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Invincible Iron Man #176: Review

Nov 1983
Dennis O'Neil, Luke McDonnell

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Review & Comments

4.5 stars

Invincible Iron Man #176 Review by (March 1, 2016)
Comments: The plot for this story was given by Ann Nocenti. The Sisterhood of Ishtar appears only here and in issue #173. Sole appearance of Bernie Tolliver.

Review: Sorry about the long synopsis but it was the only way to convey the tone of this exceptional story. Mind boggling sci-fi shares themes with a purely human drama, both concern someone trying to protect his turf when it is threatened. Brilliant concept, impressive art, no phony “uplifting” ending. And Tony doesn't get the message.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Invincible Iron Man #176 Synopsis by T Vernon
For the past 1000 years, an alien creature with alien weaponry has been sitting at a portal to another dimension, repelling waves of invaders and its energy is running low....
James Rhodes and Morley Erwin submit their resignations to Obadiah Stane and leave the premises wondering what to do about employment. Morley suggests starting their own firm to explore new technologies, reminding that Rhodey as Iron Man had discovered a new energy source in the headquarters of the Sisterhood of Ishtar....
A homeless man is fighting a bunch of tough kids who want the cardboard box he lives in. Derelict Tony Stark wanders by and bribes them off with his diamond cuff-links. The man, Bernie Tolliver, invites Tony to his part of the alley for a drink....
At home, Rhodey tries to relax but he can't stop thinking about the Vortex so he suits up as Iron Man and flies to the Southwest to find the Sisterhood of Ishtar....
The alien creature knows that it will need help for the next invasion....
Bernie tells Tony how he lost his real estate business and chases a rat away from his turf....
Iron Man arrives at the Sisterhood's base where he intends to investigate the Vortex. One of the Sisters, bald psychic Friska tells him that the creature is growing weaker and accompanies him down to find the bottom....
In the alley Bernie builds a fire for warmth and light....
Shellhead and Friska enter the creature's field and Rhodey sees a massive torso with multiple jointed limbs, a long neck and a helmeted head, encased in alien technology. Friska calls it the Guardian; trying to probe its thoughts causes her to faint. Huge spacecraft try to enter that dimension and Iron Man helps the Guardian fight them off....
It begins to rain and, after a moment, Bernie invites Tony inside the box....
Friska divines that it is time for the portal to close but the Guardian is too weak. Rhodey causes the cavern to collapse, sealing up the entrance. Its job done, the Guardian dissolves in a shower of light. Rhodey takes it as a sign to keep doing what he's doing....
By the next morning, the rain has dissolved Bernie's cardboard shelter; he takes it philosophically, noting that protecting one's turf is what gives meaning to life. He takes his leave, hoping that Tony will try to straighten his life out. Tony sits down, trying to understand the lesson....

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Barberoids 1 cover original artwork on ebay

Luke McDonnell
Steve Mitchell
Carl Gafford
Luke McDonnell (Cover Penciler)
Steve Mitchell (Cover Inker)


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)

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