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Invincible Iron Man #21: Review

Jan 1970
Archie Goodwin, George Tuska

Story Name:

The Replacement!

Review & Comments

5 stars

Invincible Iron Man #21 Review by (January 8, 2013)
Review: Confession: as a kid I considered this one of the great Iron Man issues if not in all Marvel. Why? There’s something that struck this young teen as very dramatic about this tale of a would-be hero who was going to do the right thing even if it killed him. Of course, this middle-aged man writing about the comic book decades later would have advised him that Eddie March’s sacrifice could also be explained as a foolish gamble with his life when Tony Stark could have simply found another retired athlete or soldier or cop to be the new Iron Man. But back then, comics were written for the young in mind, whose experiences with heroes were strictly vicarious and this one was an especially entertaining if not downright inspiring tale.

Comments: Part one of a two-part story. First appearance of Eddie “Iron Man” March. Inker Mike Esposito is credited as Joe Gaudioso.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Invincible Iron Man #21 Synopsis by T Vernon
Boxer Eddie “Iron Man” March is in trouble: his opponent has him outclassed but Eddie—who takes his nickname from his favorite hero—learns the Tony Stark is in the crowd that night. When he is knocked down, he draws on the inspiration of the Golden Avenger to rise from the canvas and deliver a crushing knockout blow. But the thrill of victory is short-lived: in his dressing room, Eddie is told by his doctor that he has a blood clot in the brain which could kill him if he continues boxing. Staggered by this news, Eddie nevertheless manages to put up a cheerful front for the press as he announces his retirement—and for Tony Stark who stops by with Happy Hogan, an old pal of Eddie’s. Tony offers him a job at his company but Eddie declines—unless Iron Man ever retires….
On his way home Tony notices a light on at the Cord factory. A scream from Janice Cord compels him to don his Iron Man armor and rush inside to discover Janice being menaced by a new and more powerful version of the Crimson Dynamo. The two scuffle until the Dynamo seizes an advantage—to run away. Iron Man pursues him out of the room and through a skylight—but it turns out his enemy did not leave the building. Instead we learn that the Crimson Dynamo had decoyed the hero away so he could unmask as—Cord’s head scientist Alex Niven. He had been working secretly to recreate the Crimson armor and was testing it, unaware that Janice was in the building. But his encounter with Iron Man served as the final test: his armor is superior to that of Stark’s superhero….
Tony Stark, aware that he had been subconsciously holding back in his fights with villains since his heart was repaired in issue #19, tells Happy he is giving up being Iron Man. As a replacement, he and Happy together realize there is only one man for the job: Eddie March. Tony approaches the ex-boxer and offers him the job, which Eddie eagerly accepts. After an intense period of training in and out of the armor, Eddie is ready to take over as Iron Man. Now able to lead a normal life, Tony resumes his relationship with Janice and they become quite close, ruining the plans of Alex Niven who wanted to steal her away from Tony. He consoles himself with plotting to defeat Iron Man…
The next morning, Eddie March is dispatched on his first mission as the new Iron Man. A report that an old enemy of Iron Man is being smuggled into the country sends him to a deserted pier where a ship is being unloaded. Eddie goes in swinging and the Crimson Dynamo also appears, attempting to steal Iron Man’s glory. In their scuffle a huge crate is knocked loose from its moorings and dumped into the harbor. While the ship’s crew fire on them, the two armored antagonists fight with the heavier Dynamo quickly gaining the upper hand. Tony, communicating with his protégé via transmitter, advises Eddie on how to counter his foe’s attacks but he is interrupted by a call from the gate guard, telling him of an anxious visitor. It is Eddie March’s doctor who, having learned from Happy Hogan that Tony has given Eddie a risky job, has come to warn him of the boxer’s precarious health. Tony quickly dons his armor and rushes to the waterfront where Eddie is being savagely beaten by the Crimson Dynamo. But Eddie is determined to win this fight—even if it kills him….

Story #2

Sock It to Shell-Head

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

By None

George Tuska
Mike Esposito
George Tuska (Cover Penciler)
Mike Esposito (Cover Inker)
Letterer: Jean Simek.
Editor: Stan Lee.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Crimson Dynamo
Crimson Dynamo

(Alex Niven)
Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)

Plus: Eddie March, Janice Cord.

> Invincible Iron Man: Book info and issue index

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