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Invincible Iron Man #226: Review

Jan 1988
David Michelinie, M. D. Bright

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Story Name:

Armor Wars, Chapter Two: Glitch

Review & Comments

5 stars

Invincible Iron Man #226 Review by (April 18, 2017)
Comments: “Stark Wars” was later retitled “Armor Wars” for trade publication. Stingray, introduced in SUB-MARINER #19, was a perennial Subby supporting character and also occasionally aided the Avengers and Defenders. The Raiders previously faced Iron Man in issue #145. Edwin Cord was the baddie in issues #145 and 156; he will return with Project Firepower in #230-231. There's a fat joke about then-Speaker of the House Tip O'Neil and a brief cameo by news anchor Sam Donaldson. Wonder Man and Tigra are seen briefly at the West Coast Avengers compound.

Review: Another fine issue full of exciting scenes, especially the opening battle with the Raiders and his underwater duel with Stingray. And Michelinie throws us a curve: Iron Man screws up in his vendetta, targeting an innocent government agent; this forces Tony to disavow Iron Man (whom no one among the public knows is Tony himself). The mess this will make of our hero's psyche will play out over the next several issues and we'll see what becomes of Tony Stark in issue #232.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Invincible Iron Man #226 Synopsis by T Vernon
The three armored villains known as the Raiders assault a military plane in flight, hoping to steal the cargo of weapons components. The break into the plane, sending a guard out to his death—but suddenly Iron Man arrives with the rescued guard and confronts them. He places a negator pack on one, shorting out his armor, overcomes the second baddie who took the pilot hostage, then pursues the last one as he flees through the clouds. All three end up with their armor destroyed beyond recovery. When their employer Edwin Cord learns of this, he throws a fit as it puts a crimp in his latest plan, Operation Firepower....

At the office Tony is swamped with work and everyone needs to see him; Marcy Pearson and lawyer Bert Hindle go first: each has complications stemming from Iron Man''s activities in the previous issue, Hindle citing lawsuits filed by the villains and Marcy concerned about the public image of Iron Man on a vendetta. Tony gets a call from Abe Zimmer about the hacking he did for Stark; Tony dashes out and heads to Zimmer''s office. Abe reveals that a glitch in the system erased one name from the list of armored villains Justin Hammer sold Tony''s secrets to. Tony compares the list to the one he was given by the West Coast Avengers and deduces that the most likely candidate for the omitted name is Stingray—a government agent. In response to a call from the WCA, Iron Man heads to their compound where they want to know what he is doing with this vendetta; he brushes them off, merely saying “It''s personal,” and departs. As a relaxer he sets up a tennis date with Rae Lacoste but can''t keep his mind on the game. Meanwhile, Rhodey is asked by Marcy to set up an interview with Iron Man; his refusal causes a rift between them....

Resigned to what he must do, Tony flies to Hydro-Base where Iron Man confronts Stingray and tells him he is going to confiscate his armor to be returned later (maybe). Stingray refuses and dives into the river; Iron Man pursues but he cannot keep up with his much more agile quarry. Shellhead ends up creating an underwater avalanche forcing Stingray into the crossfire of Shellhead''s detached power pods. The hero claps a negator pack on the unconscious Stingray, and, to his horror, it does not work, proving that Stingray''s armor was not based on the stolen Stark designs. He apologizes gruffly to his victim and takes off....

The next day, in reaction to the Stingray incident, Tony calls a press conference, and announces that because of Iron Man''s pursuing of a personal vendetta, he is being fired....

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Barberoids 1 cover original artwork on ebay

M. D. Bright
Bob Layton
Nel Yomtov
M. D. Bright (Cover Penciler)
Bob Layton (Cover Inker)

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