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Invincible Iron Man #17: Review

Sep 1969
Archie Goodwin, George Tuska

Story Name:

The Beginning of the End

Review & Comments

4 stars

Invincible Iron Man #17 Review by (December 12, 2012)
Review: A nice action-filled tale with Tony lost and desperate against the LMD with all the power a millionaire industrialist can marshal. And Madame Masque is introduced (though not revealed to be Whitney Frost until issue #19); she was always a favorite of mine. Midas a little less so, being largely a copy of King Tut from the old Batman TV series. Even so, Tony having to cope with a rogue LMD and a mastermind’s scheme to take over his business (hey, maybe Tony should step back and let the LMD and Midas kill each other! That would solve everything!) makes for a thrilling tale.

Comments: Part one of a three-part story. First appearance of Madame Masque and Midas.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Invincible Iron Man #17 Synopsis by T Vernon
Iron Man, on his way back east after his encounter with the Red Ghost and the Unicorn (issues #15-16), flies though a storm. Suddenly he is struck by an intense bolt of lightning, sending him crashing to the ground. What he does not know is that the lightning is artificial, shot at him by an aircraft belonging to the mysterious Midas. On Long Island at almost the same time, the Stark plant is rocked by an explosion centered on Tony’s private lab. A black-clad woman wearing a gold mask escapes into the night where she is picked up by the ship that fired on Iron Man and taken to a remote island in the Aegean Sea. Back at the plant, the fire is finally extinguished and the firefighters are grateful that no one was in the damaged section. After they leave, however, the form of Tony Stark rises from the rubble….
At Cord Industries, Janice Cord learns of the explosion at the Stark plant and confides her feelings about Tony to her new scientist Alex Niven. Niven calms her fears by making a romantic play of his own. As they kiss, another news report comes in the Tony Stark was in the lab...
…but emerged unharmed, as Tony’s wastrel cousin Morgan Stark learns at the Aegean Island palace. He starts to panic at the thought that the assassination plot he helped set up has failed and wants to escape but he is stopped forcibly by Madame Masque. She then reveals the face under her solid gold mask—and Morgan faints at the sight…only to be woken up by his angry employer Mordecai Midas. This grotesquely fat man, dressed in a Greek robe and seated in a hover chair, punishes Morgan for his failure by delivering painful jolts of electricity to him—and moving the hover chair toward the hapless playboy pushing him closer to the edge of a cliff. Midas wants to be the world’s richest man and is starting by seizing the holding of Tony Stark—but Morgan’s misinformation led to failure. Midas bumps Morgan off the cliff but has robotic arms grab him and dangle him over the sheer drop, as he warns him not to fail again….
Iron Man awakens in the Nevada desert where he recovers his attaché case and, as Tony Stark, returns to his Long Island plant. He enters as usual, passing the guards and his secretary but finds their awkward reactions puzzling. He enters his private office to see…himself. Actually, it is the Life Model Decoy he had employed back in issues #10-11, brought back to life by electrical feedback from the explosion. The LMD dons the Iron Man armor and beats Tony, subduing him and turning him over to security as the impostor they had been warned about (explaining their odd reactions when Tony arrived). Tony is ejected and discovers that the LMD has changed his fingerprints and signature on file and cancelled his credits cards—even changing the password at Avengers Mansion so even Jarvis turns him away. Tired, hungry, and desperate, Tony walks through the rainy night; he finds he must recharge his chestplate so hooks himself to the battery of a nearby car. A neighbor calls the police and soon Tony is on the run through the streets and alleys—until suddenly he runs into a spray of knockout gas. Madame Masque hoists him on a rope ladder and they are pulled into a jetcraft, ready for delivery to Midas….

George Tuska
Johnny Craig
George Tuska (Cover Penciler)
George Tuska (Cover Inker)
Letterer: Jean Simek.
Editor: Stan Lee.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Crimson Dynamo
Crimson Dynamo

(Alex Niven)
Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)

(Edwin Jarvis)

Plus: Janice Cord, Mordecai Midas, Morgan Stark, Tony Stark LMD, Unicorn.

> Invincible Iron Man: Book info and issue index

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