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Invincible Iron Man #232: Review

Jul 1988
David Michelinie, Barry Smith

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Story Name:

Stark Wars Epilogue: Intimate Enemies

Review & Comments

5 stars

Invincible Iron Man #232 Review by (May 30, 2017)
Comments: “Stark Wars” was later retitled “Armor Wars” for trade publication. Tony recites the children's prayer “Now I lay me down to sleep/I pray the Lord my soul to keep/If I should die before I wake/I pray the Lord my soul to take.”

Review: A strange epilogue to the classic story arc starts with an eerie cover, hinting at the madness inside. I've mentioned the odd nature of this adventure, the hero fighting an internal enemy, trying to stave off guilt. And now, instead of exulting in his victory, as a standard epic would have, here he must fight a literal version of his guilt. Kudos to the writers Michelinie and Windsor-Smith for taking us into uncharted waters for a superhero tale. And Barry Windsor-Smith gives the entire thing a creepy sheen, with visuals reminiscent of his Weapon X miniseries only featuring a pale and washed out Tony, struggling to survive. Full marks all around.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Invincible Iron Man #232 Synopsis by T Vernon
Iron Man finds himself walking through a darkened tunnel full of electronics components, searching for a quarry that he must destroy. He hears his enemy's electric hum and feels it is taunting him, as he fires at it and misses. He enters the monster's lair and finds that fighting it only makes it stronger. It enters his armor and tears it apart...

...Tony awakens to find himself lying in a pit of corpses. He encounters Rhodey in an older Iron Man armor, clearing out the dead and telling Tony that they are all his victims. Armored Rhodey offers the distraught Tony a drink at his bar and tells him, instead of looking for a way out, to look for a way in. Tony finds himself strung up in wires and cables and hanging from the ceiling. The monster arrives and it looks like a slapdash electronic version of Tony himself. It tries to steal his soul by draining his power but Tony fights it off. When things look bleak, Rhodey tells Tony to “turn it around.” Tony uses his repulsors to drain the monster's energy rather than blasting it; Tony uses its power against it and soon the evil creature explodes...

...waking Tony up from his nightmare. He realizes that his guilt over the damage caused by his stolen technology will always be a part of him—a beast within—yet he can only accept it and get on, as best as he can, with the rest of his life....

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Barberoids 1 cover original artwork on ebay

Barry Smith
Bob Layton
Barry Smith
Barry Smith (Cover Penciler)
Bob Layton (Cover Inker)
Letterer: Bill Oakley.
Editor: Mark Gruenwald.


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Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)

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