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Invincible Iron Man #25: Review

May 1970
Archie Goodwin, Johnny Craig

Story Name:

This Doomed Land, This Dying Sea

Review & Comments

3.5 stars

Invincible Iron Man #25 Review by (February 5, 2013)
Review: Heavy-handed and alarmist environmental screed is annoying only in hindsight; this was a new hot-button issue in 1970 and Marvel is to be commended for taking a stand in the early days of the ecology movement. The Shellhead vs. Subby action tends to be overwhelmed by the running lecture but in a way that adds to the excitement. And many of the issues addressed are still valid. Sam Granger’s inks give Johnny Craig’s pencils a harder edge and give some depth to the underwater scenes.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Invincible Iron Man #25 Synopsis by T Vernon
Iron Man stands, the last survivor of an arid and befouled Earth destroyed by pollution, as he contemplates the imminent extinction of mankind…. What is this, some deadly attack by an alien enemy? No, it is a film prepared by Tony Stark to educate his fellow industrialists about the need to take action to stop the destruction of the environment. The assembled businessmen are confused by Tony’s promotion of a cause, so he relates a recent incident which should convince them of the need to take action….
Prince Namor the Sub-Mariner discovers that the ocean is becoming polluted and fish are dying; the source is a pipeline spewing toxic waste into the sea. Namor knocks down a mountain to seal up the spout and follows the pipeline back to confront its creators. The origin of the pollution is Meridian Island, where Tony Stark has a project underway. Tony arrives to meet with the project head Blane Ordway and is displeased that Ordway has expanded the facility to cover the entire island, despite Tony’s order to preserve some of the ecosystem. Ordway takes pride in showing off his special contribution, the Solar Energy Converter, which will provide a source of clean energy to run the facility. Tony is dubious…but then comes word that the chemical waste is backing up, poisoning the air at the disposal plant. At this moment, Namor bursts out of the sea and begins to tear apart the facility; Tony dons his Iron Man armor to meet him and a violent battle is joined. The fight is carried underwater where Tony discovers that the filtration units were never installed in the disposal pumps, Ordway having diverted the cost to the Solar Energy Converter. But Subby isn’t down and Shellhead manages to carry him into the air where he is able to encase Namor in a twisted girder high above the sea. As the poison atmosphere spreads throughout the island, Ordway refuses to shut down the Converter so that the heat inverter disperses the gas because his reputation is on the line. Iron Man arrives and lectures Ordway on how the Solar Converter has exacerbated the smog problem and the lack of oxygen-generating plant life on the island means nothing will stop it. As the factory is evacuated, Iron Man frees Namor and smashes open the Converter dome before collapsing from the gas. Namor rescues Shellhead and Iron Man appeals to Namor to help him cleanse the island, which can be done by dropping a massive rock into the ocean. The resultant tsunami destroys the facility and quashes the deadly vapors but leaves the island devastated. As the staff emerges from the underground shelters, it is revealed that Ordway, attempting to atone for his mistakes, succumbed to the poison gas….
Back at the conference, Tony wraps up his account with an appeal to his fellow industrialists to work to save the environment before it is too late. But the businessmen, offering one excuse after another, walk out, leaving Tony saddened for the future….

Johnny Craig
Sam Grainger
Marie Severin (Cover Penciler)
Johnny Craig (Cover Inker)
Marie Severin (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Jean Simek.
Editor: Stan Lee.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)

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