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Tony and his supporting cast find themselves healing, as well as helping to rebuild Asgard and the neighboring town. As for Tony, he is spending most of his time learning about everything he has missed and everything he has done. With his new power cell (similar to the movie version), he finds himself upgraded. His body produces more energy, and his mind runs at a higher capacity. Apparently Matt Fraction (Immortal Iron Fist, Uncanny X-Men) felt that Tony just wasn't smart enough.
The story also reintroduces the Hammer family back into the world of Iron Man. I'm sure the movie had nothing to do with that. Justin Hammer is long gone and his daughter and grand-daughter have since taken over the company. They're attempting to sell their own armored pilot suit to the U.S. Military, but they're just laughed at as the Military assures them that Iron Man and Tony Stark will be back in business with them in no time.
Tony has plans of his own. He launches a new company that will create free energy for the world. He tells the investors at a presentation that if they join on the ground floor, they'll continue to be rich; if not, they'll be poor in a decade. All of a sudden, Hammer's company looks like a viable business partner for the U.S. Military. Pepper leaves Tony standing on a roof top, pissed off about his presentation to the investors. This gives Tony a reason to bust out his new suit. Oh yeah, did I mention? It's organic.
Matt Fraction continues to make Iron Man one of the best comics out there. This title never slows down and never dips in excitement. This issue in particular builds the characters and gives them a break from all of the excitement in their lives, but that doesn't mean that the story is slow. Stark meets with Thor and Reed Richards and has meaningful and heartfelt dialogue. Yet, perhaps the most interesting part is the huge gap in Tony's memory. He keeps trying to make amends for things he doesn't understand, and it ultimately humbles the character.
Salvador Larroca (X-Treme X-Men) does an amazing job on the series. His art is perfect for Fraction's storytelling and is a vital asset to the book. His pencils are very soft and give the characters a sense of realism. The fact that he inks his own art not only shows his skills, but also shows his dedication to putting out the best product. The art would suffer if the wrong inker was introduced on the book. Frank D'Armata's coloring of the book is incredibly soft and detailed, continuing to make the book look and feel realistic.
Iron Man is one of Marvel's strongest titles, and thankfully it has nothing to do with the movie. This book is a solid read from beginning to end and sets up the next chapter in Fraction's story. Fraction has been able to bring back characters from Iron Man's past in interesting ways. He's refrained from shoehorning old villains in just for the sake of doing so, and that's this book's strength. Tony no longer runs around fighting idiots in knockoff suits, but rather engages in battles of the mind. If anything, he fights on a more corporate level, which is new and different in the world of comics.
Story – 9.5
Plot – 9.5
Art – 10.0
Color – 9.5
Overall – 9.6
Seriously I was very disappointed that the Extremis armor was gone, until this book explained that it was an upgrade of Extremis, which is awesome! Follow Dustin on Twitter and ask him anything on FormSpring.