By Matt Fraction (Writer), Salvador Larocca (Artist), and Frank D’Armata (Colorist)

Some Thoughts Before The Review: I’ve been loving Matt Fraction’s take on Tony Stark. What I haven’t been loving is the artwork it’s unfortunately saddled with. Thankfully, Fraction’s writing is strong enough to easily handle the burden. As a result, I can’t wait to see where “America’s Most Wanted” goes next.

The Story: Tony Stark faces off against Namor in an undersea lab. Meanwhile, Mariah Hill finds herself face to face with The Controller and all those he has under mind control. Also, Pepper Potts learns how to use her new suit of armor and finds herself asking, “What would Tony do?”

What’s Good: As usual, Matt Fraction’s writing adds an awesome sense of weight and character to nearly every element of the story being told. With Tony, Fraction has you truly feeling his frustration and desperation as he adjusts to his old tech and the limitations that come with it. For Mariah Hill, you get a strong sense thatfor all her experience, she may be in over her head.  In addition, you can’t shake off the awe and the fear that Pepper Potts experiences when donning the suit of armor. Fraction does such a good job with his text, he even manages to make the overexposed (and I like the guy!) Norman Osborn fun to read. It all adds up to a good chapter of what has so far been a very good story.

What’s Not So Good: The problem with giving each main character his or her own section of the comic book is that few of the sections advance far enough in the overall plot to feel really satisfying. While it is good to want more, it isn’t good to want more because you feel you got a bit shortchanged. That’s exactly what I felt after reading Invincible Iron Man #12. I can’t wait to see what happens next, but part of me feels that inevitably some of what happens in #13 is going to feel like it should have happened in #12.

As for the artwork…well let me just say that I would be much happier if Salvador Larocca just took a break from trying to draw regular people. He does some pretty good-looking scenery, technology, and action, but it gets bad when things slow down. People look ugly, bloated, or just flat out inconsistent from panel to panel. It’s sad that, The Controller is the best-looking and most consistent character.

Conclusion: Despite the fact that it doesn’t advance the plot a whole lot, Invincible Iron Man #12 is still one hell of a read. A read that is best read while trying to ignore the hideous faces that pop up from time to time. In all seriousness though, Invincible Iron Man should be on everyone’s pull list. That alone should tell you that issue twelve is worth checking out. And if that doesn’t convince you then the promise of a scene with Namor shouting, “Imperious Rex,” as he blasts Iron Man should.

Grade:  B

-Kyle Posluszny