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Invincible Iron Man #18: Review

Oct 1969
Archie Goodwin, George Tuska

Story Name:

Even Heroes Die!

Review & Comments

4 stars

Invincible Iron Man #18 Review by (December 19, 2012)
Review: Part James Bond thriller, part “evil twin” cliché plot, this installment keeps the drama high and exciting. Tony’s climactic heart attack is especially well done. Only debit is Midas’ overly complicated scheme which dispenses with Morgan Stark (making us wonder why he was in the story to begin with) and having Tony Stark impersonate a Tony Stark impersonator! Silver Age fun all around!

Comments: Second of a three-part story. The events of AVENGERS #69 take place immediately after this issue (though the last panel claims it’s issue #68). Last appearance of Morgan Stark until IRON MAN #286 in 1992. The Avengers appearing at the story’s climax are the Vision, Goliath, Yellowjacket and the Wasp.

Invincible Iron Man #18 Review by (December 20, 2012)
This 3-parter was one of my favourite early Iron Man stories. And I especially liked this cover. These days it reminds me of the end of Terminator II, but not then of course. The crossover with Avengers is quite complicated. In Av#69 Grand-Master and Kang kidnap Tony Stark from his hospital bed to a different time, to coerce some other Avengers into taking part in their contest. Then they send Stark back. But in Av#70 the Avengers are also sent back to their own time, and joined in the game by Iron Man. So the question is, who is Iron Man at that point in time? The Official Index clarifies things by saying that the Avengers have been transported to a time that isn't the present. And Iron Man is from the future immediately after he recovers from his heart attack. The Avengers don't know Stark is Iron Man, Tony told them that IM was away in this issue, so they just *assume* they're in the present and Iron Man is back from wherever he was this issue.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Invincible Iron Man #18 Synopsis by T Vernon
Iron Man joins Captain America, Nick Fury and a team of SHIELD agents in their assault on a Hydra stronghold. After the successful completion of the mission, the armored Avenger returns to Stark’s factory and reveals his secret: "he" is a Life Model Decoy of Tony Stark, impersonating both the millionaire industrialist and his heroic alter ego. Its goal was to see if it could fool two men who know the real Tony Stark well and, having proved that, it now aims to kill Stark. But what of the real Tony Stark? Branded an impostor by the LMD, he has been captured by Madame Masque and Morgan Stark at the behest of the villainous Mordecai Midas, a grotesquely obese man in an automated hover-chair, who schemes to become the world’s richest man. Morgan Stark having played his part in the plan, Midas zaps him into amnesia with a shock blast from his chair. (Elsewhere, scientist Alex Niven is pursuing his scheme to seize control of Janice Cord’s company and challenge Stark Industries.) Back at Midas’ island, Tony, who is assumed to be an impostor, is asked by Midas to impersonate Stark in the villain’s plan; Tony agrees, as this is the only way he can get back into his factory to confront the LMD. Madame Masque trains Tony in commando tactics though he is unaware that Masque will be accompanying him on his mission to kill him if the fails. On the designated night, Tony and Madame Masque enter Stark’s factory and are confronted by the Iron Man LMD. Tony protects Masque in the battle and she finds she can’t bring herself to shoot him. Tony evades his foe until a pair of security guards arrive who, hearing the LMD call his quarry "Stark," realize that it is the Avenger who is the bad guy. The distraction by the guards gives Tony enough time to don the original Iron Man armor and fight his more modern counterpart, though the effort puts a severe strain on his weak heart. The LMD attempts to throw Tony into a vat of molten metal but the Avengers, summoned by the guards, arrive to the rescue. Tony causes the LMD to lose its balance and the mad android falls to its destruction in the vat. Tony explains that the Iron Man they saw was not the real hero but a rogue LMD, then collapses from a heart attack. The Avengers rush Tony to a hospital, while Midas rejoices in the outcome. Madame Masque, however, sheds a tear for the one man who treated her humanely.

Preview Pages
Click sample interior pages to enlarge them:

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


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)
Crimson Dynamo
Crimson Dynamo

(Alex Niven)
Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)

(Janet Van Dyne)

Plus: Goliath (Clint Barton), Janice Cord, Mordecai Midas, Morgan Stark, Tony Stark LMD.

> Invincible Iron Man: Book info and issue index

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