Writer Brian Michael Bendis may have been subconsciously affected by Bea Arthur, Betty White, Rue McClanahan, and Estelle Getty more than he would like to publicly admit, because Invincible Iron Man #3 certainly has a Golden Girls vibe to it. Future installments of the series may involve Tony Stark’s biological mother — Amanda Strong — saving the day with Riri Williams, Pepper Potts, Mary Jane Watson, and Friday before all busting into song: “Thank you for being a friend!”

Translation: Girl power — with Ironheart armor!

For those who are new to the blog, let me state right up front that like most Americans I can sing the Golden Girls theme song and have zero problem with “girl power” in its proper setting. Is an Iron Man book where Tony Stark only exists as artificial intelligence the prudent platform to go about writing such tales? Good question.

Check out my latest YouTube review on Invincible Iron Man to see where I stand on the book, along with ways it might be improved. As always, feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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About the Author Douglas Ernst

I'm a former Army guy who believes success comes through hard work, honesty, optimism, and perseverance. I believe seeing yourself as a victim creates a self-fulfilling prophecy. I believe in God. I'm a USC Trojan with an MA in Political Science from American University.

8 comments

  1. Personally, I no longer have any interest in Invincible Iron Man or Riri Williams. All I want right now, is for Mary Jane to make her way back to ASM and be by Peter’s side. and I’ve said as much on Bendis’s tumblr.

    1. Because all I’m seeing right now is Bendis, taking her away from who she was and embedding her further into Invincible Iron Man, and one of my fears is if this goes on, she would become unrecognisable as a Spider-Man character.

      Same goes for Felicia, I just did not like the way he portrayed her in Spider-Man #11, even if she was being played by Maria Hill.

    2. “Because all I’m seeing right now is Bendis, taking her away from who she was and embedding her further into Invincible Iron Man, and one of my fears is if this goes on, she would become unrecognisable as a Spider-Man character.”

      It does make one wonder what Marvel’s end-game is for the character when she is kept from ASM for such an extended period of time. Like you said, they are trying to embed her into the fabric of Iron Man. I said long ago that I feared they would do something stupid like have her get into a relationship with Tony…and having her this intwined into his life sets the stage for that. All we have to do is fast-forward in time about five years (or less), and I can see that happening. Marvel is all about grabbing headlines, and that would certainly make news and cause controversy.

    3. “Personally, I no longer have any interest in Invincible Iron Man or Riri Williams. All I want right now, is for Mary Jane to make her way back to ASM and be by Peter’s side. and I’ve said as much on Bendis’s tumblr.”

      It really is time for her to return to ASM, isn’t it? It’s so odd that Marvel would be resistant to using her in the book in a meaningful way for this long.

    4. I really hope you don’t mind me saying this bit I really hope your wrong, because I don’t think I could stomach her being in Iron man another 6 months let alone five years, and if what you say comes to pass, then I know Marvel have totally lost not only their plot but senses too.

  2. Hey, a book where the main character is a shadow of his former self while newly created or introduced main, supporting, and guest star characters feature under that hero’s self-titled book I know I’ve seen this before…

    Poor Peter and Tony.

    I think that maybe a cool story they could have done is have Tony in the coma, but no Tony A.I. Have Riri start from scratch with becoming a sort of hero-for-hire, acquiring the funds to repair/improve her suit and tech over time. She has to take easy jobs, hard jobs, embarrassing jobs, and jobs that leave her morally conflicted as to whether or not it is worth the money to do it. She could have a balance of trying to maintain funds for her suit and tech, while seeing how far she is willing to go in terms of her own morals and how it will affect her reputation as a hero. Will she do a dubious thing for funds to repair her suit in time to save the innocent? Will she risk her own safety to fight in a damaged, low-powered suit? Is this new tech going to work, or blow up in her face and be a waste of time and money? We could see this character with all of her strengths and weaknesses as she earns her place in the world without it just being given to her and being guided by Tony.

    Meanwhile you could have the Friday A.I. use the current Iron Man suits and do the hero thing to present the image to the world that Tony Stark/Iron Man is still operating. As an A.I she could fully utilize the suits’ capabilities, and emulate Tony’s voice and mannerisms, but as an A.I. she can only use and repair the suits, never innovate or invent how Tony or Riri would. Or could she? The themes of what it means to be a sentient entity, identity/loss of self, and finding a place in the world could all be explored, among other things.

    The book could focus on these two, with Friday as “Iron Man” and Riri as Iron Heart. The bigger world events and corporate stories could fall to Friday, and the more street-level stories could go to Riri. The book could have both these worlds collide and what occurs before and during Tony’s eventual return. Riri tries to follow her inspiration, (Iron Man’s) example, but Friday as Iron Man with all of her issues is the one setting that example.

    I would like this better than to see the ghost of Tony Stark witness how obsolete his former self was, and how all of his former friends and allies comment on just how gosh darn amazing that Riri is.

  3. Or a bunch of crates of outmoded, disassembled Iron Man tech isn’t disposed of properly, and somehow it falls into her hands. She starts tinkering with it, and instead of INSTANTLY having the most advanced form of armor (and INSTANTLY being pretty good at controlling it), she has to build up with what knows, using what she has (broken parts, stuff from the old gray armor, and so on), and has to be creative and learns as she goes. Maybe creates a very different looking suit, with different powers (like, for instance, a vortex/suction power instead of repulsors).

    Instead, RirRi is instantly a Stark-level genius (instead of just being smart), and instantly mostly-competent. Competent enough to fight actual bad guys, instead of getting beaten up, the latter of which would be much more dramatic and exciting. Instead, Bendis has her jump out of the box already shiny and capable. ZZZzzz.

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