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Invincible Iron Man #128: Review

Nov 1979
David Michelinie, John Romita Jr.

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Story Name:

Demon In a Bottle

Review & Comments

5 stars

Invincible Iron Man #128 Review by (March 30, 2015)
Comments: Part nine (and last) of the “Demon in a Bottle” story arc. Tony’s bottle of “Jack Powers” scotch looks a lot like Jack Daniels. In a final panel there is a slip of paper blowing in the wind that reads “So long, J.R,” signaling John Romita Jr.’s departure as penciler.

Review: An instant classic! Iron Man faces a foe no superhero has ever fought before: alcoholism! Terrific issue deals with a serious (and unusual) topic for a comic book and manages to do it without ever becoming glib or simplistic. Kudos to David Michelinie and Bob Layton for their excellent writing and for John Romita Jr’s and Layton’s artwork which amply bring the story to life even without the usual superhero tropes.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Invincible Iron Man #128 Synopsis by T Vernon
A drunken Tony Stark, wearing the Iron Man armor, is wallowing in self-pity, agonizing over his unwilling participation in a murder (issue #125), his berating of Jarvis (#127), and SHIELD’s plan to take over Stark Industries (#119). He decides to give up his identity as Tony Stark and only be Iron Man from now on. He soars out the window, forgetting to open it first and flies until he comes upon a derailed train. He offers to carry away the tanker full of chlorine but misjudges the weight and drops it causing the deadly gas to leak, necessitating an evacuation of the area….
Frustrated, he returns to his penthouse and sheds the armor. As he is pouring a drink, Bethany Cabe stops him. She tells him the story of her husband Alex van Tilberg, a diplomat whose obsession with his career led him to get hooked on pills, which may have contributed to his fatal car accident. Her pleading leads Tony to admit he needs help; over the next several days, Beth stands by as he goes cold turkey to sober up.…
Once he is past the danger point, Tony goes to Avengers Mansion where he apologizes to Jarvis and tells him he has his job back. Jarvis mentions that his mother is quite ill and to pay for her medical care, he used the two shares of Stark stock he owned as collateral for a loan. When he lost his job, he forfeited the stock. Later as Iron Man Tony visits the unscrupulous loan officer and wrecks the man’s office as incentive to return the shares—but he no longer has them, he sold them to “a government agency.” Aware that SHIELD now owns a controlling interest in his company, he is tempted to drink to cope but the support of Beth and Jarvis lead him to cork the bottle again.
Epilogue: It is a bright new day, and a tired Tony tells Beth that he will fight for his company…and win.

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Barberoids 1 cover original artwork on ebay

John Romita Jr.
Bob Layton
Bob Sharen
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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