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Invincible Iron Man #152: Review

Nov 1981
David Michelinie, John Romita Jr.

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Story Name:

Escape From Heaven's Hand!

Review & Comments

4.5 stars

Invincible Iron Man #152 Review by (September 15, 2015)
Comments: Part one of two parts. First appearance of the all-black stealth armor.

Review: An issue designed to appeal to Iron Man’s more techie fans with Shellhead’s new armor and accoutrements, along with the Germans' sophisticated defense systems. Solid story combining politics with personal tragedy is bookended by two terrific art sequences: the stealth mission at the beginning and the knockout shooting down of Iron Man at the climax!


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Invincible Iron Man #152 Synopsis by T Vernon
In his new stealth armor, Iron Man goes undetected as he enters East Germany on a clandestine mission. He arrives at Der Hand von Himmel (Heaven’s Hand), a top-secret research complex built inside a mountain. He inserts a probe into the ground to run a sonic scan but the area is suddenly covered by a laser net and Shellhead is attacked by two weapons drones. The stealth armor is limited in weaponry so Tony has to use his boot jets to shoot them down. His surprise comes when he tries to fly though the laser net; he takes more damage than he expected, but is able to make it back to Stark’s West German plant where he recuperates in private. His mind goes over the recent events that brought him here: learning that Bethany Cabe was arrested as a spy in East Germany, he sought to rescue her through legal channels; that failing, he decided on this stealth mission as Iron Man. As Tony Stark, he plans his next move with Rhodey….
Inside Heaven’s Hand, Beth is brought to a secret room where she finds her husband Alex, whom she thought to be dead. The KGB agents explain that they faked his death to kidnap him and learn about NATO’s sleeper agents; the drugs they used on him sent him into a catatonic state which he only recently awoke from so now they have her as leverage against him….
That night, Iron Man enters the complex via the drain from the nuclear reactor and ruptures the pipe to send panicked scientists fleeing so he can enter silently. Removing his armor and disguising himself as a German officer he has Beth brought to him—which ticks her off; it seems her arrest was part of her plan to rescue her husband. As long as he’s here, he might as well suit up and join her. Tony, reeling from the revelations that a) she has a husband and b) she knows his identity, complies but seems distracted. He provides cover as she carries the weakened Alex to safety outside where her team of mercenaries is waiting. Rhodey picks them up and takes off but Shellhead, following, is shot out of the sky by a laser blast. Who did it? None other than his old nemesis, the Living Laser....

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Barberoids 1 cover original artwork on ebay

John Romita Jr.
Bob Layton
Glynis Wein
Bob Layton (Cover Penciler)
Bob Layton (Cover Inker)


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)

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