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Invincible Iron Man #259: Review

Aug 1990
John Byrne, John Romita Jr.

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Story Name:

Like All Secrets, Easily Revealed

Review & Comments

4 stars

Invincible Iron Man #259 Review by (January 16, 2018)
Comments: Armor Wars II: Part II of IX. Titanium Man (with the Gremlin in the armor) was killed in issue #229. That unusual title is not a quotation from another source; kudos to John Byrne—it's a clue to the identity of the real villain: the title's initials spell out LASER.

Review: Interesting: two issues of a comic book devoted to the villain trying to confirm the hero's identity. Audacious to say the least—and doing a masterful job of filling the pages with cool stuff. John Romita Jr. has some cool stuff to play with: the Mandarin's creeping paralysis in red, the underground battle between the two foes, the sequence of Shellhead carrying the reactor off, the diamond room, and the revelation of the Living Laser; all are spectacular sequences. It's normal stuff that JRJR has trouble with: the first appearance of Cassandra, DeWitt's agent, is ghastly; at first I thought it was Typhoid Mary. He would eventually find the best venue for his art—which would be his run on Spider-Man and hit the height of greatness.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Invincible Iron Man #259 Synopsis by T Vernon
The Mandarin summons one of his agents, Stephen Wu, into his presence. There he reveals that he knows Wu was entrusted with one of the Rings of Power—but had returned a fake. Mandarin unleashes a creeping paralysis on the unfortunate flunky to force him to tell that the real ring is in the possession of Chen Hsu in San Francisco. The villain leaves Wu to his fate and prepares for a journey....

Meanwhile, Iron Man is trapped in the Stark nuclear lab with the ghost of his late enemy Titanium Man. And since the world believes the original Iron Man died with him, T-Man's knowledge that he is the same man testifies to his authenticity. Iron Man concentrates, then blasts out of the rubble and into the room where the reactor is about to explode. Shellhead cuts it loose and then flies it to the depths of the Pacific Trench where it detonates, creating a bubble of radioactive steam rising to the surface. Iron Man returns to the Stark facility but Titanium Man is gone....

Tony changes into his civilian attire...and then finds himself waking up in a San Francisco hotel room with no idea of how he got there. An attractive woman enters the room and she says her goodbyes, making it clear just what she and Tony have been doing. But the truth is that she is an agent of villain Kearson DeWitt who wanted Tony out of the way for a short time and left confused....

Tony returns to Stark Enterprises to find the place deserted after the nuclear scare. He suits up as Iron Man, flying to the site of the most recent damage to the campus. Suddenly something cuts through the ground beneath him, dropping him into a dark area. The lights come on and it is blinding: the massive space looks like a faceted diamond and he is facing Titanium Man. Tony tries reasoning with his foe; he says he did not mean to kill T-Man. This leads to the villain frantically rejoicing, having confirmed it is the same Iron Man—and he reveals himself to be the Living Laser, who is taking his revenge against his real enemy....

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Barberoids 1 cover original artwork on ebay

John Romita Jr.
Bob Wiacek
Paul Becton
John Romita Jr. (Cover Penciler)
Bob Wiacek (Cover Inker)
Letterer: Michael Heisler.
Editor: Howard Mackie.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)
James Rhodes
James Rhodes


Plus: Kearson DeWitt, Mrs. Arbogast.

> Invincible Iron Man: Book info and issue index

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