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Invincible Iron Man #167: Review

Feb 1983
Dennis O'Neil, Luke McDonnell

Story Name:

The Empty Shell

Review & Comments

4 stars

Invincible Iron Man #167 Review by (January 1, 2016)
Comments: Part two of the three-part Tony’s relapse story. Iron Man also mentions his having earlier saved a cable car in issue #159.

Review: Man, Tony can NOT catch a break this issue! Denny O’Neill drags our hero down to the lowest depths and plans to leave him there for “Demon in a Bottle, Act II.” This story arc is not going to rehash old ground though (that’s what 2015’s SECRET WARS event was all about); instead, it’s heading for a major shakeup on the title which no one could have foreseen. Yeah, Tony has been replaced in the armor before but not for such a long, long time, allowing for the creators to do something other than try to get back to the status quo as quickly as possible. Replacing the main character in his own comic is a bold and daring move and would work even better a few years later when they did it with Captain America/John Walker and the Spidey Clone Saga (well, one of those two would be successful). Oh yeah, and I did not see Indres Moomji’s betrayal coming!


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Invincible Iron Man #167 Synopsis by T Vernon
After his confrontation with Obadiah Stane, Tony Stark is stressed out, beaten, and bone-weary so he reaches for a bottle of whiskey. As he reviews all of his latest setbacks he tries to rationalize taking a drink but he suddenly flings the bottle away and goes to sleep….
A disheveled Tony arrives in his office, snapping at Mrs Arbogast and Vic Martinelli. Vic tells Tony that Stane’s consortium is meeting in Switzerland and suggests that Tony confront them as a whole. Arriving at his hotel, he places a call to Indres Moomji to tell her he loves her and his spirits buoyed, he goes out for a flight in his Iron Man armor. As he takes a relaxing zip though the Alps, he is attacked by another Bishop of Obadiah Stane’s (the first was in issue #164). As he begins to dominate his foe, he is assaulted by another Knight (the first was in issue #163); the Knight swerves and hits a cable car, sending it plummeting to the ground far below. Shellhead manages to catch the car and put it down in a safe place but the Knight hits him and, his gyros out of order, Iron Man falls a long distance before hitting a deep snowdrift….
Obadiah Stane addresses his cronies and orders them to act like barnyard animals; thus we learn that they are all under the influence of the hypnotic headphones employed by Tattoo in issue #162 (though Stane says it’s in #161)….
The Knight and the Bishop search the snow bank for the fallen Iron Man and he suddenly emerges from the snow and seizes the Bishop, dragging him under. A sky duel with the Knight also ends with the hero’s victory and soon, Tony Stark is facing Stane and his associates. Stane invites Tony to speak and the hero addresses the group, arguing that Stane’s proposal is illegal. But the executives respond with animal sounds. Dejected, Tony passes up a pub and decides he needs to see Indres….
In Scotland, James Rhodes, having escaped the doctor’s office is trying to hitch a ride but a pair of gunmen are pursuing him. He manages to steal a car and heads for the airport….
Returning to Stark International, Tony finds Indres waiting in his office—and there’s another shock: Indres is Stane’s Black Queen and now Tony is totally defeated. Returning to his apartment, he finds the whiskey bottle and takes a long swallow….

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


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)

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