Ironheart is having all of her Stark Tech seized by people claiming to represent Stark Industries' interests. To everyone's surprise, she gives it up willingly. Elsewhere, the Infamous Iron Man, aka Victor von Doom, continues to fight off the attacks from the Hood. Tony Stark has an awkward conversation with a hallucination of his adopted father, Howard Stark. Amanda, Mary Jane, and Friday continue their own search for Tony Stark.
Brian Michael Bendis is trying to balance three Iron Men in this comic. While each story is considerably slow-going due to this splitting of each issue, each story does accomplish just enough to feel satisfying. That's not an easy balance to strike, even if it doesn't feel ideal.
The Victor von Doom and Tony Stark segments are the best parts. While Riri's browbeating of the Stark Industry reps is pretty great, hers is the least satisfying parts of the book. Von Doom's struggle against the Hood and his lackies is aptly dramatic, and Tony Stark's conversation with his dad tugs at the heart strings pretty hard. Tony "confronts" Howard on never telling him that he was adopted.
Also, hairless Tony Stark looks really frigging weird.
There is a surprise cameo at the end which does add to the Riri portion somewhat, and I really look forward to seeing how this character fits into the story. He's not what you would call a tech or science-oriented hero.
There's not really a lot more to say about the writing. This is a character-focused comic, and the lead characters do a good job of keeping it engaging. Bendis has always been a strong character-oriented writer. The Doom segment does bring an epic showdown, and that does add a nice shot of excitement to the proceedings.
Stefano Caselli and Alex Maleev do a great job of splitting the art of the comic again, even if they do have wildly disparate art styles. Caselli brings an upbeat and high energy style for the Riri/Tony/Amanda sections. Marte Gracia's color is bright and popping for these parts. Maleev brings his unique faded and textured style to the Doom segment, and his color art is dower and heavy to match. Maleev also makes the showdown with the Hood and his goons appropriately intense.
Invincible Iron Man #596 is a fun read. The characters are entertaining, and sometimes that's enough to make a comic work. The dialogue is solid, the art is great, and the overall experience was enjoyable. I recommend it.
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