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Iron Man #22: Review

Aug 2022
Christopher Cantwell, Angel Unzueta

Story Name:

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Review & Comments

4 stars

Iron Man #22 Review by (August 5, 2022)
Clayton Wilson created the Force armour in Sub-Mariner #68 and as a hireling of Justin Hammer faced Iron Man in IM#140. He went straight as Carl Walker in IM#224, and became a temporary Iron Man in both #244 and #300. He was last seen opposing Hood's gang in the Dark Reign: The Hood mini-series.

Long-time (since Tales Of Suspense #69) Iron Man foe Titanium Man was last seen in Amazing Spider-Man #685 and the ASM: Ends Of The Earth 1-shot. And before that he was in Iron Man #522 as 1 of Mandarin's army, when Mandarin was still alive and had his Rings.

Mandarin was killed in IM#526 but his Rings showed up independently in IM(2012)#18-28. Mandarin himself reappeared with his Rings in the post-Secret Wars universe in Punisher (2018) #1 but was swiftly killed off again. However his Rings reappeared in #4-5. And now they're here (behind the scenes).

Compound 13 was previously seen in Captain Marvel v1 #34 where CM inhaled a lot while fighting Nitro. The Death Of Captain Marvel graphic novel claimed that it was this which gave him the cancer that killed him.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Iron Man #22 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
Last issue Tony Stark discovered Source Control, an online black market for super-weapons. He decided to shut it down by using his family fortune to buy all the weapons (a dubious tactic I'd think). He enlisted the aid of his pal James Rhodes who told him that their old colleague Vic Martinelli, whose calls they'd both been ignoring, had got mixed up in it and been murdered.

Iron Man and War Machine are investigating Vic's trashed apartment. Rhodey's thoughts give us a potted history of the man. Vic was Stark International's Security Chief (seen from Iron Man v1 #132). In #146-147 we learned that he was in witness protection from the mob. Vic stayed with Stark International when Obadiah Stane took it over in #172. He disappeared from the comic (after #199) when Stark took his company back, and was seen still working for Stane International in #234. In Punisher: The Prize graphic novel he lost an IM armour in Mexico and destroyed it with help from Punisher. Jim also adds new-to-us information. Vic used to work in Military Intelligence and lately he'd used those skills as a courier transporting stuff for whoever would pay him the most, eventually working for Source Control. But we see that his latest consignment was Mandarin's Rings, which prompted him to try to contact Tony or Rhodey. But they both ignored his calls until it was too late.

They take traces from the scene back to Tony's lab to analyse. Already there is Carl Walker (who uses the Force armour) who is going to be front-man for the weapons buying. The results of the analysis indicate that Vic's killer was Titanium Man. But it also shows that Mandarin's Rings were there. IM's AI BOSS detects TM inbound. Tony and Rhodey suit up to meet him. They don't want Carl to join them as Force because he's got to pretend to have relapsed to his criminal past. To that end Stark has reported him to the State Department as an arms dealer so he'd better get out of the US fast and head to Macau where Source Control is based.

The duo leave Tony's house to avoid T-Man damaging it. The foe arrives and all 3 trade blows with their upgraded-since-last-they-met weaponry, plus plain armoured fists. Titanium Man is down but he shoots IM with the nerve gas Compound 13 and then escapes. IM's filtration system doesn't keep it all out and Rhodey rips Tony's helmet off. Tony's still alive but in a bad way.

Rhodey abandons their plan in favour of rushing Tony to hospital. Patsy Walker joins him at the bedside. Captain America turns up and asks if War Machine would sub for Stark in the Avengers for the duration. Jim Rhodes of course has to decline, and also refrain from telling Cap what's going on.

In the next scene Rhodey is flying a plane over Macau where Walker is already buying weapons from Source Control via shell companies. Jim's making a recording for Cap in case it all goes very wrong. And Tony claims to be fully recovered as he leaves the plane in his stealth armour intending to steal the Rings.

Angel Unzueta
Angel Unzueta
Frank D'Armata
Alex Ross (Cover Penciler)
Alex Ross (Cover Inker)
Alex Ross (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Joe Caramagna.
Editor: Tom Brevoort. Editor-in-chief: C. B. Cebulski.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)
Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)
War Machine
War Machine

(James Rhodes)

Plus: Carl Walker, Patsy Walker, Titanium Man.

> Iron Man: Book info and issue index

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