Writer: Robin Laws
Artists: Robert Teranishi (p), Eric Cannon and Robin Riggs (i)
Publisher: Marvel Comics
After dealing with his possessed armor, we see Tony decides that the passive approach to this investigation is over, as the villains know he's in town. To this end he pays a visit to the Las Vegas business leader who he feels is responsible for the attack, and during his ensuing investigation Tony discovers the threat is far larger than he had gone in expecting to find.
A somewhat meandering, but overall entertaining issue in which Tony Stark's bid to find a missing man suddenly shifts into an alien invasion plot. Now the story does progress rather quickly as after dealing with his possessed armor in a rather quick manner, Tony has a chat with the main villain, before locating the hidden base where the invasion is being hatched, where he manages to deliver a virus that stops the invasion in its tracks while simultaneously rescuing the missing man. I mean if nothing else this issue makes good use of its twenty-two pages, though lost in the general hustle & bustle of the story is the character of Saige Kaufman, the private investigator who played such a large role in the action in the first issue, but in this chapter is largely limited to being simply an observer that Tony can show off his new armor to. Still it is her efforts that located the hidden alien base, and we do get a suggestion that both of them aren't exactly adverse to the suggestion of his spending nights in her room, which could be the first step in making her a semi-regular supporting player in these pages. Getting back to the new armor though I have to say I rather enjoyed the new gimmick that was brought into play, as it's a smart little bit of plausible sounding technology, though the story does have it's knocked off line a bit easily which was a bit disappointing considering the whole point of this armor was for it to be able to take a right good pounding.
As for the art, I guess the first thing that needs to be discussed is the look of the new armor, and while the technology that is brought into play is fairly solidly presented, the armor itself looks a little too lumpy & frankly looks a bit effeminate in appearance. Still, it looks far better that the previous design, and the healing factor technology is so gosh darn cool that I have to say overall I like the new armor. The rest of the art is pretty solid as well, with the inner chamber of the alien nest having a nice inhuman look about it.
A very busy issue as there's a wealth of ideas at play in these pages, and for the most part Robin Laws manages to keep things interesting. Now from an entertainment standpoint Tony's battle with his possessed armor should been extended, as while the solution makes perfect sense, it's hard to develop a sense of danger when the solution presents itself on the very first page, and the crisis is resolved one page later. However, the new armor that arrives to replace the suit that Tony destroyed features one of the cooler gimmicks I've ever seen a writer introduce in this book, and while the story has this feature disabled a bit too easily, I do hope that the technology isn't a one time deal, as it's a pretty solid gimmick, that I'd like to see incorporated into future armor designs. The cliffhanger is a bit low key though as the book hasn't really established why Tony getting infected is such a dire event, though presumably next issue will offer up this explanation.
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