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Invincible Iron Man #156: Review

Mar 1982
David Michelinie, John Romita Jr.

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Story Name:

The Mauler Mandate!

Review & Comments

4 stars

Invincible Iron Man #156 Review by (October 12, 2015)
Comments: The Mauler (an acronym for Mobile Armored Utility Laser-guided E-beam, Revised) armor was previously seen in DAREDEVIL #167; Brendan Doyle will reappear wearing the armor in MARVEL TEAM-UP #136 and SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN #122. Iron Man uses a move against his enemy that he learned from Captain America in issue #125.

Review: Another nicely-put together one-shot tale, making good use of a weapon which had appeared only briefly in another title. Its points like this that made Marvel’s strong continuity so much fun to follow in the olden days. The art is spectacular, especially the Shellhead versus Mauler battle scenes—of which there are plenty. And there’s some nice little character bits between Rhodey and Doyle to make this more than just a “high-tech slugging match.” Good show.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Invincible Iron Man #156 Synopsis by T Vernon
With Stark International having bought out Cord Industries, Scott Lang is assigned to take inventory of all of Cord’s holdings. Scott comes across the Mauler armor discovering it was a cancelled assignment for the government. While distracted, Scott is knocked out by mercenary Brendan Doyle who steals the suit and disappears….
Tony Stark gets back from a trip to Europe; he sorts out a date with a babe, compliments Rhodey on a smooth flight and accepts a ride back to the office from Yvette Avril. An armored man flies quickly by and Tony goes to investigate—as Iron Man. He finds the Mauler—Brendan Doyle—threatening Stark techs, looking for a tape. Shellhead engages with him and finds this new enemy quite formidable in his firepower. Drawing the villain outside, Iron Man is surprised that Mauler can outfly and overpower him; only Rhodey’s timely appearance with a fire hose saves Shellhead’s life. When the villain sees Rhodey close up, he suddenly abandons his attack and jets off….
Doyle visits Edwin Cord in prison, where we learn that Cord plans to rent out the Mauler armor to support himself after his parole; what else he needs is to destroy the taped records of its creation so it cannot be traced back to him….
Rhodey arrives at his apartment after work and realizes someone has broken in; he climbs down from to roof to his balcony to surprise the interloper—who is not surprised. Doyle gets the drop on Rhodey and we find they were mercenaries together and Rhodey once saved Doyle’s life—so Doyle is repaying the favor by allowing Rhodey to live…and help him recover that tape….
Rhodey is able to smuggle Mauler/Doyle onto the Stark grounds but when Tony comes looking for the pilot he becomes suspicious. At the computer lab, Mauler takes Scott Lang prisoner but Iron Man arrives to do battle with the baddie. The high-tech slugging match wrecks the computers. While the two armored enemies are busy, Rhodey has Scott broadcast the Mauler tape to every Stark lab in the world—making it impossible to destroy. Mauler puts several guards in danger to distract Iron Man while he tries to seize the tape. In the end, he can’t bring himself to blast Rhodey to stop him from transmitting the tape and, his mission now impossible, he takes off….

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Barberoids 1 cover original artwork on ebay

John Romita Jr.
Pablo Marcos
Bob Sharen
Al Milgrom (Cover Penciler)
Bob Layton (Cover Inker)


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)

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