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Invincible Iron Man #309: Review

Oct 1994
Len Kaminski, Tom Morgan

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Story Name:

Signal to Noise

Review & Comments

4 stars

Invincible Iron Man #309 Review by (January 29, 2019)
Comments: Part three of three parts. Title refers to the signal-to-noise ratio, a measurement of how much a signal has been corrupted by noise, in this case presumably how VOR/TEX's signal has been affected by Tony's human qualities. The reader is referred to MARVEL COMICS PRESENTS #169-170 for the full story of the Mandarin's preparations. Final appearance of Veronica Benning.

Review: And now the point of the arc becomes clear: Tony Stark, longtime victim of the limitations of his body, now discovers they have been his greatest asset, enabling him to overwhelm an AI in his body. And in victory his body betrays him once again and leaves him under the influence of the booze his enemy drank. The uneven art, a distraction in the previous issues, now suits the scenes of Tony's struggle with himself and the booze and his fight with Rhodey. Even the weakest of artists will eventually find an appropriate subject for his style and Tom Morgan is far from that category. So...a little better than it's been.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Invincible Iron Man #309 Synopsis by T Vernon
Tony Stark, his mind transferred into a robot body, confronts VOR/TEX, the evil AI that has stolen Tony's body and is now wearing the Iron Man armor. Tony counts on his foe's inexperience with both the body and the armor and attacks, wondering why he can't feel his anger over the situation. As the two slug it out, Tony realizes VOR/Tony is having trouble dealing with its unfamiliar human emotions and hits him with everything he's got, overloading its senses, followed by quick blows to the weak spots. VOR/TEX begs for mercy and doesn't believe Tony's assertion that he's barely been hurt. Tony suggest VOR/TEX search Tony's memories and the recall of every pain Tony has ever felt causes the evil AI to delete itself rather than face it. Tony downloads his consciousness into his body and discovers with a shock a major problem: while VOR/TEX was in residence it drank a bottle of bourbon and now Tony is drunk....

The Mandarin now enters the remote citadel his comatose body frequently visited during his convalescence and he finds the huge black orb he calls the Heart of Darkness. It captures his mind enabling him to understand that all of his encounters with Iron Man were to prepare him for this destiny.... And now, after many more days of preparation, he is ready to strike....

Tony tries to disguise his drunkenness as he returns to the office but it's impossible, everyone knows and Mrs. Arbogast greets him coldly. On his desk he finds a farewell note from Veronica Benning, asking him to not try to find her. He retches on the floor and then calls Mrs A to take away the bottle of bourbon left behind. While trying to steady his nerves Tony receives a call from James Rhodes asking for the specs to his armor. Tony angrily refuses and hangs up on him. Rhodey decides to visit Stark as War Machine....

Story continues in WAR MACHINE (1994) #8.

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Barberoids 1 cover original artwork on ebay

Tom Morgan
Tom Morgan
Ariane Lenshoek
Tom Morgan (Cover Penciler)
Tom Morgan (Cover Inker)
Letterer: Phil Felix.
Editor: Nel Yomtov. Editor-in-chief: Tom DeFalco.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)
War Machine
War Machine

(James Rhodes)

Plus: Mrs. Arbogast, VOR/TEX.

> Invincible Iron Man: Book info and issue index

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