’s story feels like a gutted arc for his previous title that’s added into Invincible Iron Man.

While we know Doom and Riri are going to team up at some point, there’s no connection hinted or established. Even though Riri admits the ladies need Doctor Doom to find Tony, they have no way to contact him. Also Brian Michael Bendis is known for his slow and steady plots but this issue feels like nothing will happen until Invincible Iron Man #600.

The only positive thing I can say about this issue is Bendis’s dialogue. I enjoyed Riri’s reaction to Hijack’s vehicle controlling powers during their fight. I haven’t read much of Riri’s solo work but this tells me that she’s a fun character. Also it’s funny when the Wrecker knocks off Doom’s mask and the villains are stunned by Doom’s healed face. Despite the fun dialogue, it’s not enough to make up for this issue’s lack of progress.

Art: There are two art teams for this issue. Stefano Caselli and Israel Silva tell Riri’s story while Alex Maleev handles all things Doctor Doom. Caselli and Silva’s bright and dynamic style work for Riri because it matches up with her character and storytelling. Maleev creates a more pastel colored world for Doom because Doom is a more serious character. Although these are great artists, my main criticism goes back to my earlier criticism about the story.

Having two artists tell the same story feels awkward. Seeing Maleev’s artwork makes me think that the Doctor Doom scenes were taken from a cancelled arc on Infamous Iron Man. Also having two artists makes sense if one’s doing the main story and the other is drawing a flashback. Plus when Riri and Doom finally meet to find Tony, there will probably be one consistent style for the characters.

Verdict: The last page shows the unknown Iron Man in the exact position from last issue. This is the perfect metaphor for how slowly the story is moving. Bendis still keeps some interest in this issue thanks to his character’s dialogue. Also the artwork is pretty good even though having two art teams feels inconsistent. Overall, you don’t need to get this issue if you can borrow it from a friend.

Rating: 2.5 out of 5