I'm posting this for a friend who's too shy to post to a big forum like here:
Matt Fraction's Invincible Iron Man is supposed to be read as a serial story. One issue continues to the next, and the next, and the next, etc. Why is it then that, from what I can tell, the only way to enjoy his stories is to forget what you already read by him?
Example One: During "The Five Nightmares" arc, one of Tony's nightmares is that his Iron Man technology will fall into the hands of people other than him. This makes a certain sense, given his history. However, when trying to track down Ezekial in later chapters, his plan to find Stane is by putting authentic Iron Man technology on the market. His plan is not to lure in buyers or use a decoy, he puts actual armor tech up for sale.
Example Two: After Pepper Potts is injured, she comes to Tony and tells him she would rather be an invalid that to have her life spared by his technology which has blood on it(1). Once Tony assures her it's someone else's technology, she immediately relaxes and enjoys being able to float. Several issues later, Pepper Potts has no qualms at all about donning a version of the Iron Man armor which, by virtue of everything we learned in "The Five Nightmares" arc, is undoubtedly made with the same blood-soaked technology as the Arc Reator and other armors.
Example Three: We learn that, thanks to the Skrull Virus, Tony Stark no longer has access to his Extremis powers which help him fly his Extremis armor. However, in the very next issue, we learn that thanks to Extremis, Tony's brain can be plugged into a computer and erased bits by bits. All speculation is pointing to a similar computer-like metaphor being used to reload his intelligence at the end of the "Most Wanted" arc.
Example Four: Tony Stark can no longer fly his modern armors due to memory loss, so he's resorting to using older and older armors, which require modified interfaces. However, specifically because Pepper Potts has no real experience flying the Rescue armor, it comes pre-loaded with a JARVIS to help her out.
Four glaring contradictions: Tony wants no one to have his armor, so it puts it on the black market; Pepper doesn't like the idea of StarkTech pacemaker in her because it was created by weapon's research, but she gladly dons a StarkTech weapon(2); Tony lost his abilities to mentally interface with computers, so he has to mentally interface with computers; and finally, because Tony can't fly modern armors with built-in automatic pilots, has to resort to older armors which require him to build simplified controls.
For the time being, let's ignore characterization. Right now, I just want to know how people currently reading IIM able to reconcile these kinds of glaring contradictions that seem to be major plot elements. If the stories were one-offs, ala Marvel Adventures Iron Man, I'd be more forgiving, because each story would be self contained. From what I can tell, Fraction's stories build on previous stories by design, but from what I can see of his designs, he's got square pegs seamlessly plugging into round holes.
What kind of reading system am I supposed to use to enjoy this kind of linear progressing unreality?
1. I'm ignoring the fact that Pepper Potts, of all people, telling Tony Stark she's rather be an invalid than to be saved by Iron Man's technology is probably somewhere along the lines of Lois Lane suddenly cringing at the idea of kissing a damn, dirty alien like Superman.
2. A defensive-only armor is more of a weapon than any pacemaker.