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Invincible Iron Man #257: Review

Jun 1990
Randall Frenz, Rich Yanizeski

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Review & Comments

2.5 stars

Invincible Iron Man #257 Review by (January 2, 2018)
Comments: Sole appearance of Samurai Steel. Revelation: Tony Stark can't read Japanese.

Review: Another fill-in issue but this one makes a nice intro to Armor Wars II as it features an armored foe. The problem is, it isn't a very interesting armored foe, just a guy whose character can be summed up as “vengeful maniac.” It's all cliches, including his sacrifice at the end. The writing is off too, with Tony sounding more like a tough guy than he should. Appropriately, the art is also off with Tony resembling Ted Levene from MONK. There are hints of a manga influence on the art and thankfully it is not overdone. And perhaps as a nod to the manga, Ironman frequently appears as one word. A weak issue, soon forgotten.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Invincible Iron Man #257 Synopsis by T Vernon
In Hiroshima, industrialist Yoshida Asano prepares to test an experimental battle suit. The switch is thrown, the power sources are activated, and the test is a success: “Samurai Steel lives!”

Meanwhile, Iron Man is in space, shooting down dangerous space debris created by the explosion at the space station (last issue)....

Shortly thereafter, Samurai Steel invades North Korean airspace, shooting down Korean planes and missiles, and allowing them to think he had been destroyed. Returning to earth, Asano is rebuked by his aide Shigeru Tetsu for risking a war; Asano considers himself the victim of warmongers and sees his actions as revenge....

Tony Stark and James Rhodes fly to Japan, invited to work out a business deal with Asano; it seems Tony still feels guilty over his father's part in the development of the atom bomb and sees this as a way to make amends. When they arrive, the masked Asano reveals his scheme of revenge. He was in his mother's womb when the atomic blast at Hiroshima caused him to be born deformed. After his parents died of leukemia, he vowed revenge against the Americans. As Shigeru is showing them around the plant, Asano attacks his own employees in the Samurai Steel armor then goes after Tony and Rhodey. Tony takes advantage of the confusion to don the Iron Man armor and take on his mad Japanese counterpart while attempting to rescue endangered workers. Shellhead gets the worst of the battle, suffering damage to his armor. When he asks why, Asano unmasks to reveal his hideously disfigured face and says this is revenge against Howard Stark's son for his father's part in creating the atom bomb. In the battle, Steel inadvertently fires a particle beam into a reactor, causing it to overload. This snaps him back to his senses and, unwilling to be the cause of another nuclear holocaust, flies the reactor into space where it detonates, killing him. Tony and Rhodey head for home....

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Barberoids 1 cover original artwork on ebay

Rich Yanizeski
Jeff Albrecht
Paul Becton
Tom Morgan (Cover Penciler)
Tom Morgan (Cover Inker)
Letterer: Janice Chiang.
Editor: Howard Mackie.

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