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Invincible Iron Man #147: Review

Jun 1981
David Michelinie, John Romita Jr.

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Story Name:

Holocaust At High Noon!

Review & Comments

4 stars

Invincible Iron Man #147 Review by (August 10, 2015)
Comments: Part two of two parts. Security agent Gottfried has the same name as a SHIELD agent in issue #145.

Review: That cover looks like Iron Man’s in trouble—but a little thought reveals that it’s actually the villainous Blacklash who is in serious danger—which the story inside bears out. A cool issue in that we have a dangerous foe who is crafty but not very smart, which is a refreshing change from Bond-level masterminds and superhuman menaces. The creators also shine a spotlight on little-noticed supporting character Vic Martinelli, giving him an identity beyond security guard; the story of his heroic testimony is thrilling—though using bright red and yellow to color the flashbacks is a bit of an assault on the eyes; even Iron Man (who always bears those colors) gets background for a foil. We also see Yvette Avril in an extremely competent light (here’s a thought: get rid of Pepper and make Yvette Rescue!). Mrs Arbogast and Artemus Pithens also get their moment in the spotlight too. The usual good art and writing add up to another cool adventure.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Invincible Iron Man #147 Synopsis by T Vernon
With Stark International in flames, Iron Man and Vic Martinelli face off with the villain Blacklash. Shellhead puts the baddie on ice by blowing a hole in the ground at his feet and burying him in rubble so that he and Vic can organize putting out the fire. Inside, Yvette Avril has to order Artemus Pithens to follow her as she seeks to lead the children’s tour group to safety; when Iron Man finds them he gives all the credit for the rescue to Pithens, which Yvette agrees to with a smile. The hero then checks to see that the administration building has been evacuated: it has except for one person. Shellhead crashes into his burning office to rescue Mrs Arbogast who is trying to rescue the valuable files; he scoops her up and carries her to safety….
Meanwhile, Blacklash has burst his way out of the rubble and Vic has the guards open fire on him. The villain’s techno-whip when spun quickly makes an impervious shield. Vic orders his men to retreat while he heads for a fire engine and blasts open a fire extinguisher to blind the villain. When Blacklash sees the crowd of police and firefighters on the way, he decides to retreat once again….
Iron Man uses his repulsor rays to blow holes in the roof of the complex then borrows a tanker from the docks to scoop up water and pour it onto the flames. Afterward, Tony Stark asks Vic Martinelli for an explanation. Vic reveals that he, under his real name Vince Martell, was an architect for a Philadelphia construction firm. One day he discovered that one of their buildings has been constructed with substandard materials and shortly after it collapsed in a deadly disaster. That’s when he learned that the mob was the secret controllers of the company. Vince testified in court and the company bosses went to jail—but Vince had to enter the witness protection program. And he stayed out of sight as Stark’s security director until Artemus Pithens’ article in Time magazine tipped the mob off to his current identity, so they dispatched Blacklash to eliminate him. And now Tony promises Vic that the company will stand by him….
The next day, under pressure from his employers, Blacklash returns to the Stark complex where he learns that Vic Martinelli is leaving town by helicopter from the Stark airfield. Arriving there, the villain confronts Vic and Rhodey—then Iron Man springs his trap. But Blacklash uses his whip to wreck the copter’s rotors and then hurls a bola to bind the hero’s arms, preparing to use his deadly necro-lash. Iron Man jets into the air, dragging his enemy along behind and then slamming him into a wall (appropriately using the move called “cracking the whip”). Problem solved. Iron Man then delivers the unconscious hit-man to his mobster clients and tells them to forget about Vic Martinelli….
Epilogue: Tony hangs a framed picture of him and Vic on the wall of his office. Everything is all right again.

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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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