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Invincible Iron Man #159: Review

Jun 1982
Roger McKenzie, Paul Smith

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Story Name:

When Strikes Diablo

Review & Comments

4 stars

Invincible Iron Man #159 Review by (November 3, 2015)
Review: Pretty nice “gauntlet issue” where the hero faces a number of challenges and attacks to reach an objective. Yeah, the objective turns out to be “have Iron Man fight another hero’s villain” in a terribly uncreative plot so the strength of the issue consists in seeing what the writer can throw at the hero and how cool the artist makes it look. Freeze bombs! Hurricanes! Flames! (the usual stuff) but it all looks cool with the Shellhead versus his own armors done in a knockout sequence. Nice littler filler issue doesn’t aim very high but hits it squarely.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Invincible Iron Man #159 Synopsis by T Vernon
Iron Man races across Manhattan just in time to rescue a Roosevelt Island Tramway car as the cable snaps. Shellhead lowers the car to safety and also promises the workers that Tony Stark will see that they can replace the broken cable right away. Slipping off, he nearly hits a jet landing at LaGuardia….
At Stark International, the employees are arriving for the start of the workday; among them is middle-aged janitor Al Bidd who cannot remember his past. In Tony Stark’s office, security chief Vic Martinelli is also describing Al Bidd—a man whose references do not check out, as though he didn’t exist until recently. Meanwhile in a nearby lab, a research team has run into a snag—so Al steps in and shows them how to solve it. Tony has a talk with him and Al does not know how he is an expert in chemistry. Tony sends him to the company doctor, Dr Huff, who puts Al under hypnosis; suddenly his memory comes rushing back! He is Diablo the master alchemist—and deadly enemy of the Fantastic Four. In his last battle with them (FF #236) with the help of Dr. Strange, Diablo was captured and he found himself a working man with no past. Diablo resumes his normal appearance, puts the doctor to sleep, and begins plotting. He assumes the form of Tony Stark and sends all the chemists home for the day, giving him unlimited access to the chem lab….
When the building is discovered sealed, Iron Man is summoned and he tears open the doors only to face a two-headed fire-breathing dragon! He blasts it with repulsor rays and it vanishes in a puff of smoke. Shellhead confronts Diablo only to be frozen solid by a new potion; Iron Man easily escapes so the villain conjures up a dust devil, following it with elemental fire; Shellhead simply flies into the hurricane, which extinguishes the fire and then blasts the winds away. Diablo then summons a stone monster from the sidewalk which gives our hero a hard time. As the two crash through the building, Diablo discovers Tony’s secret lab. Once the stone man has been vanquished, the Golden Avenger finds himself surrounded by all of his earlier model armors, under the villain’s control. It takes a while (two largely wordless pages) for the hero to defeat all the others so Diablo immobilizes him and reaches out to unmask the hero when he is shocked into insensibility from Tony’s having electrified his helmet….
Epilogue: The Fantastic Four stops by to take their enemy into custody with a bit of comical banter.

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Barberoids 1 cover original artwork on ebay

Paul Smith
Terry Austin
Don Warfield
Paul Smith (Cover Penciler)
Paul Smith (Cover Inker)


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Doctor Strange
Doctor Strange

(Stephen Strange)
Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)

> Invincible Iron Man: Book info and issue index

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