By Ben Morse
There’s no shortage of reasons you absolutely must pick up the mammoth-sized INVINCIBLE IRON MAN #500 when it touches down on January 19. However, this week on Marvel.com, we’ll be spotlightling merely five items pointing towards why you can’t miss this landmark event, featuring exclusive art and revelations you won't find anywhere else.
And we kick things off with the foreboding re-emergence of Iron Man’s most implacable opponent: The Mandarin.
“It’s over 40 years in the future and The Mandarin rules the world,” teases INVINCIBLE IRON MAN Editor Alejandro Arbona of what to expect. “He’s being kept alive by a repulsor implant in his chest and a living battery he calls ‘pig’: Tony Stark.
“The source of Mandarin’s power in this story comes directly from his origin in INVINCIBLE IRON MAN ANNUAL #1 and it was hinted at during ‘Stark Disassembled.’ These are threads that have been laid down for awhile that have just been starting to show.”
Writer Matt Fraction will be joined on INVINCIBLE IRON MAN #500 not only by regular series artist Salvador Larroca, but several special guests, including the team that made the aforementioned tale of The Mandarin one of 2010’s most riveting tales: Carmine Di Giandomenico and Matt Wilson.
“Matt Fraction, [editor] Steve Wacker and I immediately jumped on getting [the INVINCIBLE IRON MAN ANNUAL #1 creative team] back together for The Mandarin’s new story,” shares Arbona. “The work they did together was outstanding—some of the best work I’ve ever seen. Now we’ve got a new chapter in The Mandarin’s vendetta—the very end of that vendetta, in a way—and what more fitting way would there be to end that story?”
While INVINCIBLE IRON MAN #500 may explore the conflict between Tony Stark and his arch nemesis extending decades into a tomorrow filled with fear, Arbona promises this sneak peek will prove ominous for the present of the Armored Avenger as well:
“[It is] a terrifying glimpse of the future that is already coming. It came because Mandarin acted and Tony Stark failed to stop him; in the stories unfolding in INVINCIBLE IRON MAN in the present day, Mandarin is already moving against Tony. Iron Man has to stop this future from happening, but he’s already at a disadvantage. Can Tony still save the world from The Mandarin?”
Come back tomorrow and every day this week for more reasons to read INVINCIBLE IRON MAN #500!