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Invincible Iron Man #252: Review

Jan 1990
Dwayne McDuffie, Herb Trimpe

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Story Name:

Apothecary Now!

Review & Comments

3 stars

Invincible Iron Man #252 Review by (November 21, 2017)
Comments: Part one of two parts; part of the ACTS OF VENGEANCE storyline in which several supervillains team up to destroy their hated enemies by setting them against unfamiliar foes. Title is a pun on the movie title APOCALYPSE NOW. “ACTS OF VENGEANCE concludes in AVENGERS #313 and WEST COAST AVENGERS #55.”

Review: A classic dumb action story featuring a classic dumb comic book weapon. How does this gun that can change any material into any other work? Does the thing read the user's mind? There isn't any attempt to give this even the semblance of scientific plausibility. This tale would fit better into the 1960s—or even 1973 when Chemistro made his debut. Dumb action works on a gut level, which is all most comics would need but by 1990 readers were a bit more sophisticated the dumbth is more than can be overcome. The big question: What happened to Wrecker? He was buried under a mountain of wrecked cars at the end of the previous issue but he isn't even mentioned here. Strange.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Invincible Iron Man #252 Synopsis by T Vernon
The new Chemistro (Calvin Carr) is aiming to kill Iron Man when his brother Curtis jars his aim and a truck is turned to glass. The now too-heavy for its frame truck shatters, burying Shellhead in glass shards. When Iron Man finally makes his way through the glass, Chemistro turns his armor into lead. Curtis tries to stop his brother as Calvin demonstrates that the Wizard has converted the original Alchemy Gun into wrist-blasters, and his killing Iron Man will make him a big shot in the world of villainy. The baddie then turns the armor to acid and it burns away, revealing nothing inside—Tony had seized the opportunity to break through the now flimsy lead and escape in his underwear. Tony flags down a lady motorist and he and Rhodey return to Stark Industries....

Tony has Curtis Carr come to his office where he a) promises to rebuild Stark Prosthetics and b) has Curtis brainstorm on a way to defeat Chemistro. As Curtis works on a neutralizer, Iron Man is summoned to face Chemistro who is turning various buildings on the Stark grounds to water and other elements. Iron Man blasts him, hurling him from a rooftop but Chemistro won't let Shellhead save him. Instead he turns the ground below to shock-absorbing foam and lands safely. When Iron Man complains about the property damage, the baddie turns a building into solid gold and it collapses under its own weight. When Chemistro knocks Iron Man down, he quickly turns the ground under him to water and Shellhead sinks—and then he turns the water to steel and the hero is trapped. Curtis gets the drop on his brother but Chem turns Curtis' good foot to glass and it breaks then he turns the neutralizer into smoke. By this time, Iron Man has heated the steel to molten form and bursts out of the metal pool, using his tractor beam to smash the blasters on Chem's hands. The bad guy surrenders....

Later, Curtis thanks Iron Man, his mood not spoiled by losing another foot. Iron Man, curious about the attacks by random villains, heads out to talk to the Avengers....

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Barberoids 1 cover original artwork on ebay

Herb Trimpe
Al Milgrom
Paul Becton
Herb Trimpe (Cover Penciler)
Herb Trimpe (Cover Inker)
Letterer: Janice Chiang.
Editor: Howard Mackie.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)
James Rhodes
James Rhodes


Plus: Chemistro (Calvin Carr), Chemistro (Curtis Carr), Mrs. Arbogast.

> Invincible Iron Man: Book info and issue index

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