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Invincible Iron Man #223: Review

Oct 1987
David Michelinie, M. D. Bright

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Story Name:

Counter Force!

Review & Comments

4 stars

Invincible Iron Man #223 Review by (March 27, 2017)
Comments: Part one of two parts. Origin of Force, who previously appeared in IRON MAN #140-141 (having been introduced in SUB-MARINER #68). First appearance of Rae Lacoste, whose beauty parlor is called Doos and Don'ts. First appearance of the second Blizzard, Donnie Gill. Lt. Sikking is drawn to resemble actor James B. Sikking, who played Lt. Howard Hunter on HILL STREET BLUES.

Review: Justin Hammer returns and Iron Man is up to his transistors in costumed villains. All the most exciting bits come from Force and the trio of baddies, especially the prison scenes; Iron Man's antics are a bit overshadowed—which is a nice way to keep the stories fresh. Most interesting part: the rookie Blizzard who keeps messing up. And the cliffhanger ending promises more to come—including Tony having a crisis of conscience when “the right thing” turns out nearly fatal for the guest star.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Invincible Iron Man #223 Synopsis by T Vernon
Aboard a mini-sub docked in Guatemala, the armored villain Force blasts his way out and escapes, returning briefly to sink the vessel belonging to his boss Justin Hammer. A Hammer employee contacts Hammer with the news; Hammer orders the use of the Safelok circuit, shutting down Force's armored suit. Instead, Force forces himself to keep going until he reaches the headquarters of Stark Enterprises....
Tony Stark and Jim Rhodes are shopping for expensive watches when they meet celebrity stylist Rae Lacoste who offers Tony a hipper hairdo and a manicure to Rhodey. Leaving the establishment (and Rhodey is quite self-conscious over the fake purple pinkie nail with a rhinestone), they get a call from security about Force. Iron Man quickly shows up and blasts him with repulsor rays. To his surprise, Force turns off his protective shield and motions to go inside. Force uses a computer to ask Iron Man to hook up his armor to a communications device. Once that his done, Force explains that the Safelok circuit in the suit prevents him from communicating and if he tries to remove the armor he will be electrocuted. Shellhead is able to shut down the deadly bits and Force is free to unmask. Meeting with Tony Stark, he introduces himself as Clay Wilson, explaining how the sweet life as Justin Hammer's henchman gave way to revulsion at the terrible things he did and he has now quit. Wilson wants Tony to hire him and protect him. Tony refuses however; Force is a wanted criminal so Tony's only option is to turn him over to the police. Wilson reluctantly agrees....
Tony and Rhodey escort Clay Wilson to the police station where he turns himself in. But police Lt Sikking is secretly in the pay of Justin Hammer and he informs the Big Bad of this development. Soon Beetle, Blacklash, and Blizzard (the B-Team?) invade the station, seeking to kill the renegade. The trio of villains fight their way through the cops and find Clay in a cell. Tony is helpless, his armor being in the trunk of his car outside, as Blacklash goes for a killing blow with his whip....

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Barberoids 1 cover original artwork on ebay

M. D. Bright
Bob Layton
Bob Sharen
Bob Layton (Cover Penciler)
Bob Layton (Cover Inker)

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