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Invincible Iron Man #228: Review

Mar 1988
Bob Layton, M. D. Bright

Story Name:

Stark Wars: Chapter 4. Who Guards the Guardsmen?

Review & Comments

5 stars

Invincible Iron Man #228 Review by (May 2, 2017)
Comments: “Stark Wars” was later retitled “Armor Wars” for trade publication. This story is set at the time when Steve Rogers is “the Captain,” having been stripped of his title as Captain America (CAP #332-350). The Mr. Hyde/Titania plot continues in CAPTAIN AMERICA #340. Title is a translation of the Latin “Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?” by poet Juvenal (also the source of the title for WATCHMEN).

Review: And now Tony Stark hits bottom. Just when his questionable crusade troubles him the most, he ends up having to fight—and betray—a close friend, Steve Rogers. But Tony did what he thought he had to do, and for an interesting parallel, so did Steve, having to safe the life of a Guardsman. The hard edges of superheroing are on display, with a number of beautiful battle sequences, especially Rhodey's elevator fight.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Invincible Iron Man #228 Synopsis by T Vernon
The former Captain America tests out the new unmarked adamantium shield created for him by Tony Stark. After he leaves, Tony and Rhodey plan the next phase of his mission to shut down all unauthorized use of his stolen armor technology: the Guardsmen. Though the Guardsmen are good guys employed as security at the Vault, a maximum security prison for supervillains, Tony can’t risk their armor falling into evil hands....

On a scouting visit in the vicinity of the Vault, Tony runs into Steve Rogers, who, after Iron Man’s battle with SHIELD’s Mandroids, speculates that the Guardsmen may be next on Shell-Head’s hit list, and he warns Tony that it will be his mission to stop Iron Man should anything happen....

A few days later, Electro goes on a rampage near the Vault and the Guardsmen trap him and deliver him to the prison. In his cell, Electro removes his disguise to reveal Rhodey, who escapes from the high-tech cell attuned to the real Electro’s metabolism and he makes his way to a control center and shuts off the defenses. Iron Man enters and releases sleep gas into the ventilation system to keep the non-armored personnel out of the way of the impending battle. While Rhodey shuts down spare suits of armor in the equipment room (and running into a bit of trouble from an isolated Guardsman), Iron Man confronts the bulk of the armored guards. After a violent melee throughout the building, Shell-Head is left facing the one remaining Guardsman, when the Captain intervenes. As a servant of the United States, it is Steve’s duty to protect government employees, including the Guardsmen. When the last Guardsman collapses from an exhausted air supply, the Captain goes to his aid, removing his helmet. Iron Man seizes the opportunity to send an electrical current through Cap, paralyzing him. As he renders the Guardsmen’s armor useless, his eyes meet Steve’s and they both know that their long friendship has been irreparably broken....

Epilogue: Investigation of the Vault reveals that two inmates have escaped: Mr. Hyde and Titania.

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


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)
Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)
James Rhodes
James Rhodes


Plus: Guardsmen.

> Invincible Iron Man: Book info and issue index

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