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Invincible Iron Man #37: Review

May 1971
Gerry Conway, Don Heck

Story Name:

In This Hour of Earthdoom

Review & Comments

2.5 stars

Invincible Iron Man #37 Review by (May 10, 2013)
Review: Conclusion of the Ramrod saga hits us immediately with one startling factor: the issue is too heavily inked. Beyond that the story makes little sense: Ramrod is beset by loneliness and misses his brothers? This goes nowhere. Why was Ramrod, who beat the stuffings out of Iron Man last issue, now so easy to beat? Because they were running out of pages, probably. Why did Worldform, Inc pick Earth when it didn’t fit the criteria for a new alien homeworld; if they were going to change it all anyway, wouldn’t Mars—or any one of the other billions of uninhabited planets in the universe—have been easier? The Foreman and robots disliked easy other; interesting characterization but what was the point? The Foreman is human? What other planet has humans on it? Seems like there is more of a story there? And Marianne just happens to look (with a swap of color pallet) like his old flame? Did this serve the story other than to fill up the page count—and cause him to procrastinate on the mission? And why would knowing that Tony is Iron Man be such a heavy burden on Kevin? Did this title really need another character to brood? If this book doesn’t improve, I may take to brooding myself.

Comments: Kevin O’Brien’s name is misspelled “O’Brian” throughout the issue. Presumably, Worldform, Inc. sought out a different world to fulfill their contract. Signs of the times: References to sixties phenomena Three Dog Night (a rock band) and Marshall McLuhan (media critic). One of the fan letters is by Dave Sim, future creator of Cerebus.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Invincible Iron Man #37 Synopsis by T Vernon
Having suffered a heart attack while in combat with the invading Ramrod, Iron Man slowly struggles to his feet and drags himself into an alley. Finding a discarded coat, he dons it, hiding his armor, and drags himself to his car for some rest….
Meanwhile, Ramrod is awaiting the arrival of its masters, the Changers. He hasn’t long because the ship carrying his robot brethren and their human commander, the Foreman, soon arrives. Who are the Changers? They are a construction team for Worldform, Inc., an intergalactic corporation that specializes in selling worlds and renovating them to the new owners’ specifications. In this case, a race whose sun is about to go nova has purchased the Earth and the Changers have been dispatched to blast it flat; no ethical problems involved, the humans are on a course of self-destruction anyway….
On Earth, Kevin O’Brien is searching for the missing Tony Stark; he heads to the nightclub where a helplessly distraught Marianne Rodgers proves no help. As he heads out, the broken form of Stark tumbles from the elevator and begs him to take Tony to Avengers Mansion….
The Changers’ ship lands on the spot cleared by Ramrod and the Foreman dispatches the four Doom-Carriers to various spots on the planet to await the signal to detonate their explosives and flatten the world. As he waits for them to reach their destinations, the Foreman sees in the crowd Marianne Rodgers—and is immediately stuck by her resemblance to his long-dead lover, and he orders Ramrod to bring her….
At Avengers Mansion, Kevin escorts Tony into a room where the disabled hero opens a secret panel to reveal Iron Man’s armor. At this Tony reveals to the startled Kevin that he is Iron Man and that the chestplate contains a pacemaker. The engineer offers a prayer for success as he carefully tries to fit the plate to Tony’s chest….
Not far away, the Foreman talks to the captive Marianne, revealing his past as a human war orphan on a remote planet who was adopted by the Changers and raised as one of their own. And now he just wants to tell Marianne…but he gives up since the Earth is doomed. The Doom-Carriers have reached their positions in Latin America, China, the North Pole, and Africa and await the Foreman’s signal. The world (including Happy and Pepper) watches in horror on television. The Foreman still tries to sort out his feelings for the confused Marianne, who tries to escape and is pursued by Ramrod. Iron Man suddenly burst in and draws the huge machine into an aerial battle which is over in seconds, thanks to his repulsor rays. Iron Man circles back and destroys the ship, engaging the Foreman in battle. As they fight in the skies, the hero rips off his foe’s helmet (which he had told Marianne is how he controls the robots) and the sudden flash of sunlight in the eyes causes the Foreman to plummet to the ground. As he dies, his body reverts to his natural advanced age and he goes out recalling the lost memory…. The destroyer robots are immobilized and Kevin now agonizes over the burden of knowing Tony Stark’s big secret….

Don Heck
Jim Mooney
Marie Severin (Cover Penciler)
Sal Buscema (Cover Inker)
Letterer: Sam Rosen.
Editor: Stan Lee.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)
Pepper Potts
Pepper Potts

(Pepper Hogan)

Plus: Kevin O'Brien, Marianne Rodgers.

> Invincible Iron Man: Book info and issue index

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