Writer: Matt Fraction
Artist: Salvador Larroca
Colorist: Frank D'Armata
After having a chess match with Mister Fantastic starts building some Iron Man armor that he is going to put in the black market to track since Ezekiel Stane is buying all his supplies from the black market. Pepper than comes to Tony's "garage" and tells him to take out she does not want to have the arc reactor in her and would rather go through pain ful surgery because she feels like a bomb.
Later that night Tony and Maria Hill have an argument about Tony supplying the army with the Iron Man armor which Tony will not allow.
The scene shifts to Ezekiel continue to develop his armor because he still has not proper power supply yet. Ezekiel girlfriend than then leaves to buy some supplies Ezekiel needs.
We then see Tony have Ed Gross, a collector of superhero memerobilia, to put the Iron Man Armor into thee black market. As the armor goes through the black market Tony as Iron Man goes to visit the Philippines superhero team The Triumph Division. After finishing a business transaction and stopping an accident in Virginia Tony has a conferance call through his Iron Man suit with the Pentagon updating them with the current situation.
On day 15 of having the Iron Man armor in the black market Tony explains to Pepper her arc reactor is not weapon base and that the supplies were actually from Rand Industries. He then tells Pepper to close her eyes and after a few seconds she opens her eyes to see that she is floating in the air. Before they can continue talking Maria Hill calls Tony to SHIELD war room. Maria tells Tony all the tracer-tech activated in four locations: Los Angeles, Tokyo, Long Island, and Valencia. Tony tells Maria that Ezekiel is trying to take out Stark Industries by taking out the four major Stark Industry locations. End of issue.
Highlight of the Issue "Look ma no hands"
After last three issues were Fraction had a nice balance between character development and action this issue is pure exposition. While it was nice to see how Tony was planting the seeds for catching Ezekiel at the end it just felt that I did not need a whole issue of it. This is not to say I wanted to see an all action comic but I just did not feel this issue supplied enough plot development on Ezekiel side of the story.
All we really know is that Ezekiel still has not perfected his organic armor yet and is missing a succesful power source. After four issue I have to think that this plot development would be further along into the testing stage instead of being still in construction.
I did like that Fraction handled the various interaction between the characters. It was realistic for Pepper to not be all to accepting of her new situation and feeling she is like a weapon instead of a human anymore. It was for Tony to show Pepper that her arc reactor is not meant to be a weapon but to just keep her alive. So while most writers since Civil War like to make Tony out to be a man who is heartless and only does what he wants to do but Fraction shows that Tony does really carefore people especially for those close to him.
I also thought it was funny how Tony handles the various government officials he has to deal with as Director of SHIELD. To Tony all those people in the Pentagon are nothing but pencil pushers who are only out for themselves and that only he nows what is right to do. He pretty much treats them like little kids and much more smarter than them.
Also the arguement with Maria Hill shows that Tony does not trust anyone but himself with his technology and will not let anyone have some of tech. And Maria is just a character the reader just loves to hate.
Outside of these character stuff there really isn't much to this issue and it is only set up for things to come in the next couple issues. So if your someone who loves to see action in their comics this issue may not be all to exciting to you since not much really happens.
Salvador Larroca's wasn't at its best in this issue. While I love how he draws Iron Man the way he draws actual people is just a little weird.. I don't know if it was his colorist or just his art but the characters are to shiny. Also am I the only one that thought Mister Fantastic looked a little to much like Brad Pitt.