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Invincible Iron Man #225: Review

Dec 1987
David Michelinie, M. D. Bright

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Story Name:

Stark Wars

Review & Comments

5 stars

Invincible Iron Man #225 Review by (April 11, 2017)
Comments: Extra-long special issue. “Stark Wars” was later retitled “Armor Wars” for trade publication. The title is obviously a pun on STAR WARS. Only appearance of Shannon Sinclair, no idea why she got such a clear introduction. Tony Stark helped Abraham Zimmer keep his job in issue #219. Villains seen in Tony's imagination are Doctor Doom, the Beetle, Shockwave, Stilt-Man, Crimson Dynamo, the Controller, the Mauler, Professor Power, Titanium Man, and the Raiders.

Review: And so one of Iron Man's greatest story arcs kicks off: Armor Wars. Usually a big adventure has the hero on a quest to find something and he is opposed by various bad guys causing complications (think Captain America's “Bloodstone Hunt”). In this case what the hero is searching for is not primarily an object but peace of mind. It's unusual that the quest cuts deeper than most as it is an entirely personal one: Tony Stark is battling guilt. In this initial issue, Tony digs deeper and deeper to find out the extent of what he considers his complicity in the bad guys' crimes, and doesn't like what he sees. He is even driven to an illegal act himself—hacking into Hammer's computer system—as part of his quest. If his morals weren't really compromised by the theft of his designs, this act surely pushed him across a line—one which Scott Lang has to be bribed into taking part in. His single-mindedness leads him to first blow off the Army charitable event, then he attends and unthinkingly destroys the tanks. And the final page shows he will only sink deeper. And interesting counterpoint to the previous Iron Man epic, “Demon in a Bottle,” which also saw the hero dragged down and nearly destroyed by an internal enemy—only this one promises more action scenes. Really, highlights include the tank pull and Shellhead's dispatching of Stilt-Man. And good news! There's more to come!


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Invincible Iron Man #225 Synopsis by T Vernon
The tale opens on Iron Man dodging and destroying several stinger missiles—a practice run for an exhibition at an army base's charity show. After dashing off to check in on Rhodey, he gets dressed as and heads out to a date with one , flying to Nome for Alaskan crab legs....

Later, Tony is in his lab, studying the Force armor he obtained last issue; a sudden discovery makes him lose his composure and start breaking up the lab. Rhodey hears this and rushes in; Tony has learned that certain components of the Force armor were based on designs stolen from Stark. Tony considers that this would make him indirectly responsible for all of the damage, pain, and suffering caused by Force. And that isn't all: he obtains from the West Cost Avengers a list of all criminals who wear armor; is he also responsible for the illegal activities of all of these too? His investigations leads him to blow off the charity event and head straight for Clay Wilson to learn how he created the Force armor. It turns out that he used designs from Justin Hammer—who had stolen them from Stark. Rhodey persuades Tony to do his thing at the army charity show so as Iron Man he stands with his arms chained to a pair of powerful tanks and holds them back, but he is so distraught over his stolen tech that he ends up yanking the tanks into a crash, destroying them. This leaves a nasty public relations problem for the company....

Tony tries to take his mind off things by attending a new movie but the realistic depictions of terrorist activities upsets him and he walks out. After a sleepless night Tony contacts Abe Zimmer to hack into Hammer's system for him—an illegal operation—and he needs the aid of Scott Lang, whom he does not know is Ant-Man. The latter, an ex-con, balks at the proposal until Tony promises great financial rewards which makes Tony feel rotten. That night, while Iron Man provides a distraction (by crashing into Hammer's tower) and Ant-Man physically enters the databanks, Abe Zimmer downloads the info Tony wanted: a list of the villains Justin Hammer sold Tony's designs to....

The next day, Tony orders his lawyer Bert Hindle to pursue redress through the legal system as a priority. That night, Iron Man finds Stilt-Man burglarizing an apartment building and topples the tall thief to the ground, applying a negator pack to his armor to destroy the circuitry beyond repair. Next, the Golden Avenger tracks down Brendan Doyle and demands he turn over the Mauler suit. Doyle, seeing he is outmatched, hands it over, already planning to steal something similar. Tony and Rhodey then visit a tanning salon which turns out to be a front for the Controller to amass his hypnotized slaves. When he crashes the party as Iron Man, the villain orders his legion of followers to fight. When one of the mind-controlled servants is killed in Controller's attack, Shellhead punches him so hard that the Controller lands on a beach where the hero has to fight off more minions before he can apply the negator pack.

Later, when Bert Hindle brings him a hearing date over a year away, Tony decides that, legally or illegally, he will get his property back....

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Barberoids 1 cover original artwork on ebay

M. D. Bright
Bob Layton
Bob Sharen
M. D. Bright (Cover Penciler)
Bob Layton (Cover Inker)

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