INVINCIBLE IRON MAN #600 is Brian Michael Bendis’ final comic for Marvel. It’s a bittersweet goodbye, but holy cow, does this book deliver. This issue is an incredible milestone, and not just because it’s #600. It’s the culmination of everything Bendis has been doing with his INVINCIBLE IRON MAN run.

First and foremost, Tony Stark is back. Like, officially. No doubt about it. Now, he’s got to catch up with everything that’s been going on. Oh, he also wants to bring Rhodey back to life. Because, hey, if he was able to bring himself back, maybe he could bring his best friend back to life, too. And Tony’s family life is about to get a lot more complicated.

On top of that, Riri Williams and Toni Ho join up with a new team of secret agents, formed by none other than Leonardo da Vinci. Yes, Leonardo da Vinci from Renaissance Italy. Cool, right? To add to that, we’ve got what could very well be the end of Dr. Doom’s stint as Iron Man.

There’s a lot to unpack with INVINCIBLE IRON MAN #600. It can sometimes get to be a bit too much, with some jumbled spots here and there, but as a whole, it’s an incredible milestone issue for Tony Stark, and a perfect sendoff for Brian Michael Bendis. He’s joined by a bevy of artists, including Stefano Caselli, Alex Maleev, David Marquez, and Andrea Sorrentino, to bring this chapter of INVINCIBLE IRON MAN to a close.

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Coming Full Circle in INVINCIBLE IRON MAN #600

There are so many stories being told all at once in INVINCIBLE IRON MAN #600, but Bendis does a great job of keeping it all together. The whole story is narrated by the Tony Stark A.I. It begins with the real Tony Stark trying to bring Rhodey back to life. SPOILER ALERT: he succeeds. Although, I will say, as Marvel resurrections go, this one is pretty nice. Tony and Rhodey share a very endearing moment. It’s a good way to kick off the issue.

The story then cuts to Riri Williams and Toni Ho meeting Leonardi da Vinci. Again, yes, Italian Renaissance da Vinci. The one Jonathan Hickman wrote about in his S.H.I.E.L.D. series. He’s putting together a new group of defenders, including Blade, Miles Morales, and some other unnamed faces. It’s a lot to take in, but the payoff could be huge, depending on how this is used later on.

INVINCIBLE IRON MAN #600
INVINCIBLE IRON MAN #600 page 9. Image courtesy of Marvel Entertainment.

There’s a brief conversation between Tony’s biological parents. Turns out, Amanda didn’t kill Tony’s father, Jude, way back when. The reason for that, of course, was because Jude is a Hydra operative. Elsewhere, the Hood and his posse once again face off against Doom and his Doombots. This skirmish is interrupted by Tony, Rhodey, and an army of Iron Men. All hell breaks loose. Eventually everything ties together with everyone, except Victor, meeting up towards the end.

Plus, there’s a little something extra at the end, pointing to a very interesting future for Tony Stark. It’s actually something we’ve seen before, but now, I’m even more excited to see how it unfolds.

A Fast-Paced Finale

Everything moves very quickly in INVINCIBLE IRON MAN #600. Bendis doesn’t give you a lot of breathing room, which is good and bad. On the one hand, the story never abruptly or inappropriately slows down to the point where things get uninteresting or stale. On the other hand, given that so much is happening, you don’t get a lot of time to process anything before you’re given new information.

For the most part, the pacing of the story is okay, though. I much prefer a tale that leaves me wanting more and with unanswered questions by the end. It only means there’s more to come. Of course, that won’t pertain to everyone. I’m sure some readers would like to have their questions answered now, given that so much happens in this issue, and not all of it is really explained.

I found myself surprisingly okay with Rhodey’s resurrection. I normally despise when Marvel brings back deceased characters. But, as I mentioned earlier, the nature of this rebirth was actually really satisfying. The method by which it happens is far-fetched, but that’s kind of the point. So, as Marvel character revivals go, Rhodey’s isn’t necessarily one well-earned, but definitely one to enjoy.

INVINCIBLE IRON MAN #600
INVINCIBLE IRON MAN #600 page 26. Image courtesy of Marvel Entertainment.

Doom’s story comes to a less-than-fulfilling end. We’re still left with questions. Why did Doom become Iron Man? What happened to him after his fight with the Hood? These are questions I’m okay with having, though. Bendis never told us what was up with Doom all this time, and I like that he didn’t tell us, even at the end. I’m sure Dan Slott will touch on this in the future, either in his new IRON MAN or FANTASTIC FOUR runs.

The Mystery of da Vinci

Of course, the biggest mystery is what the hell is da Vinci doing in the present? If you’ve read Hickman and Weaver’s S.H.I.E.L.D., then you’ll likely have some idea of what’s going on. If not, then I highly suggest you go read it. It’s not essential to understanding what’s going on in INVINCIBLE IRON MAN #600, but it’s definitely a story worth reading, especially if you want more background information.

I absolutely love the idea of da Vinci in the present day. It’s such an out-of-nowhere concept that somehow fits very well in the Iron Man world. Like, two of the worlds greatest geniuses joining up to protect the world? Sign me up!

What’s even more interesting is da Vinci’s team. He never calls them the new S.H.I.E.L.D., but I think that’s what he’s going for. Either that, or a new Secret Avengers or Warriors team. The roster is a great mix, too. Like, who would’ve thought Blade would make an appearance in this comic? That’s an unexpected choice on Bendis’ part. And Cable as well. It’s just shaping up to be something cool, and I want to know what it is!

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Plus, I’m starting to see how Bendis’ INVINCIBLE IRON MAN and SPIDER-MAN are coming together. Bendis seems to have been teasing Miles leaving the Spider-Man mantle behind. He’s been building up both Miles and Riri to become a part of something new, and that really excites me.

Bendis handled this whole da Vinci thing very well. Again, I don’t know what it is, but I’m intrigued to see what the future holds for these characters.

Fantastic Art! Fantastic Art Everywhere!

INVINCIBLE IRON MAN #600 certainly isn’t short on great artwork. The list of artists for this issue is long. It features series regulars Stefano Caselli and Alex Maleev, along with David Marquez, Daniel Acuña, Leinil Francis Yu, Gerry Alanguilan, Jim Cheung, Mike Deodato Jr., Mark Bagley, Andrew Hennessy, Scott Hanna, and Andrea Sorrentino.

Sorry, wanted to make sure I got everyone.

INVINCIBLE IRON MAN #600
INVINCIBLE IRON MAN #600 page 33. Image courtesy of Marvel Entertainment.

Rest assured, having all of these artists is a great thing. The styles flow perfectly from one to another. They don’t all match up, but there’s never a moment when moving from one style to the next feels awkward or sudden.

I particularly enjoy the huge battle sequence in the middle of the issue. There’s three two-page spreads in a row, drawn by Yu, Cheung, and Hennessy. It’s such an explosive moment, and the three styles complement each other very well. Deodato and Maleev cap off that section with a few gorgeous pages of their own.

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INVINCIBLE IRON MAN #600 pages 20-21. Image courtesy of Marvel Entertainment.

Stefano Caselli, David Marquez, and Andrea Sorrentino steal the show. I’ve always been a big fan of Caselli. I know I’m always in for a treat when I see his name on a book. David Marquez had the honor of illustrating the opening segment between Tony and Rhodey, and it’s pitch perfect. This is also nice considering Marquez did the artwork for CIVIL WAR II where Rhodey passes. And Sorrentino’s style fits the mysterious ending to a tee.

As artist montage issues go, INVINCIBLE IRON MAN #600 completely succeeds. There’s a great mixture of splendid pages here. I didn’t even get to talk about all of them, there’s that many artists on this issue. But, again, they all deliver some top-notch work. You can easily chalk up the art as another reason INVINCIBLE IRON MAN #600 is well worth the look.

A New Chapter Begins for Tony Stark and Riri Wiliams

As INVINCIBLE IRON MAN #600 concludes, you’ll certainly be left with more questions than answers. As I mentioned earlier, I, more often than not, love that kind of thing. But, of course, it’s understandable that some people don’t feel the same way. Frankly, though, it just means there’s more to look forward to in the future.

Bendis has done a great job setting up the next chapter of the Iron Man story. Tony is in a great spot right now. He may have a lot of catching up to do, but knowing him, he’ll be just fine. And there’s so much potential for where Riri Williams could go next. I’m really happy that Bendis is leaving her story open-ended right now. She can basically go anywhere from here.

INVINCIBLE IRON MAN #600 features art totally befitting a milestone issue such as this. From the series regulars, to fan favorites, to special guest artists, there’s no shortage of talent here. This is an extraordinary collection of pages. What you see is sure to please.

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We won’t have to wait long to find out what comes next for Tony Stark and co. TONY STARK: IRON MAN #1 comes out in just about a month. I’m eager to see where these characters go from here, and what the creative team of Dan Slott and Valerio Schiti have in store for us. You can also catch Tony in Jason Aaron’s latest AVENGERS series.

Saying Goodbye to Bendis

It’d feel wrong to finish off this review without a little something to commemorate the author. As this is Bendis’ last comic for Marvel, I must say, it’s one hell of a sendoff. You can tell Bendis put his all into INVINCIBLE IRON MAN #600.

It’s a bittersweet ending. Bendis’ INVINCIBLE IRON MAN run has been flat-out awesome, start to finish. Sure, there have been some hiccups along the way, but that’s to be expected with any series. Bottom line is, Bendis did a phenomenal job writing this series. I’ll sorely miss him writing the Iron Avenger.

I think all of us here at ComicsVerse agree in saying we wish Bendis all the best at DC Comics. He’s provided nearly two decades of fantastic comics at Marvel, and he’ll definitely be missed.

INVINCIBLE IRON MAN #600 by Brian Michael Bendis, Stefano Caselli, Alex Maleev, David Marquez, Daniel Acuña, Leinil Francis Yu, Gerry Alanguilan, Jim Cheung, Mike Deodato Jr., Mark Bagley, Andrew Hennessy, Scott Hanna, and Andrea Sorrentino
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Summary
There's a lot to enjoy in INVINCIBLE IRON MAN #600. The pacing of the story and variety of content should keep most readers pleased, but is likely to push others away. All in all, though, it's a successful milestone, and a great final issue for Brian Michael Bendis at Marvel Comics.
93 %
A Fantastic Finale!

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