Writer: Gerry Duggan
Art: Juan Frigeri, Bryan Valenza, VC’s Joe Caramagna, and Kael Ngu
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Release Date: March 29th, 2023
Tony Stark has met his dark counterpart, and his name is Feilong! This mutant-hating industrialist is the new owner of Stark Unlimited, and that includes all of Tony’s tech! Can a furious Tony keep his cool, or will vengeance get the better of him? Let’s dive into Invincible Iron Man #4 by Gerry Duggan and find out!
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Invincible Iron Man #4 kicks off with a little recap on who Feilong is while Duggan throws fans deep into the heart of the story as this narrative thrusts Tony right up against Stark Industries’ new owner. This makes for a clever angle that hasn’t been visited recently to my knowledge. Plus, imagine what Feilong partnered with Nimrod and Dr. Stasis could do? The opportunities for some in-depth storytelling are most certainly on the horizon making for a very intriguing angle. Furthermore, the zings between Tony and Feilong were a bit humorous and quite believable. Some writers make these situational, corny jokes that are oftentimes one-sided. However, Duggan had them going back and forth nicely. Yet what’s even better is that Duggan sets up the jokes, has sidebars before the setups with the reader to see where they’re going, and lands them well to trigger Feilong to attack. It’s a genius strategy from the writer’s perspective making the exchange much more intriguing and involved in the process. Well done Duggan!
Additionally, readers finally see some remorse and regret from Tony. He even says directly that he’s “pissed he put the business on autopilot” which implies that the sulking has finally caught up with the realization as to what’s happened to Tony. And that’s what made Invincible Iron Man #4 so powerful. The character has finally caught up to the story Nevertheless, my biggest qualms with the issue were simply the strength of Iron Man versus Feilong. The items I have seen from Feilong recently from the X-Men’s perspective put Feilong rather high on the power and ability scale. He was a struggle for some mutants to tangle with. Actually, multiple mutants. Yet, Tony is able to lay waste to him with ease. Moreover, during the fight, where was Nimrod? Why was Nimrod not joining in the fold? And if so, I wanted to see how Tony would fare against him. However, my point is in Invincible Iron Man #4, we either see a diminished Feilong or an extremely elevated Iron Man. I’m just not sure yet which one is due to the playout of the narrative. So, my point is that I wonder what Duggan’s intent is.
Invincible Iron Man #4 solidifies the big bad and sets Tony up for a new showdown that he hasn’t seen before. It’s actually pretty cool to see him tangle with a different smart, intelligent, billionaire tech giant than the usual suspects. Plus, it’s also exciting to see the Krakoan connections as well. Nevertheless, even after laughing at a few of the well-timed jokes and watching the hero get his shots in, fans don’t learn a whole heck of a lot about Feilong’s “true” devilish intentions. Readers merely get the villain, a small battle, and no real cliffhanger other than one that could be interesting from Jennifer Walters. But even that cliffhanger was… subtle. And ultimately, that word summarizes Invincible Iron Man #4… subtle. It wasn’t bad nor was it wild and explosive. It was just subtle.