INVINCIBLE IRON MAN #1-5 (1998): 1st Firebrand

Before the heroes were reborn, Tony Stark was replaced by a teenager, so he’s been out of the 616 for a while now. And his company has been taken over.

Also he’s got the stupid looking armor with the little devil horns on it.

Most of these early issues are about re-establishing Tony/Iron Man. He gets together with Pepper Potts, Happy Hogan and Jim Rhodes.

He decides that instead of taking back his corporation, he’s going to start a solo venture as a tech problem solver. But then he starts dating the daughter of the corporate raider who now owns his old tech: Rumiko Fujikawa.

This enables him to hop around the planet for the first bunch of issues. He gets hunted by mercenaries called Death Squad. He gets hunted by guys on snow buggies. He fights Dreadnoughts. There’s a brand new Firebrand–and he takes up most of three issues.

He looks like big, cute, puffy fireball.

And behind it all: Mandarin is lurking and Sunset Bain is back.

It’s all very solid character work by Kurt Busiek–at the top of his game–with lots of callbacks to Iron Man’s history.

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