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Invincible Iron Man #146: Review

May 1981
David Michelinie, John Romita Jr.

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Story Name:

Blacklash--and the Burning!

Review & Comments

4 stars

Invincible Iron Man #146 Review by (August 4, 2015)
Comments: Part one of two parts. The original Whiplash, introduced in TALES OF SUSPENSE #97-99 and appeared most recently in issues #123-124, #126-127, makes his debut as Blacklash. There is a glimpse of a box of Justin Hammer Baking Soda, a play on Arm & Hammer. And you heard it here first: Tony Stark is cuter than Ed Asner.

Review: Aw, why did they have to kill the dog! That’s the cheapest way to drum up some sympathy for the little-seen Vic Martinelli, when all they really needed to do was tell us his pseudo-mysterious past. We also see more of Tony at work, being a CEO rather than a superhero more than usual in this issue and it gives a more well-rounded aspect to the character. One oddity: Yvette Avril—a top management type—seems a bit dumb here, believing Rhodey’s claim to have been the Duke of Texas but she more than makes up for it in the next issue. And true to its 80s origin, there’s a nice environmental message that Stark has a new method of eliminating nuclear waste—too bad that’s the doohickey which sets the whole complex afire!


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Invincible Iron Man #146 Synopsis by T Vernon
Iron Man rushes back to his office at Stark Industries so he can change back into Tony Stark to meet with a youthful tour group led by snide publicity man Artemus Pithens. Tony then heads to the photo lab to check on the pictures he took of Roxxon’s secret space station as evidence (issue #142-144) only to find that the photos were ruined by the microwave energy in the station….
Elsewhere in the complex, Pithens is yanked away from his tour group by security chief Vic Martinelli. Vic is outraged that Pithens used Vic’s photo in a high-profile article about the company for Time magazine—an act that clearly violated Vic’s contract with the firm….
Back at his office, Tony greets Yvette Avril, the French staff member who is now the company vice-president. Yvette is going to dinner with Rhodey so Tony calls Bethany Cabe to make it a foursome but Beth’s partner Ling McPherson tells him Beth is out of town. Tony wonders if she is avoiding him; it turns out that she is as Ling tells Beth she doesn’t like lying for her….
At the end of the work day, Vic Martinelli goes home to his dog Peanut. While he is relaxing the villain Blacklash (an upgraded Whiplash) crashes through the wall. Calling Vic “Martell,” the baddie tries to kill his quarry but Vic jumps into his swimming pool and Blacklash, fearing the effect of water on his electrified weapons, withdraws. Vic reenters his home to find his dog was killed in the ruckus….
At the Stark plant the next day, Blacklash enters the grounds inside a hijacked UPS truck but he is discovered by a guard and mayhem breaks loose. While Vic and the guards open fire on the intruder, Iron Man leaps into the fray. The villain uses the new technology in his whip to blind Shellhead and quickly hurls a fire hydrant at the hero. The hydrant ricochets of Iron Man and crashes though a window, hitting a machine in operation which starts a fire, causing a chain reaction through the complex and soon the whole place seems to be burning….

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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)

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