I have to say, I've been enjoying the hell out of this series for the longest time now... Iron Man has gone from a character I didn't care much about, to one I loathed(after Civil War), to one that I actually like. And this series has gone a long way in changing my opinion of Tony Stark, so kudos to Matt Fraction for that. As for this issue? Here's hoping it's as good as the past few issues have been.
Invincible Iron Man #515:
Summary: With the Iron Man suit shut down thanks to one o the Hammer girls and General Babbage, Tony Stark is unable to assist War Machine against the trio of Melter, Whirlwind and the Living Laser. Pepper Potts decides to put her Rescue suit back on to assist War Machine, but ends up being too late as the villains kill(!!!!!) Rhodey! By this time, Tony has arrived on the scene(after getting a lift from his head of security, Bethany Cabe, but there's nothing for him to do. Meanwhile, Babbage has invited the Hammers and the Mandarin to the Pentagon(!?). Back with Tony, he accompanies Rhodey's body in the ambulance and after getting passed the throngs of witnesses and media, Rhodey reveals he was only playing dead... Whew... Since Tony now knows that the Mandarin, Ezekiel Stane, the Hammers and Babbage are conspiring against him, he realizes he needs to change up his strategy. As such, he now has War Machine in the background ready to strike the unsuspecting villains when the time is right(since they think he's dead), as well as the fact that Tony admitted at an AA meeting that he had a relapse, something else the villains almost definitely didn't expect Tony to do. So while the villains have won the opening salvo in the war, Tony is just getting warmed up.
Thoughts: Okay, first the bad. I am so pissed that Melter appears to have devolved into your common, dime a dozen villain. I always felt he was better than that. So yeah, that annoyed me. Going into this issue, I didn't expect Rhodey to die, because he's all over several other books... I mean he's in AvX, he's in Secret Avengers, etc. But yep, I TOTALLY brought his death when I read this one! That's some good writing from Fraction, because like I said, I was sure Rhodey wasn't going to die, but Fraction got me here... He tricked me but good! Overall? As usual, this was a strong, above average read. Par for the course with this series.
Score: 8 out of 10.