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Invincible Iron Man #197: Review

Aug 1985
Dennis O'Neil, Rich Buckler

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Story Name:

Call Him ... Thundersword!

Review & Comments

4 stars

Invincible Iron Man #197 Review by (August 9, 2016)
Comments: Story follows SECRET WARS II #1 as a bannered tie-in. Second and final appearance of Stewart Cadwall/Thundersword despite Tony's last page prediction. On page 9, Tony appears to be left-handed; have I been missing something all these years?

Review: Another fun issue, tying into a mega-event but not dependent on knowing what's going on in the main story; those are always the best. Again bright colors help put across the action scenes and Bethany Cabe's return is welcome as we see her, not as a damsel in distress but as a professional troubleshooter who can take care of herself. On the other hand, Clytemnestra Erwin is still acting all moony over Tony, which threatens to undermine her characterization as a sharp-witted scientist with a clear head and jaundiced eye.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Invincible Iron Man #197 Synopsis by T Vernon
Iron Man (James Rhodes) drops off writer Stewart Cadwall at the police station but Cadwall realizes he can visualize himself with the powers of Thundersword but without his weakness—dependence on the sword. And it is done. Calling his winged horse Boromir to him, he rides off into the sky, only to be confronted by Iron Man — without his Avengers teammates who brought down the villain last time. Thundersword easily flattens Shellhead and departs....
Rhodey heads over to Circuits Maximus to ask Tony Stark's advice on beating this new foe but Tony is totally distracted when he learns that Bethany Cabe has been looking for him. The radio reports that Thundersword is terrorizing Hollywood and Rhodey asks Tony to don the gray armor and join him in stopping the baddie. But at this point, Tony gets a call from Bethany and as he is on the phone masked assailants burst into the hotel room and take her prisoner. Tony puts on the armor but chooses to fly out to save Bethany.
Downtown, Bethany is doing a good job of fighting off her attackers herself, but when Iron Tony arrives and challenges them, they drag their hostage into a jet-powered helicopter which takes off so quickly that Tony doesn't have a hope of catching up in the primitive armor. Returning to Circuits Maximus, Tony contacts Rhodey en route to Hollywood and suggests boosting the armor's power to maximum to defeat Thundersword. The Erwins tell Tony that they can access the atomic reactor at Busta Point to charge the armor and Tony asks Rhodey to try to lure the bad guy there....
Iron Rhodey finds Thundersword planning to shoot down a passenger jet and fires on him, then leads the villain on a chase to the nuclear reactor. There Rhodey's armor is pumped up to the max with electricity, enabling him to stand against his foe's attacks. Iron Man hauls off and punches the baddie so hard that he is thrown into the ocean. A search fails to locate him or his body; Tony takes it to mean they will hear from him again....

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Barberoids 1 cover original artwork on ebay

Rich Buckler
Ian Akin
Bob Sharen
John Byrne (Cover Penciler)
John Byrne (Cover Inker)


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)

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