For his last work on Invincible Iron Man (Mike Deodato will take over from Invincible Iron Man #6), David Marquez offers us an issue to remember. He and Brian Michael Bendis have surrounded Tony Stark with mystically empowered characters: first Madame Masque, then Dr. Doom, and finally Dr. Strange. All of them get back for the conclusion of David Marquez‘s run.
Once again, MJ’s club is being trashed by a battle involving super heroes. This time, it’s not Spider-Man’s fault, but another one of the Avengers, Iron Man’s. Tony Stark and Victor Van Doom have tracked Madame Masque to MJ’s club and are ready to take her down. This issue opens on a close-up on Mary-Jane’s eyes. The spectator is immediately involved in the fight through MJ’s point of view. She’s worried and concerned about her club. We are moved by the sadness that MJ’s transpiring. This feeling quickly passes though, and soon we are sent in the middle of the battle. The atmosphere of the club is filled with electricity, magic and testosterone. Despite the fact that this is his own series, Iron Man isn’t my favorite character of the page, but rather Madame Masque. Juste like MJ opens this page, Whitney Frost closes it. As I’ve already told on David Marquez – Invincible Iron-Man #1, I’m completely fond of her mask and how David Marquez designed it. It looks more like a Venetian carnival mask than the helmet she wore during all these years.
It is soon revealed that Madame Masque’s mask has been hiding the face of a true demon. She is under its control, and need an exorcism to be saved. I’m pleasantly surprise to see how comfortable David Marquez is to draw such a terrible creature. His Madame Masque’s demon is pretty terrifying : pointed ears, sharped teeth and wrinkled skin. I’d like to draw your attention of the bottom strip of six panels. Iron Man’s armor is leaving him to cover Whitney’s body, in order to contain the demon. I love the poetry that is depicted on the first panel : the parts of the armor are like flower petals flying in the wind. And the contrast between Madame Masque’s monstrosity and the sadness of Tony Stark is striking. Stark seems really sorry to make her suffer, perhaps because of their past history ?
When all its done, Dr. Strange arrives. Its a little late, because Dr Doom has already flew away. His cape flying behind him, the Supreme Sorcerer makes his grand entrance. Tony grabs Madame Masque’s mask, and put it back on her face. In my mind this looks like a romantic gesture, just like the prince kissing the princess at the end of a fairy tale. And the prince-Tony Stark has put his armor back on, but not his helmet : the man is still in control, and not the robot.
I found these 5 issues of Invincible Iron Man a pure delight. David Marquez‘s drawings are fantastic of readability, of clarity and beauty. The emotions of his character are perfectly expressed, especially through the eyes. I will miss David Marquez on Invincible Iron Man, but I can’t wait to see him on Civil War II.