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Review: Invincible Iron Man Annual #1

An instant classic. Buy this now. Seriously.

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The Mandarin kidnaps a famous Chinese director and forces him to make a movie of his often-contradictory life story.
 

The Good

Wow... where to even start? I'm just in awe of how many things Fraction and Di Giandomenico were able to make this annual be at once - - and how every one of those things was so exceptional! On one level, you have this genuinely intriguing premise about a super-villain imprisoning his favorite director in order to make the most unholy vanity project ever committed to film. You can feel the mounting sense of horror and desperation Jun Shan suffers as production continues, as well as the true sense of tragedy in the terrible betrayal he faces at the end. On another level, this annual updates the Mandarin's origin for modern times without contradicting anything that's come before. In fact, it reconciles all of the seemingly-irreconcilable aspects of the Mandarin's history with his maddening habit of telling conflicting stories and pathological lies about his own life. On yet another level, this story's absolutely rife with satirical digs at tyrannical, micro managing producers, executives and patrons, as well as China's own infamous habit of censoring its news and history. Di Giandomenico's art is virtuoso, forming a brilliant storytelling dance with Fraction's script. I was not only impressed by the number of panels he was able to fit on each page, but also by the artful way he arrayed them all in the layouts. I could go on and on singing this books praises...

The Bad

Nothing. There's really nothing bad about this.

The Verdict - 5/5

At $4.99 for 80 pages of superlative story, this is the best value you're likely to get out of any comic from the big two. Buy this now, either off the shelf or online. I can think of no better book to kick-off Marvel's simultaneous delivery model. This had the complexity of a novel. It pulled off the mesmerizing trick of both transcending its background in a long-serialized title while still remaining true to its roots. This is a portrait of charming, petty and capricious evil that deserves marks of distinction on its own merits. It may be too early to say, but I think this will be looked back on in years to come as one of the seminal Iron Man stories. If you need your faith in these characters and this universe restored, then read this book. Now!

15 Comments

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RedHurricane24

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Edited By RedHurricane24

Interesting. Will buy it.

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conformist21

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Edited By conformist21

wow

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DH69

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Edited By DH69

damn had to do stuff yesterday so i couldnt pick it up, and today is canada day, odds are my comicbook store is gonna be closed

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Omega Ray Jay

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Edited By Omega Ray Jay

Blime, didn't see a rating that high coming for this.

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longbowhunter

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Edited By longbowhunter

Bought it, read it, loved it. Hey Mandarin the jerkstore called!
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SoftCoreDave

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Edited By SoftCoreDave

Just ordered this for £3,  if it's half as good as you say should be the best £3 i've spent in a while.

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goldenkey

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Edited By goldenkey

might get this now.  Love the Manderin.  Love good long one shots too.
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goldenkey

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Edited By goldenkey

Fraction is still rising.
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titansfan01

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Edited By titansfan01

An Annual that's a good read? I'll give a whirl and see, but I have my doubts!
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waruikumo

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Edited By waruikumo

Can DO

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SuperXAsh

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Edited By SuperXAsh

reminds me (from the sound of it) of a real-life story where Kim Jong-Il kidnapped a South Korean director to make movies for him.
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HaloKing343

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Edited By HaloKing343

I didn't really know much about the Mandarin until the Knauf's got a hold of him in Iron Man: Director of SHIELD. That was a great arc. I highly recommend that arc to anybody who is a fan of the Mandarin.
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TazTheStampede

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Edited By TazTheStampede

This book was fucking terrible.  How could you give it anything beyond a 2?  Blasphemous.  The only good part is that the Mandarin's origin was finally revealed, and even that was garbage.  Fuck this book.  Zack, you don't know shit.
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X-93

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Edited By X-93

Glad it got a good rating I just bought it, but have not read it yet.

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hi1hi1hi1hi1

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Edited By hi1hi1hi1hi1

I just read this book and I feel the need to emphasize everything that this review has stated. Out of the hundreds of comics I have read, I don't think I have ever felt as much as while I was immersed in this book.

After this book, I really believe Madarin is one of the most evil villains in the Marvel Universe.