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Invincible Iron Man #261: Review

Oct 1990
John Byrne, John Romita Jr.

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Story Name:

(No Title Given)

Review & Comments

4 stars

Invincible Iron Man #261 Review by (January 30, 2018)
Comments: Armor Wars II: Part IV of IX. Fin Fang Foom was introduced in STRANGE TALES #89; his most recent appearance had been in the little-known title LEGION OF NIGHT; this marks his debut as an ongoing character in the comics.

Review: Another nice issue with the dual storyline being very effective, doing a good job of covering the fact that there is no “action” in the tale. Instead the content is more psychological (Tony lost in confusion over his sudden paralysis) and philosophical (the Mandarin's spiritual journey—which nevertheless ends with reviving a giant monster). So this is really a fill-in issue, moving us toward more momentous events to come. And JRJR's artwork is quite effective for the Mandarin half of the tale if not so much or the high-tech Iron Man part.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Invincible Iron Man #261 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
Like issue #255, the story is told with parallel stories on each page. This division is somewhat simplified here for convenience. His body shut down by Kearson DeWitt on orders from Desmond Marrs during his fight with the Living Laser (last issue), Tony Stark is trapped within the Iron Man armor and believed to be dead by the doctor. As he is being shipped off to the morgue, Tony reaches out with his mind, using his encephalo circuits to activate another of his armors back at Stark Enterprises. The remote-controlled suit intercepts the ambulance, tells the drivers that the Iron Man they are carrying is an experimental self-controlled version, and he carries it back to the lab. He explains the matter to James Rhodes (“Rhodey”) as elsewhere, Desmond Marrs is rejoicing at his victory over Tony Stark. DeWitt fears that they have tipped their hand and asks permission to release Stark from the paralysis. Marrs grants it and leaves. DeWitt expresses concern for Desmond's abused sister Phoebe but she rejects his blatant overtures and leaves. Tony suddenly finds himself back to normal and wondering what had happened to him. In the event that it was the result of his abusing his body for so long, he decides to consult the best doctors in the world....

The Mandarin lies unconscious on the floor of Chen Hsu's San Francisco shop. The old man uses his magic to remove from the Mandarin's mind the sticky threads that have been causing memory loss within him. The villain awakes and in his full power again, the part of his intellect transferred into one of his rings restored.... To effect the villain's enlightenment, Chen Hsu then accompanies the Mandarin to the remote Valley of the Sleeping Dragon in China. There, Mandarin approaches the guards before a massive set of doors, instantly controlling their minds to allow him to pass though . In the dark, he comes upon the sleeping dragon and, extracting a plant frond from inside a puzzle box, he touches it to the monster's lips...and Fin Fang Foom awakens....

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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: Chen Hsu, Desmond Marrs, Kearson DeWitt, Phoebe Marrs.

> Invincible Iron Man: Book info and issue index

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