Bendis’ Tony Stark ‘loves’ woman he’s been on about 2 dates with; Invincible Iron Man #13 a giant boredom bubble


It was just under one year ago that Brian Michael Bendis’ Invincible Iron Man launched. Yours truly was excited at its potential, and even gave the first handful of issues rave reviews. Then, something weird happened. IIM became a plodding tale about Tony Stark’s search for an identity. He sat around his lab and, for all intents and purposes, did his own version of Derek Zoolander’s, “Who am I?” into a puddle of water.

IIM #13 is the culmination of a book that promised to take readers to great places when in reality it only gave them Victor Von Doom (looking quite a bit like Rand Paul) locked inside an energy bubble.


Here is what you need to know about IIM #13:

  • Doom takes Tony to Cambridge, where biochemical engineer Amara Perera is illegally testing her experimental Alzheimer’s drugs.
  • Doom and Tony argue about whether or not they are friends or enemies.
  • Tony tries to explain why he didn’t tell his girlfriend that he was going undercover or get word to her that he didn’t die in Japan.
  • Amara Perera tells Tony “I don’t know anything about you,” and moments later he confesses his love.
  • Tony tells Amara about James Rhodes dying, leaves, and then spends time in his lab thinking about Rhodey. He does not attend the hero’s funeral.
  • Doom returns to torment Tony and is locked inside “a zero-point energy web net.” Tony says he wants answers. “You’re going to tell me why you’re all over me. Why? Why have you decided to be in my life all of a sudden? Why? Why me?” he asks.

Marvel fans already have a good idea how all of this will turn, given that IIM is going to be launched with RiRi Williams as Ironheart — and that Infamous Iron Man, “Iron Doom” will launch in October.

Before we move on, let us go over our Mighty Marvel Checklist:

  • Superior Spider-Man? Check.
  • Hydra-Cap? Check.
  • Infamous Iron Man? Check. 
  • Bruce Banner killed because he might go Infamous Hulk on everyone? Check.

Interesting pattern, Marvel. It seems like Tony isn’t the only one having an identity crisis…


What makes IIM #13 even worse is that Mr. Bendis is doing — on a much smaller level — what Dan Slott did with Peter Parker’s “close” girlfriend, Lian Tang (i.e., the one who tried to murder him).

It has been established that Amara Perera is a smart woman, but she and Tony’s “relationship” consists of a small bit of playful banter and cross-talk early on in the book. How does that translate into “love,” and why would Tony say that to a woman who a.) agreed to be “taken off the grid” by Doctor Doom, and b.) suddenly calls the villain “Victor”?

Answer: It would not translate into love.

Tony would not say that, and readers should be insulted that Bendis would make him go there with a woman who has always been skittish about his lifestyle, personality, and double-life as Iron Man.


In short, if you have read IIM this long then you may as well buy the last issue before the relaunch. If you are considering Infamous Iron Man for you pull list, then just be aware that Iron Doom may essentially be the tale of Victor Von Zoolander.

Bendis’ Iron Man: Strong MJ by Tony’s side is bittersweet for Spider-Man fans

Mary Jane Iron Man 5

Invincible Iron Man #5 is an issue Mary Jane fans need to read, if for no other reason than to remind themselves just how bizarre it is for Dan Slott not to utilize her in The Amazing Spider-Man.

Regular readers of the book know that Tony Stark has been trying to figure out why Madam Masque is on a hunt for mystical artifacts. He eventually tracks her down inside MJ’s new nightclub, “Jackpot,” in Chicago on its opening night.

The verdict: Madam Masque is possessed by a demon, which will require a team effort between Tony and Doctor Doom to save her life.

“Jackpot” is predictably destroyed before the confrontation is over.

Madam Masque

As many fans expected, Tony offers to pay for the damage incurred during his fight. MJ, however, says the “P.R. nightmare” has rendered her club-owning days “kablooey.”

While this is a specious claim in a universe where superheroes and supervillains exist, Bendis does a good job selling it to the reader. Tony finds MJ in a park and offers her a job as his über-assistant/life coach.

This is a bit more problematic given MJ’s first line of dialogue in the issue:

“Superheroes. Again. Every time. Every time a superhero shows up in my life, I have to start over.”

Would a woman who resents the impact superheroes have on her life become Tony Stark’s personal assistant? Perhaps — if she thought about it for a long time and decided that her fate was intrinsically linked with superheroes. But it would take a skilled writer to pull off the idea. Luckily for Bendis, he fits the bill.

MJ Tony Stark

Spider-Man fans will also find MJ’s assertion that she is at her “lowest point” in life rather dubious. When Tony questions the validity of her claim, she replies, “Well, tell that to my soul.”

Was Bendis alluding to the infamous One More Day storyline? Indeed, MJ’s “soul” would agree with Tony — it lost its mate, Peter Parker.

In short, Bendis’ handling of MJ in this issue is proof once again that the devil-dealing “medicine” supported by Tom Brevoort was poison.

Seeing MJ well-written in Invincible Iron Man is a bitter pill to swallow, but it most certainly is not poison.