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Invincible Iron Man #166: Review

Jan 1983
Dennis O'Neil, Luke McDonnell

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Story Name:

One of Those Days

Review & Comments

3.5 stars

Invincible Iron Man #166 Review by (December 23, 2015)
Comments: Part one of the three-part Tony’s relapse story. First full appearance of Obadiah Stane. Rocket-powered roller skates! Their first appearance since issue #140 (or so the editor tells us)!

Review: A day when everything goes wrong! This is a common trope among comedy stories and at first this issue looks like it is going to be one of them, with the litany of airline troubles, and the appearance of the moronic Melter. But wait, it’s all building up to a very ominous ending as Tony once more reaches for the bottle…and this would have been a classic issue if it weren’t for the appearance of Obadiah Stane. A bald man with a blue gem in the center of his forehead? Okay—but not with a sleeveless king’s robe over a bare chest, heavy work gloves, pirate boots, and a belt that would be envied by a heavyweight champ. The 1980s is far too late to create such a goofy-looking antagonist. Kirby could have gotten away with it and Tuska would have tried…but in a follow-up to “Demon in a Bottle,” this undercuts the seriousness of the drama too much. We’ll have to wait until next issue to strike the right mood.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Invincible Iron Man #166 Synopsis by T Vernon
Page one: waiting outside Tony Stark’s office is the old villain known as the Melter. More on this later….
In Scotland, Tony Stark has medical equipment flown in to save the life of Jim Rhodes who was poisoned last issue. Indres Moomji tries to calm his turbulent spirit by taking him to a pub where the publican mocks him for ordering only water. He walks out. Intending to fly home, he learns that his pilot’s license has expired; on a commercial flight, there is a litany of problems, including delays, no food, and lost luggage—then martinis are spilled in his lap. Arriving at his office, Tony discovers the Melter waiting for him. Donning an older suit of armor (since his current set was badly damaged last issue), Iron Man confronts the baddie who has just been released from prison and is out for revenge. But Tony is clumsy in the older model armor and his attack misses; the Melter accidentally dissolves the floor and Shellhead has to rescue Mrs. Arbogast (who does not appreciate the manhandling). Melter’s secret weapon does not affect this older armor and Iron Man easily knocks him out, just as the room collapses, leading to more construction costs….
Trying to relax, Tony then gets a call from Vic Martinelli who gives him the dossier on the mysterious villain who is trying to sabotage Stark International: his name is Obadiah Stane and he is headquartered in Utah….
Again, another litany of annoyances dogs Tony on his flight west, including rain, missing rental car, failed phone service, and a tornado moving into the area. Donning his armor, Iron Man flies to Stane’s corporate headquarters where he is greeted by heat-seeking missiles, conventional artillery, and laser weapons which he successfully dodges (thanks to his jet boots and rocket-powered roller skates). Finally Shellhead ends up dragging a remote controlled tank into Stane command room as he comes face-to-face with his newest enemy. Obadiah Stane freely admits to being the head of an alliance of powerful industrialists who wish nothing more than to seize power (destroying Tony Stark on the way), as well as confessing that he was behind Tattoo (issue #162), the Chessmen (#163), and the Laird of Glen Travail (#164-65). He also notes that Iron Man cannot prove anything to the law. The hero departs with Stane’s promise of three surprises for Tony Stark awaiting him….
Back at Stark International, Tony is informed that several of his contracts have been outbid and Rhodey has gone missing from the hospital in Scotland. Stressed out, beaten, and bone-weary, Tony looks longingly at a bottle of whiskey….

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Barberoids 1 cover original artwork on ebay

Luke McDonnell
Steve Mitchell
Bob Sharen
Luke McDonnell (Cover Penciler)
Steve Mitchell (Cover Inker)


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)

> Invincible Iron Man: Book info and issue index

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