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Invincible Iron Man #218: Review

May 1987
David Michelinie, Bob Layton

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Story Name:

Deep Trouble!

Review & Comments

4 stars

Invincible Iron Man #218 Review by (February 13, 2017)
Comments: First appearance of the deep-sea armor. John Romita Sr. redrew Carter Hastings' head/face in many panels; original Bob Layton art under paste-up shows him with a full head of hair. Irina Tarasova is the name of a Russian shot-putter of a later decade. Tony has developed a low-light photography system which was used in the recent discovery of the Titanic (1985). There's also a brief reference to dictator Ferdinand Marcos' overthrow in the Philippines (1986). In an understated moment, Tony turns down the offer of a drink. And for a detail that almost went unnoticed, Stark's exploration vessel is called “Bethany.”

Review: Looks like we have a rare tale harking back to the Cold War era—and, even better, the introduction of a new Black Widow: Irina Tarasova! Except that isn't the case; Ms Tarasova has only one subsequent appearance and that's in ANNUAL #10, two years later. Bringing back a sexy Soviet spy would have been a lot of fun; I don't know why they didn't go along with it. But what we do have is a nicely plotted and nicely drawn underwater adventure that pleases on all counts.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Invincible Iron Man #218 Synopsis by T Vernon
On a secret mission to England, Tony Stark is waylaid by a band of thugs impersonating a security detail. In a secluded wood, he meets their leader, Soviet agent Irina Tarasova who politely suggests he abandon his mission and return home immediately. They then abandon him in the forest. Luckily Tony has his briefcase with him and changes into Iron Man, taking to the air to pursue his foes. Catching up to them he damages their car and strands them, first telling Tarasova to lay off....

Heading to London, he ponders the events which led up to his mission. At Stark Enterprises HQ, Tony was visited by a State Department member, who informed him that the recent undersea exploration of the Titanic revealed a canister of a chemical weapon—a canister which was now dissolving and threatening to release its contents into the ocean. Tony was tasked with contacting the elderly and reclusive inventor of the weapon, Carter Hastings, to learn how serious the threat may be....

Now, Iron Man changes back into his Tony Stark guise and stops by Hastings' home; he is met by Hastings with a shotgun and it takes some persuasion to get the old man to admit Tony. Hastings reveals that the canister contained the deadliest gas known, which he had second thoughts about creating and so told his superiors that it was a failure. But it wasn't and Hastings begs Tony to take care of it before it is too late. Little does Tony know that Irina Tarasova had earlier planted a bug on him and now the Russians know the secret too....

Tony takes his exploration ship out to the site of the Titanic's sinking and, donning his new, untested deep-sea armor, descends to the ocean floor. There he is attacked by Russian drone subs which he manages to fight off successfully—but there's more. The Soviets have a huge underwater robot Leviathan to battle Iron Man and open the canister, thus creating an environmental disaster for which America will be blamed. Shellhead snatches up the canister and then allows the Leviathan to seize him. The inner armor then detaches from the outer and the hero jets to the surface, sending the self-destruct signal to the outer shell and destroying the Leviathan. Iron Man then blows a hole in the Russian ship above. Irina Tarasova sends out the call for their rescue back-up, dreaming of evening the score against Tony Stark....

Epilogue: Tony visits the dying Carter Hastings in the hospital and assures him that the disaster has been averted....

Story #2

(No Title Given)

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

By None

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Barberoids 1 cover original artwork on ebay

Bob Layton
Bob Layton
Bob Sharen
Bob Layton (Cover Penciler)
Bob Layton (Cover Inker)

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