Did anyone else read Fraction's finale to "DEMON"?
War Machine, arriving on the scene, lays the beatdown on Melter. Only to be surprise attacked by Whirlwind. The duo prove to be a challenge for the armoured hero, and while War Machine manages to subdue them, he sustains heavy injuries. We see some great action and powers on the side of War Machine, Melter and Whirlwind, which Larroca draws interestingly enough to be dynamic on the page. Rhodey, however, faces on final challenge as the Living Laser arrives on the scene - and kills him, after a heavy battle. Interspersed throughout this fight we get scenes of an armourless (and shirtless) Tony rushing through the streets with Bethany Cabe, in an attempt to reach Rhodey as he explains how the Governor cannot be removed. We also get scenes of R.E.S.C.U.E. and Pepper discussing how it's been too long between drinks. Pepper knows what she has to do - but while she is not afraid, she is reluctant.
Mandarin arrives, with Sasha Hammer, to meet General Babbage just as Pepper and Tony arrive on the scene of Rhodey's death. Living Laser, Melter and Whirlwind celebrate by bringing the good news to Zeke Stane, who is understandably distracted because he's just accomplished something amazing. He's finished Mandarin's tentacled death machine.
We then get shots of Tony in an AA meeting that ultimately ends with him recognising that in the past, he has not asked for help despite the fact he needs it. He claims it's too difficult. But it then ends with him asking for help, as we see shots of him lamenting Rhodey's death. Then, we discover that Rhodey is still alive: and well. Tony had created a life vest that made it appear as if Rhodey had died - Tony is sad that he can't tell Rhodey's mom, because of the importance of the secret.
At last, Tony admits to Rhodey that they, essentially, lost. But now?
Now Mandarin is playing Tony's game.
This was a very good resolution, I'm not particularly a fan of seeing the AA meetings (overdone, imo) but the action was strong, and anytime Pepper and R.E.S.C.U.E share a scene, I'm entirely engaged. The fact that Tony has "lost" again is a bit grating, but all the more reason I'm excited to see how he comes back and "wins". I only wish that Pepper's story arc, which has been done fantastically since #1, would be a little more in depth than her merely labouring on what happened in Fear Itself.
Wonderfully done, I think.