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Invincible Iron Man #26: Review

Jun 1970
Archie Goodwin, Don Heck

Story Name:

Duel In a Dark Dimension

Review & Comments

Rating:
3 stars

Invincible Iron Man #26 Review by (February 12, 2013)
Review: An okay story but the whole Dark Dimension plot boils down to the tale of a second rate Thor in a Conan knock-off (actually more resembling Robert E. Howard’s Almuric—but close enough). And since Tony’s heart hasn’t been a problem for several issues, Archie Goodwin had to devise something for him to agonize over—and so he created this dilemma. Puts a nice spin on a standard science fantasy epic and bases it in character, see? The real surprise is the return of Don Heck as artist for the next several issues; this gives the tale an old-timey feel, harking back to the old ToS days; he also gives it his all with the twisted grotesque monsters and a heavy use of inks to make the Dark Dimension dark.

Comments: Only appearance of Val-Larr, Luminia, Shar-Khan, and the Solar Sword. The Freak previously appeared in TALES OF SUSPENSE #74-76 and IRON MAN #3. The monsters jam a spear into the searchlight on Shellhead’s chest, breaking the bulb, but the thing doesn’t look broken in the rest of the story.




 

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Invincible Iron Man #26 Synopsis by T Vernon
A villain has kidnapped Pepper Potts Hogan and wants to trade her for the monster known as the Freak. Happy Hogan appeals to Tony Stark for help and can’t understand why Tony insists on fighting the villain as Iron Man rather than simply turning over the Freak. Happy gets abusive, leading Tony to knock him out, because what Happy doesn’t know is that he is the Freak, transformed by cobalt rays and mutated into a rampaging monster. As Iron Man heads out in search of Pepper a spaceship materializes suddenly before him and he enters to find caged alien creatures and a trapped Pepper. Her captor soon appears: it is the Collector and he now has Happy a prisoner and he begins experiments with various energy sources to discover what triggers his transformation into the Freak, so he can add the unique monster to his collection. When Iron Man threatens him, the villain reveals that he is attached to a device which monitors his heartbeat; any change in the rate—such as caused by combat—will automatically kill Pepper. Iron Man offers to obtain anything the Collector desires in exchange for his friends’ freedom. The villain shows him the Solar Sword, a unique weapon found only in the Dark Dimension. When the hero agrees, the Collector sends his ship into that dimension and drops the hero off on a grim and desolate world before departing. When Shellhead turns on his light to make his way through this place, he is attacked by a horde of bat-winged monsters who smash his vario-beam and overwhelm him. Suddenly the hero Val-Larr arrives wielding the Solar Sword and drives off the monsters. He explains to the newcomer the situation on this dark world. The forces of evil, led by Shar-Khan, have conquered all the bastions of light and goodness except one—the shining citadel Luminia. The city’s scientists created the perfect weapon to fight the Shadow Spawn—the Solar Sword—and Val-Larr was chosen to be the champion to wield it. Iron Man, torn between this world’s dire situation and his friends in need, forces himself to overpower Val-Larr and take the sword, just as Shar-Khan and his hordes attack. Returning to the Collector’s ship, Iron Man turns the weapon over to the villain who keeps his promise frees Happy and Pepper. When the Collector employs the sword to recapture them, he discovers its properties of gathering the few particles of solar energy in the Dark Dimension are causing an overload in this bright solar system and the sword is about to go nova. Iron Man returns the sword quickly to Val-Larr and aids him in driving off the enemy. Val-Larr, unable to understand Iron Man’s motives for taking the sword, hails him as a hero. The Collector keeps his word and returns the three friends to Earth.


Don Heck
Johnny Craig
?
Don Heck (Cover Penciler)
Johnny Craig (Cover Inker)
Letterer: Jean Simek.
Editor: Stan Lee.

Characters

Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)
Pepper Potts
Pepper Potts

(Pepper Hogan)

Plus: Happy Hogan.

> Invincible Iron Man: Book info and issue index

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