Two more Fear Itself related comics to go before I'm done with that x-over this week. I'll tell you right now, one of these comics was REALLY good, while the other was REALLY bad... just by looking at the titles, I'd bet you could figure out which is which!
Invincible Iron Man #505:
Summary: Upon waking up and realizing that he was lying on a pile of statues that used to be Parisians, Tony Stark vomits into his helmet before he is noticed by the Serpent possessed Grey Gargoyle. The Gargoyle flies over to attack, and swings his hammer at Iron Man, missing him, but shattering dozens of statues that were once people, much to Tony's horror. Tony blasts away at Gargoyle, but can't scratch his hide, while Gargoyle manages to connect with Tony, sending him sailing through the deserted streets of Paris, destroying statues as he went. Before the Gargoyle catches up to Tony, Detroit Steel arrives on the scene and blasts away at the Gargoyle. Tony, realizing that Steel had no shot against Gargoyle, tries to convince him to leave, but Steel simply figures Tony was being a gloryhound, and presses his attack. While Tony's systems try to re-power, Gargoyle takes Steel down and tears open the front of the armor, exposing the man inside. With the protection of the armor gone, Steel's pilot turns to stone, and before Tony can fly over to do anything, Gargoyle stomps on the statue, shattering the pilot of Steel. Tony places most of his energy into a sword-like laser beam and slices Gargoyle in the face, actually hurting the monster, but receives a massive shot to the chest with Gargoyle's hammer for his troubles, a shot that cracks the repulsor in Tony's chest. With Gargoyle temporarily injured, Tony realizes staying any longer to continue the battle was tantamount to suicide, and flies away from Paris as fast as he can. This issue ends with Tony heading back to Stark Reliant in Seattle, where he says his good-byes to Bethany Cabe and Pepper Potts, grabs some components to fix his damaged armor, and takes a bottle of champagne...
Thoughts: Matt Fraction continues to bring the awesome in this series. I've got to say, I might not have liked what went down in Fear Itself #3, but Fear Itself, Invincible Iron Man and Mighty Thor, all of which are written by Fraction have been amongst the best comics I've been reading the past few months. Much like Avengers Academy, this comic did a great job of showing a) just how insanely powerful the Serpent's henchmen were, and b) just how awful their actions were. This issue also did a great job of showing us how damaging psychologically the events in Paris were on Tony Stark himself. Seeing Tony take that bottle with him, showed us, probably more than anything else, that he wasn't expecting to make it through Fear Itself. Again, this was a great comic, that has me eagerly anticipating the next issue.
Score: 9 out of 10.That's all kinds of messed up!
Alpha Flight #1(of 8):
Summary: Attuma has launched an attack on Vancouver, and Alpha Flight heads over to face down the Serpent powered warlord. Alpha Flight manages to deal with Attuma's Atlantian henchmen, but can't bring down Attuma himself. Ultimately Guardian manages to push his suit to the limit and brings Attuma to an unoccupied plot of land on Canada's eastern coast, but winds up collapsing from the strain of it all. As for Attuma, he... well, I really don't know what happens to him, he kind of disappears... Some other boring things then happen, and this issue ends with Vindicator finding Guardian and inexplicably attacking him.
Thoughts: You know, I don't know why I bother buying any comic books with Greg Pak's name on the cover. Now in fairness, this comic was written by Pak and Fred Van Lente, but regardless of who wrote it, I hated it. The Alpha Flight characters were just flat out unlikable(what the HELL happened to Marrina?!?), the story did nothing for me, and this comic just didn't have that same feel of dread that the better written Fear Itself tie-ins had managed to cultivate... Kind of like Herc, which was written by, what a shock, Van Lente and Pak... Sorry, I gave this one a shot because it was a Fear Itself tie-in, but I won't be picking up the rest of this series...
Score: 4 out of 10.And from here, Attuma magically vanished.