Review: Invincible Iron Man #1

invincible_iron_man__1From the violent streets of Chicago, a new armored hero rises! Clad in her very own Iron Man armor, Riri Williams is ready to show the Marvel Universe what she can do as the self-made hero of tomorrow. But is she ready for all the problems that come with stepping into Iron Man’s jet boots? Where’s a genius billionaire playboy philanthropist when you need one?

I want to get the bad out there. Much like a few of the other series that Marvel has debuted lately, Invincible Iron Man #1 suffers a little bit by the fact that Civil War II hasn’t ended. The fate of Tony Stark is teased here and teased elsewhere, but the specifics have yet to be discussed. It doesn’t cause too many issues with this first issue, but it’s a factor and impacts the comic for good or bad.

And lets get to the good because there’s so much good here. Invincible Iron Man is the “debut” of a new Iron Man in Riri Williams, a super-genius level teenage African-American girl who builds a suit of armor and takes to crime fighting filling a gap left by whatever happened to Tony Stark.

invincible_iron_man__1-10Riri is an interesting hero in so many ways beyond the color of her skin and her gender. Unlike Spider-Man, Iron Man, and so many others, Riri is a character who is socially awkward displaying what I think are signs of Aspergers or something of the sort (someone who knows these things please sound off in the comments). She has trouble interacting with people preferring to dive into her work and focus on her projects instead of simple tasks like eating. It’s fascinating in that Riri represents so many in so many ways and so many who we haven’t seen as a superhero before. With many focused on her gender or her ethnicity, her social interaction may be the most fascinating of them all.

Writer Brian Michael Bendis lays things out giving us action and personality all around in a fantastic debut that is an  amazing introduction to the character. For those who do not know her yet, this comic is an introduction that gets you running. It’s beyond perfect for new readers and a great introduction into the superhero world. The fun tone is set from the beginning page which you can see at the right and continues throughout.

Bendis is helped in all of that by Stefano Caselli with colors by Marte Gracia and lettering by Vc’s Clayton Cowles. The art is beyond fantastic with a style that pops from the page. It may be a bit “Marvel House Style,” but it really works especially due to the detail Caselli puts into every panel. From the technology that’s show to Riri’s facial expressions, the comic nails it when it comes to the art. There’s action. There’s quiet introspection. There’s a lot of touching moments. Caselli delivers them all with skill.

I had no idea what to expect going into this first issue, but I’ve come out of it a Riri fan. She’s so much new and so much even I can relate to. This doesn’t feel like a derivative of what was, there’s so much there that’s new. And what it especially has is heart and something we can relate to. An absolutely fantastic debut.

Story: Brian Michael Bendis Art: Stefano Caselli
Story: 8.85 Art: 8.85 Overall: 8.85 Recommendation: Buy

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review