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Invincible Iron Man #134: Review

May 1980
David Michelinie, Jerry Bingham

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Story Name:

The Challenge

Review & Comments

4.5 stars

Invincible Iron Man #134 Review by (May 11, 2015)
Comments: Part one of two parts. Only appearance of Nikki Lilling, though it looked like it was supposed to lead somewhere. Tony visits the Playboy Club in this issue; a gag in the first Robert Downey film has Tony mistaking Stan Lee for Playboy founder Hugh Hefner. Titanium Man was last seen (in shadows) in issue #113-115; he last faced Shellhead in #73-74.

Review: A very nice cover foreshadows what’s inside: a beautifully drawn training sequence, similar to the X-Men’s Danger Room, in a story that downplays action in favor of character development in the wake of “Demon in a Bottle.” It was a nice touch making us think that Tony may be reaching for a liquor bottle as he picks up the phone (though he would probably be better off removing the bar from his office; if he wants to serve drinks to guests he can have them brought in from another part of the building). After that we find that Tony and Bethany Cabe are friends more than merely bedmates, which puts her in a better light. What this is leading up to is “the plot that would not die,” as it was dubbed at the end of issue #133, the return of Titanium Man—but most of that is left for the next issue.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Invincible Iron Man #134 Synopsis by T Vernon
As the story opens Iron Man is flying through a tunnel of fire, exiting, he uses his flame-retardant foam to cool off. Suddenly the lights come on in the darkened room and a dozen automatic weapons fire lasers at him. Shellhead dodges them expertly and reveals (to any reader who didn’t already guess i.e. no one) that this is a training program used so Tony Stark can assess his armor’s strength. The final test is to run the program that Justin Hammer used to seize control of the armor in issue #124; the deadly sonic waves wash over him—and his armor withstands it. Success.
Tony gets ready for Iron Man’s guest appearance at the Lion’s Club dinner. Mrs Arbogast informs him that the Club cancelled the appearance in the wake of the controversy over the death of the Carnelian ambassador (issue #124-125). Dismayed over the problems in his life, he goes to the bar…to pick up the phone and invite Bethany Cabe out to dinner. On his way to her place he gives a beggar twenty dollars—but fails to see the man making careful note of his arrival time. At Beth’s apartment he exchanges a few pleasantries with her business partner Ling McPherson before he and Beth go to the Playboy Club. A waitress, distracted by Tony, spills a drink on Beth. While Beth is in the rest room cleaning up, Tony is approached by Nikki Lilling, a sexy industrialist who flirts to interest Tony in a business opportunity. Beth soon arrives and shuts the woman out. At their table, Tony and Beth clarify their relationship (no strings) before he begins to confide in her about his troubles….
Elsewhere, a huge villain flies into New York City and heads to the Lion’s Club dinner where he hopes to confront Iron Man; instead he finds himself face-to-face with…Rodney Dangerfield….
As Tony and Beth head home, they run into a ruckus; up ahead of them is the massive Titanium Man, vowing to destroy the city to prove his loyalty to his Soviet masters….

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Barberoids 1 cover original artwork on ebay

Jerry Bingham
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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