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Invincible Iron Man #28: Review

Aug 1970
Archie Goodwin, Don Heck

Story Name:

The Controller Lives

Review & Comments

4 stars

Invincible Iron Man #28 Review by (February 26, 2013)
Review: Tony, you pig! You come to Meredith McCall’s aid but split when you discover she’s married? Clearly his chief motivation for rushing to her side was to meet chicks. And we thought it wasn’t until the Ultimates that Tony turned into a sleazy playboy (as opposed to a dignified playboy). Anyway, the Controller returns and reveals that he is smarter than your average baddie by eliminating the design flaw that our hero was able to exploit during their first dust-up! Villains who never learn make no sense whatsoever—unless stupidity is an essential part of the characterization—so Basil here is almost a breath of fresh air as one who takes steps to ensure victory the next time around. The haunted house trappings make a nice foil for the high-tech hero vs. villain dynamics, too. [And surprisingly, Meredith McCall returns in Annual #14, twenty-three years later.] 

Comments: The Controller was introduced in issues #12-13.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Invincible Iron Man #28 Synopsis by T Vernon
A terrified woman runs through a dark forest in the night; why not, she is being pursued by the Controller! The fiend catches up to her and she screams—a scream which is heard by Tony Stark and Jasper Sitwell, driving along a nearby road on their way to remote Pinewood Sanitarium. They stop the car and Jasper leaps into action while Tony remains behind to don his Iron Man armor. Hearing the sound of the hero’s jet boots, Controller leaves his prey and heads off into the night. Jasper arrives and is disappointed that, once again, Iron Man’s presence has rendered him useless. The delirious woman mentions Tony Stark and the Controller—and Jasper adds what Iron Man did not know: Basil Sandhurst—the Controller—is a patient at Pinewood Sanitarium, which is why Jasper insisted on accompanying Tony. Iron Man hands the woman over to Jasper then jets off so he can be waiting back at the car. When Jasper arrives, Tony tells him that the young woman is the one who earlier summoned him to the Sanitarium; she is Meredith McCall, Tony’s first love, but since she was the daughter of Howard Stark’s chief competitor, the two fathers broke up the romance and Tony hasn’t seen her since. Arriving at the gloomy Sanitarium, they are met by the director, Dr. Eric Thorne, and his hulking intern Hugo. Explaining the situation to Dr. Thorne, he reveals that Meredith is a patient at the facility, not an employee, and also shows them the wasted invalid who is Basil Sandhurst, clearly incapable of menacing anyone in the woods. Seeing he isn’t needed, Jasper leaves but stops off at the clearing for a quick look around; what he discovers is one of the Controller’s slave discs, revealing that Meredith’s mutterings were real. Back at Pinewood, Tony is taken prisoner by the Controller who was disguised as Hugo (and Thorne was under his control). The villain has rebuilt the Absorbatron and used the facility’s inmates to power it, and is now demanding that Tony build him a miniaturized version that can be worn as a helmet, preventing Iron Man from separating him from his power source again. Unable to refuse, Tony constructs the helmet and presents it to the gloating Controller just as Jasper burst in and opens fire on the villain. Controller overwhelms him easily but it gives Tony the opportunity to slip away and recover the briefcase containing his Iron Man armor. Changing into the Golden Avenger, he does battle with his superstrong foe and is saved only when the faulty connections he deliberately installed blow out, rendering the villain helpless. After everything is back to normal, Tony and Jasper leave, and the Agent asks Tony why he is going without speaking to Meredith McCall; it’s because Tony has learned she is married.

Don Heck
Johnny Craig
Marie Severin (Cover Penciler)
Mike Esposito (Cover Inker)
Marie Severin (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Jean Simek.
Editor: Stan Lee.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)

Plus: Controller (Basil Sandhurst), Jasper Sitwell, Meredith McCall.

> Invincible Iron Man: Book info and issue index

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