Norman Osborne's relentless pursuit of Tony Stark and the secrets in his head concludes in this volume which provides as thrilling a ride as you can expect in mainstream comics today. Tony's path of escape leads him though the snowy fields of Russia to the craggy mountains of Afghanistan as he tries to stay one step ahead of Osborne's cronies. Things aren't going that much better for his friends as Maria Hill is barely holding herself together after breaking free from the Controller in the last volume, and Pepper Potts finds herself on the wrong end of Madam Masque's vindictive streak against Tony's girlfriends. It's a slick, fast-paced thrill ride that also finds time for lots of quiet character moments that drive home the importance of what's at stake for these characters. Really, the only thing keeping this from topping "Extremis" as my favorite Iron Man story is that even though this is the end of the arc, it's not the end of the story as it ends by setting up the next story "Stark Disassembled." That said, it does so in a way that is pure joy for any fan of the Marvel Universe.
May 24, 2010