What: The Invincible Iron Man #500

Who: By Matt Fraction and Slavador Larroca, with colors by Frank D’Armata.

When: Released on February 2, 2011.

Where: I got it at Fat Jack’s Comics in Philly.

Why: Marvel’s first release under their new “Point One” initiative to provide a clear jumping on point for new readers, this issue of Invincible Iron Man fits right into the already classic run on the book by Fraction and Larroca. Coming out on the heels of #500, this story serves as a good “take stock of the past, let’s move into the future” piece. It features Tony Stark at an AA meeting explaining his life and the choices that took him through it. Frankly, this idea should have been an issue 20 years ago, but I’m not going to complain about it’s usage here. He’s an alcoholic, and that aspect of his character shouldn’t be ignored. (I imagine having a character who is an alcoholic is better than one that’s denying or pretending he isn’t one.)

I liked the issue as part of the series, but as a jumping on point for new readers? Not so much. Not much happens in this story as far as the Iron Man is concerned, and it’s probably the most continuity heavy issue Fraction has ever written. Along with the art of Salvador Larroca that continues to grow in ways I don’t exactly love, this issue has me a little worried about the gaggle of “.1” issues coming out in the next few months. I did like this issue, and I genuinely hope new readers do too.