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Invincible Iron Man #12: Review

Apr 1969
Archie Goodwin, George Tuska

Story Name:

The Coming of the Controller

Review & Comments

4 stars

Invincible Iron Man #12 Review by (November 8, 2012)
Comments: Part one of a two-part story. First appearance/origin of the Controller. The LMD will return sooner than you think—in issue #17 to be precise. Review: One of my favorite, if one-note, villains makes his debut in this issue: the Controller! True, his appearance shows off George Tuska’s great weakness, in that he has a wrinkly face, crooked teeth, and empty little eyes—but at least his exo-skeleton is more streamlined than it appears on the cover. There, he’s positively lumpy! On the other hand he’s a big armored guy whose strength increases with each victim he captures—and he’s already tough enough to whup Iron Man. He was cool when I was a kid, and he’s cool now!


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Invincible Iron Man #12 Synopsis by T Vernon
Iron Man comforts Janice Cord as the apparently dead Tony Stark (actually a Life Model Decoy) is taken away in an ambulance. Shellhead excuses himself and takes off into the skies; he races to his factory where he is able to reactivate the LMD by remote control. Thus Tony seems alive and well (to the consternation of the EMTs), and Iron Man has it come home via helicopter. Tony then deactivates the LMD and stores it in his private vault, swearing never to use it again.
Meanwhile in the Everglades, Jasper Sitwell is supervising the recovery of a wrecked skycraft from a swamp: it is the one the Big M Whitney Frost made her escape in (issue #8) and Jasper wonders if this means that she’s dead….
Janice Cord is happy to see Tony, alive, well, and cleared of treason charges. She tells him that her lawyer Vincent Sandhurst has been pressuring her to sell off her father’s company. Tony, realizing that such a move would not be in her best interest, wonders what hidden agenda Sandhurst is following. The reader need not wonder long since we are privy to inside information: Vincent Sandhurst drives to a gloomy old building on a remote New England coast. There he meets with his invalid brother Basil to tell him he is having trouble getting the money to pay for this house which has been automated to support the paralytic Basil. But Basil Sandhurst has other plans and presents himself in a burly cybernetic armor, proclaiming himself…the Controller! He then rehearses his origin story for the reader: working as a scientist for Drexel Cord despite his arrogant manner and questionable practices. One day, while arguing with his brother he threw a tantrum and accidentally caused an explosion that burned his entire body, leaving him a helpless shell. Basil now shows Vincent what powers his exo-skeleton: the Mental-Wave Absorbatron, which uses the minds of the house servants as batteries to increase Basil’s strength as long as he is within range of the device. He plans to take over the country, using the entire population as his power source—and then he affixes a control disc to his brother’s forehead and adds him to his Absorbatron.
A short time later, Tony Stark and Janice Cord arrive in the village, intending to pay a call on Vincent Sandhurst—and find everyone in town a zombie with a small metal disc on their foreheads. The Controller, passing by, spots Janice and tries to seize her to add to the collection and carries her off to his mansion. Tony dons his Iron Man armor and pursues. He assaults the Controller in mid-air but finds that the combined strength of his victims renders his foe impervious to attack. The Controller then stuns Iron Man with a blow and presses a control disc to the front of his helmet and carries his two prizes back to his sanctuary….

George Tuska
Johnny Craig
George Tuska (Cover Penciler)
George Tuska (Cover Inker)
Letterer: Art Simek.
Editor: Stan Lee.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)

Plus: Controller (Basil Sandhurst), Janice Cord, Jasper Sitwell, Tony Stark LMD, Vincent Sandhurst, Whitney Frost.

> Invincible Iron Man: Book info and issue index

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