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Invincible Iron Man #121: Review

Apr 1979
David Michelinie, John Romita Jr.

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Story Name:

A Ruse By Any Other Name...

Review & Comments

4 stars

Invincible Iron Man #121 Review by (February 10, 2015)
Comments: Part two of the “Demon in a Bottle” story arc; part two of a shorter two-part story. Hale’s story implies that Roxxon found this island only recently and their only interest was the Vibranium; if so, where did the toxic waste dumped underwater come from? Title is a variation on Shakespeare’s line “A rose by any other name (from ROMEO AND JULIET).

Review: Justin Hammer takes a break so we can concentrate on the Shellhead and Subby story. Just had a thought: is Sub-Mariner Iron Man’s most frequent opponent in the “two superheroes fight” trope? Sure seems like it to me. A nice look at the human drama beneath superhero antics, with the story of Hiram Dobbs and his lost dreams paid sufficient attention in the tale without the subplot overwhelming the main action. And some spectacular action it is; Bob Layton at his best with the good guys against naval craft. Cool.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Invincible Iron Man #121 Synopsis by T Vernon
As Iron Man sinks beneath the ocean, drowning as his helmet seals have opened, Jim Rhodes and Bethany Cabe arrive in a jetcopter for the rescue. They are ordered away by Captain Jonas Hale then fired upon. Rhodey and Bethany are taken prisoner and brought to the island….
Meanwhile, Iron Man has been rescued by the Sub-Mariner, who believes that such a noble foe deserves a nobler death. Old Hiram Dobbs doesn’t want any more violence on his behalf. Subby explains that the toxic wastes dumped beneath the island were poisoning fish, he buried it all under a landslide but was overcome by the chemical; Hiram Dobbs found him and nursed the Sea-King back to health.
On the other side of the island, Bethany and Rhodey escape and run into a corporate boardroom where they discover that “Captain” Hale is not with the US Navy but Roxxon Corporation. Hale reveals that there is a lode of Vibranium on the island so Roxxon concocted the toxic waste story to scare people away. Elsewhere, Hiram Dobbs explains that he and his wife came to the island twenty years ago to escape the ills of civilization. Since she died some time ago, Hiram just wants his home back. Iron Man (recharged with a gas-generator) and Namor team up against Roxxon, slamming into the corporation’s base on the island. The two heroes take on the company’s ships and when the real Navy arrives to investigate, Hale sets the island to blow up. The heroes evacuate the place just in time. [But Iron Man slips up and calls Bethany Cabe by name. More on that later].
In the end, the Roxxon execs have gotten away so it seems that the only loser is poor Hiram Dobbs….

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Barberoids 1 cover original artwork on ebay

John Romita Jr.
Bob Layton
Carl Gafford
Bob Layton (Cover Penciler)
Bob Layton (Cover Inker)


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)

> Invincible Iron Man: Book info and issue index

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