Customers do not like it when businesses pull a bait-and-switch, which is why Marvel fans should be wary of purchasing Invincible Iron Man #4. The cover features Mary Jane posing with an Iron Man faceplate and a “Stark” employee ID badge. Sounds interesting, right? Wrong.
Bendis’ fourth issue of IIM continues Stark’s hunt for Madam Masque and his investigation into why she is collecting mystical artifacts. Mary Jane does make an appearance in the book — she’s opening a new night club in Chicago — but anyone hoping for banter between she and Stark will be sorely disappointed.
IIM #4 moves the story’s progression forward at a snail’s pace, although it does introduce “biotech ninjas” working for a new terrorist organization. Bendis’ incorporation of bio-hacking and trans-humanism into the book is a welcome surprise, and another example why his tales are a cut above other titles.
As was mentioned in my review of The Amazing Spider-Man #3, Dan Slott’s schizophrenic handling of The Zodiac (Are readers supposed to take this threat seriously, or are these guys a big joke?), blunts readers’ excitement in terms of wanting to unravel the mystery. Bendis treats his terror network seriously — ipso facto, so does the reader.
In short, if you’ve been reading Invincible Iron Man since the beginning, then the fourth installment is worth your time. If you are a Mary Jane fan who thought she would be featured prominently this month, then you should save yourself $4.00.
Mary Jane may have a substantive role to play in Tony’s life going forward, but at this time Bendis is simply laying the creative groundwork for that to happen.