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Invincible Iron Man #227: Review

Feb 1988
Bob Layton, Mark Bright

Story Name:

Stark Wars, Chapter Three: The Last Mandroid

Review & Comments

Rating:
4.5 stars

Invincible Iron Man #227 Review by (April 24, 2017)
Comments: “Stark Wars” was later retitled “Armor Wars” for trade publication. This story is set at the time when Steve Rogers is “the Captain,” having been stripped of his title as Captain America (CAP #332-350). First appearance of Ling McPherson since issue #151; her final bow is in #301. The issue includes cameos by several 1980s celebrities, including Lionel Ritchie, Don Johnson, George Wendt, Michael J. Fox, and John F. Kennedy Jr, plus a wrestler I can't identify.

Review: The cool part of the classic Armor Wars saga is the moral ambiguity of Shellhead's mission. At first (issue #225) it looked like Tony was on the path of the righteous, fighting villains who had used his designs. But in the second part, ish #226, things are already starting to blister as Iron Man finds himself fighting a good guy, one who turns out to be innocent. Now with part three (herein), he takes another step downwards as here he has to use lies and deception against another set of good guys—SHIELD. And in the next issue, Tony takes another step downward—and the last page tells us Tony sees it coming and he can't stop it. This is uncommon ground for a superhero comic in the '80s but David Michelinie pulls it off beautifully, accompanied by the usual excellent artwork, though this number is full of a bit too many panels full of exposition. Spectacular visuals are only an issue away.



 

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Invincible Iron Man #227 Synopsis by T Vernon
At a celebrity charity auction, Iron Man suddenly appears to prevent the Beetle from robbing the proceeds, also stopping an avalanche caused by the fleeing villain and slamming him to the ground before applying a negator pack to destroy his armor. Returning through a secret underwater entrance to his home (because Iron Man has been officially “fired” by Tony Stark to disassociate himself from the hero's controversial actions), he and Rhodey plan the next step in his crusade to shut down all armored villains using his stolen technology....

Tony is contacted by the Avengers who want an explanation of Iron Man’s new vigilante actions (they know Tony is Iron Man) but Tony asks instead for their trust. Returning to his office he is met by Nick Fury, who demands that Tony turn Iron Man over to SHIELD. And surprisingly, Tony cooperates: he gives Fury a dossier on “Randall Pierce,” a phony identity for Shellhead that he had concocted years ago. Tony’s ulterior motive: to get at SHIELD’s Mandroids which were designed by Tony but he still doesn't want the unauthorized technology to fall into Justin Hammer's hands....

Interlude: Tony stops by to see Ling McPherson and they have a night on the town, reliving old memories and renewing their friendship.

Tony helps SHIELD “track” the rogue Iron Man to his old summer home in upstate New York and suggests that only the Mandroids be sent after him. SHIELD’s armored warriors surround the home but Iron Man has set a trap for them. After a battle in which Shellhead takes out the Mandroids, while not harming the unarmored SHIELD backup personnel, Fury accuses Stark of having tipped-off his former employee. Tony, with a bit of sleight-of-hand, “uncovers” a bug in SHIELD headquarters to divert suspicion....

Epilogue: Tony receives a visit from Steve Rogers, no longer Captain America, requesting a new shield. Tony starts to think of how he can turn this to the advantage of his mission and begins to feel qualms about betraying a friend.

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Mark Bright
Bob Layton
Bob Sharen
Mark Bright (Cover Penciler)
Bob Layton (Cover Inker)


Characters

Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)
Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)
James Rhodes
James Rhodes

(Rhodey)

Plus: Beetle.