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Invincible Iron Man #242: Review

May 1989
David Michelinie, Alan Kupperberg

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Story Name:

Master Blaster!

Review & Comments

4 stars

Invincible Iron Man #242 Review by (August 7, 2017)
Comments: Part two of two parts. Grandfather Chu and Soo Lin appeared previously in issue #130. There's a nice gag: a couple of locals see Iron Man in flight and assume it is another flying robot movie being shot for the American market. Mandarin returns, presumably having regained his memory, in UNCANNY X-MEN #256-258 where he plays a part in the event of Psylocke gaining a new, Asian body.

Review: I knew Kathy Dare was going to be trouble from the moment I set eyes on her. The intense finale to the issue distracts a bit from a fine battle sequence, one where Iron Man was clearly outmatched (as he himself admits). Pretty cool, if a bit cluttered artistically, with bamboo and a camera crew, and cutaways to Rhodey and the gang. Still cool.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Invincible Iron Man #242 Synopsis by T Vernon
In Hong Kong Tony Stark and Zhang Tong (the Mandarin, though he strangely doesn't recognize Tony) settle the matter of the fight to the finish between Iron Man and the Mandarin to determine whose business will benefit. Tony heads off to meet with old friend Soo Lin (and her Grandfather Chu) for a mysterious purpose....

As the Mandarin prepares for the battle, his servant Li Fong fills us in on what has happened since we saw him last. Mandarin was experimenting with a Mento-Intensifier trying to extend the range of his rings; the thing blew up, rendering him amnesiac. Nursed back to health he conceived a plan to dominate the world, starting by taking over all the rackets in Hong Kong, and now he needs a western partner's aid, and he has chosen Tony Stark to work for him....

Tony and Soo Lin return to his hotel room where he finds a ruined sable coat in the mail, a gift from the vengeful Kathy Dare; Kathy calls moments later and when Soo Lin answers, Kathy hangs up in anger....

The next day, Iron Man and the Mandarin in his armor face one another on the beach of the villain's island, a film crew in place to record the event (with a disguised Soo Lin among them). As Iron Man fights off his foe's varied attacks, Soo Lin hacks into the castle's computer system and frees James Rhodes, Mrs. Arbogast, and Felix Alvarez. Iron Man fires off an EMP which shuts down his systems—but not the Mandarin's. Learning that the prisoners have escaped, Mandarin gives five of the Hand rings to recapture them. The powerless Iron Man jury-rigs flaming spears and, not letting on when his powers have returned, lures his enemy closer—and blasts him. And with his loss of consciousness, the Mandarin's rings return to him, allowing Rhodey and the others to escape the island.....

The villain keeps his word, allowing Tony to open a branch of his company in Hong Kong. When all is done, Tony returns to LA where he enters his home late at night. He discovers Kathy Dare waiting for him in the dark: she says goodbye and then shoots him point blank in the chest....

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Barberoids 1 cover original artwork on ebay

Alan Kupperberg
Bob Layton
Bob Sharen
Bob Layton (Cover Penciler)
Bob Layton (Cover Inker)
Letterer: Janice Chiang.
Editor: Howard Mackie.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)
James Rhodes
James Rhodes


Plus: Felix Alvarez, Kathy Dare, Mrs. Arbogast.

> Invincible Iron Man: Book info and issue index

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