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Invincible Iron Man #198: Review

Sep 1985
Dennis O'Neil, Sal Buscema

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Review & Comments

4.5 stars

Invincible Iron Man #198 Review by (August 16, 2016)
Comments: Part one of three parts. First appearance of Dr. Theron Atlanta. Oddity: One of the letters is by John Banner, Block 13, Camp Hogan, Berlin, NH; this address contains four references to the TV series HOGAN'S HEROES: John Banner was the name of one of the series' cast, the setting was Stalag 13 in Germany, the capital of which was Berlin, and of course, Hogan, the name of the protagonist. Coincidence or conspiracy? I have no idea.

Review: The bulk of the issue gives us a complete rundown on the character and background of Obadiah Stane (good timing since he [spoiler alert] won't be around much longer). Previously we knew he was arrogant and ruthless and little else, now we know how he became the man he is. The other characters get short shrift, though there is a brief reminder that the thread connecting Tony to his sobriety is a thin one indeed (he pauses as he passes a wine shop in the issue). The climactic sky battle is deftly done and is a major highlight of the issue.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Invincible Iron Man #198 Synopsis by T Vernon
Obadiah Stane's mysterious female ally—and lover—is revealed to be Madame Masque. She asks him for his secrets and he relates his life story (sections scattered throughout the issue will be gathered here for easier access): As a kid he was poor because his father was a gambler; one night the old man came home flush with winnings and to prove his luck had returned, played a round of Russian Roulette—and shot himself before his son's horrified gaze. He learned then that winning was everything in life. By age 8 he was bald; playing in a school chess contest, he killed his chief opponent's dog and stuffed it in the boy's locker. This taught him that death is a ploy to use in the game but not an end in itself. As a young man he used faked blackmail photos to drive his employer into quitting and to take over the company himself. The lesson here: control one's passions. He went on to wealth and power in the munitions industry and created his private chessmen. Now he has Bethany Cabe prisoner and subject to the researches of his personal mad scientist Dr. Theron Atlanta, to find the best use for her....
Meanwhile, Tony Stark is bitter and despondent over being unable to rescue Bethany Cabe from her kidnappers (last issue). Resisting the temptation to drink again, he gets to work....
Stane shows Masque a huge airborne weapon called he Circuits Breaker. It will hover over the headquarters of Circuits Maximus and when it detects Rhodey and the Erwins inside it will blow it all to hell. Madame Masque wants Tony Stark dead too, revealing some dangerous passions that would be better curtailed. He launches the weapon....
At the company Tony and Rhodey see the massive machine approaching on the radar; they don their respective armors and head out to meet it. The Iron Men are kept busy shooting down the various rockets fired by the Breaker—which breaks in two to double its laser attacks. Rhodey in the newest armor has no trouble fending off these attacks but Tony in the more primitive armor is having trouble. As the gray armor is melted into slag, Iron Rhodey knocks the Breaker out of the sky. Later Tony vows he will never wear the armor again....
Back at the factory, Stane is surprised that the Iron Men defeated his Circuits Breaker and realizes that one of them must be Tony Stark, startling since he had predicted that, once down, Stark would never rise again. At this point, in a romantic clinch, Stane jabs Masque in the neck with a hypo and has Dr. Atlanta present his latest creation: Bethany Cabe, now acting as Stane's lover.....

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Barberoids 1 cover original artwork on ebay

Sal Buscema
Ian Akin
Bob Sharen
Sal Buscema (Cover Penciler)
Brian Garvey (Cover Inker)


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)

> Invincible Iron Man: Book info and issue index

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