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Invincible Iron Man #255: Review

Apr 1990
Fabian Nicieza, Herb Trimpe

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Story Name:

Switching Channels

Review & Comments

3.5 stars

Invincible Iron Man #255 Review by (December 19, 2017)
Comments: First appearance of Valentin Shatalov, the new Crimson Dynamo. Devastator was introduced in ROM #44. Sole appearance of Freak Quincy, whose dialogue is a medley of quotes from TV programs, broadcasts, and commercials that most contemporary readers would recognize. Revelation: Tony speaks Russian poorly.

Review: Fill in issue, thanks to the Dreaded Deadline Doom. A popular, if utterly stupid, plot is to have two characters switch minds. So over recent years it's usually been invoked when the writer has a clever twist on it—or just wants to have some crazy fun. My favorite one of these is the JUSTICE LEAGUE UNLIMITED episode “The Great Brain Robbery” which swaps Flash's mind with Lex Luthor's. Anyway, The fill-in team on this ish doesn't have anything particularly new to say and it isn't a comedy issue so here it just looks like something tossed off in a couple of days—though the parallel structure is rather creative. Okay so far as it goes but we've been spoiled by now. And I would have liked to see more of Freak Quincy but I don't know what they could do with him—and apparently the writer couldn't either.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Invincible Iron Man #255 Synopsis by T Vernon
The story is told with parallel stories on each page. This division is somewhat simplified here for convenience.

In Russia, the new Crimson Dynamo battles the Devastator as part of a test. The Dynamo's arrogance makes him launch increasingly bigger attacks at his opponent until the Devastator is forced to blast him at full power....

Iron Man discovers an intruder at a Stark testing ground: a character called Freak Quincy who is broadcasting and receiving on all frequencies and it has driven him mad. Suddenly, Freak absorbs a powerful transmission (which we recognize as the Devastator's attack at the other end of the page) and blasts Iron Man....

And Tony Stark and Valentin Shatalov discover their minds have been switched in their bodies....

Unused to the Crimson Dynamo armor, Tony is knocked unconscious by the Devastator...and wakes up in the hospital, visited by “his” lover Lt. Colonel Yelena Brement. Covering his confusion by claiming amnesia, he has a romantic interlude with Yelena, then insists on going back to the scene of the incident where he downloads the details on the accident. He then places a call to “Tony Stark” in the USA....

Shatalov, unused to the Iron Man armor, fires a pulse and tears off both of Freak Quincy's arms. He manages to activate the homing beacon and finds his way to Tony's house, where he discovers “his” true identity. Shatalov takes advantage of his new persona to examine top secret plans and schematics, plotting theft and sabotage. He takes the call from “ Valentin Shatalov” and refuses to to anything to help his enemy....

Tony broadcasts to Freak Quincy in the hospital who mindlessly transmits to “Tony” shutting down the implant that enables him to walk. Shatalov suits up as Iron Man and flies to the hospital where Quincy's emissions override his armor. Tony, as the Crimson Dynamo, locates Devastator and bullies him into firing the same blast as earlier while transmitting to Freak Quincy the same thing. As they hit simultaneously, the two men's minds are returned to their rightful craniums. In Russia, Shatalov is placed under arrest for his violent actions, while Tony resolves to help Freak Quincy control his powers....

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Barberoids 1 cover original artwork on ebay

Herb Trimpe
Herb Trimpe
Brad Vancata
James Fry (Cover Penciler)
Keith Williams (Cover Inker)
Letterer: Janice Chiang.
Editor: Howard Mackie.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)

Plus: Crimson Dynamo (Valentin Shatalov), Devastator, Mrs. Arbogast.

> Invincible Iron Man: Book info and issue index

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