I’m of two minds about this issue.
On one hand, it’s a talking head book. There’s almost no Iron Man armor appearance (with Tony in the armor) and, even when there is an appearance, he’s talking to someone.
In other words, it’s a Salvador Larroca talking heads book. It’s exceptionally ugly. But the dialogue is great, so it’s somehow ugly and passable. Dealing with Larroca as the delivery system for Fraction’s great conversations… unpleasant but necessary.
But then there’s the content itself, the plotting. The way Fraction puts the issue together, he gets a lot done in a relatively speedily paced issue. It feels like time passes and situations progress (it might just be the small things, like Tony taking time to argue hilariously with Maria Hill).
The issue ends with a successful cinematic moment (Fraction’s “romance” between Tony and Pepper is actually really sweet), probably biasing me.
The Five Nightmares, Part 4: Neutron Bomb Heart; writer, Matt Fraction; artist, Salvador Larroca; colorist, Frank D’Armata; editors, Alejandro Arbona and Warren Simons; publisher, Marvel Comics.