Invincible Iron Man Vol. 4: Extremis
Writing: Warren Ellis
Art: Adi Granov
I’ve heard good things about the new direction Warren Ellis took with Iron Man by introducing Extremis, and I was not disappointed.
I love the Tony Stark Ellis introduces right away. He’s a man who’s company was initially built on war profiteering and who’s trying walk down a different path, to use his talents and his company for good, to be able to look himself in the mirror again. It’s fantastic take on Tony, laying the foundation for the rest of the story arc.
Extremis is introduced as biotechnology, a variation on the super soldier serum scientists – have been trying to reengineer since Captain America’s days. The virus is stolen, given to a domestic terrorist group and tested on one of their own, giving him a host of powers and making him virtually unstoppable. Iron Man’s first interaction with this man is almost horrifying in how simply Ellis pens the fight; even with the armor on, Tony’s hand is broken and he suffers many internal injuries. Eventually the plot leads to Tony needing to take the Extremis virus himself, and the result is kind of awe inspiring. His body is enhanced and he’s connected to the Iron Man suit on a genetic level – basically, he becomes Iron Man.
It was an incredibly bold step yet one that, having read this arc, I realize was sorely needed to update Iron Man. It’s sad that Matt Fraction has basically gotten rid of Extremis in the current Invincible run.
And the art — my God, Granov draws the sexiest Tony Stark I have EVER SEEN. His fight scenes lack energy (thus the .5 deduction in my scoring) but he knows how to draw a Tony that’s age appropriate, commanding and — yeah, I’m gonna say it again, deal with it — SEXY.
His art is just so aesthetically pleasing. Clean lines, interesting and realistic poses and, my favorite, bodies that you might actually find in the real world. His faces are unique, as well; no two men or women look alike.
There were a few scenes here and there that could have been trimmed or even cut — such as the interview, or Sal’s exposition — but overall, I’m really glad I finally sat down and read this. My incredible love for Tony Stark keeps growing.