By Matt Fraction (Writer), Salvador Larroca (Art), and Frank D’Armata (Colors)

The Story: Spider-Man and Ben Urich (of Front Line fame) guest star in an Iron Man story that serves as a epilogue of sorts to the series’ opening arc, “The Five Nightmares”. As Tony Stark goes about cleaning up the mess and black market trail left by Ezekiel Stane, Spider-Man decides to tag along. And while Stark clearly wants nothing to do with the unregistered hero, the two eventually team up due to Spidey’s insistence (and belief) that Iron Man definitely needs some help with the mission.

Editor’s Note: Please keep in mind that trying to sort out “One More Day” or “Brand New Day” continuity is likely to cause a major headache or, at the very least, some frustration. Just read the story for what it is and try to ignore the editorial baggage the book is unfortunately burdened with.

What’s Good: Nearly everything as long as you take my note into consideration. Matt Fraction’s superhero team up is an absolutely superb (and surprisingly poignant) read from start to finish. He manages to make the characters both incredibly super and human throughout the book, which is no small feat. As for the artwork, Salvador Larroca and Frank D’Armata both shine in handling the superhero outfits and action. The book plays to their strengths really well.

What’s Not So Good: My only complaint is regarding some of the artwork not involving a superhero costume. Larocca’s pedestrians just look odd and D’Armata’s coloring only accentuates the problem. It’s an annoyance more than anything.

Conclusion: Easily one of the best “one and done” stories I have ever read. It has great character moments, artwork (mostly), and an awesome story. You simply can’t ask for a whole lot more from a comic book than what you get in Invincible Iron Man #7.

Grade: A

-Kyle Posluszny

A Second Opinion

The Good: Although I was initially skeptical when I read that Fraction was going to be helming this series, I am so happy that he has defied expectations and made me a believer.  His characterization of Stark as a man hungry for redemption and struggling to do the right thing in his professional and superhero lives strikes a perfect balance that is dramatic and engaging to read.  He has convinced me that Iron Man is a character worth caring about, and that’s quite a feat after the number of failed attempts from other writers to do the same.

The Not So Good: I’m always worried when a Marvel comic brings in Spider-Man to guest star.  It always comes off like a contrived, cheap ploy, and that holds true here.  Spider-Man is irritating and unnecessary, and it feels like Fraction is simply looking for an excuse to write the character.  Also, if Iron Man is really that concerned with Spider-Man being an unregistered superhero, why doesn’t he arrest him!?  If Stark isn’t going to enforce the law he helped bring about, what was the point of Civil War?  This is a glaring, gross mischaracterization and I’m disappointed the editor allowed it.

Conclusion: A below average epilogue to an otherwise amazing opening story.  Fraction has proven he is more than capable of making this a great series to read, but this issue is irritating, due largely to Spider-Man’s unnecessary presence. Save your money and wait for the next issue.

Grade: C-

-Tony Rakittke

Grade

Conclusion