By Arpad Okay. Keeping the armor new, keeping it interesting, this is an integral part of telling a quality Iron Man story. The bleeding edge is where the suit should reside, and Stefano Caselli’s art with Marte Gracia’s colors are a stellar pairing, perfectly suited to do just that. Caselli’s lines are slick and sparse, the look is realistic but stylized. Clear. Worked, but not overworked. Serious but fun. Invincible Iron Man knocks a key piece out of the park: It feels fresh.
That classic Marvel spirit is enlivened by Gracia’s craftsmanship, which matches the sunny-noir mood evoked by Caselli. Even the suit pops, and it is, like the other, (for now) more famous Mark 1, a variation of gunmetal grey. Riri was definitely watching Robotech (and Mazinger Z) when she designed her own Iron Man armor.
This issue tells a story of the two sides to Riri Williams. Today, Riri takes her suit for a test run, busting monsters and getting caught in red tape à la Top Ten. Turn the page, and we’re back in the day, where we find Riri building dreams in her parent’s garage. Suit be damned, Riri is the real star of this book. Watching her struggle with her ideas as they outpace her ability to articulate them is something everyone can associate with. But then she’s also Tesla with an afro puff. Williams shines brighter than her armor. Riri is bigger than Iron Man.
Invincible Iron Man is a powerful but mixed bag. Riri’s Chicago needs to feel a little more real, the social commentary comes to us needing a little more life breathed into it. Brian Michael Bendis is no Bill Duke. But the authenticity of Mr. and Mrs. Williams’ love for their girl is striking, the family moments and parts out of costume with Riri and her best friend Nat are divine. Invincible is intriguing, charming, and iconic — unmistakably Iron Man.
Written by Brian Michael Bendis.
Art by Stefano Caselli.
Colors by Marte Gracia.
Lettered by Clayton Cowles.
7 out of 10