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Invincible Iron Man #312: Review

Jan 1995
Len Kaminski, Tom Morgan

Story Name:

There Shall Come an Ending

Review & Comments

Rating:
4.5 stars

Invincible Iron Man #312 Review by (March 26, 2019)
Comments: “Hands of the Mandarin The 48-page gut-bustin' conclusion!”--Cover. Rhodey uses the archaic (and possibly racist) compliment to Tony that it's “mighty white of you,” meaning he has acted honorably or graciously. And Mandarin will return in IRON MAN Vol. 3 issue #1.

Review: An epic showdown, if one can ignore the puerile philosophies of both combatants—it's always odd how Tony Stark can refuse to believe in magic and gods when he has seen both of them a lot more clearly than many scientific concepts and has even been blasted out of the sky by magic (as seen here), looks like “blind faith” describes Tony more than the foe he accuses of it. Believing in magic where it is demonstrably real is the rational course of action. So...moving on we really do have an exciting battle between these two mortal foes and a satisfying conclusion. Plus some closure for the Tony/Su Yin romance (it was all “the desperate grasping of a dying man”). And the 90s penchant for overcrowded panels works in the story's favor for once. The only thing we have to fear is another rerun of “Demon in a Bottle.”




 

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Invincible Iron Man #312 Synopsis by T Vernon
Story continues from WAR MACHINE #10.

Iron Man, War Machine, and Force Works (Scarlet Witch, Spider-Woman, U.S. Agent) arrive in Hong Kong to find the city in flames and the face of the Mandarin filling the sky. Iron Man ignores the team leader Wanda and jets off to take on the baddie singlehandedly. The two mortal foes now have philosophy to fight over, Tony Stark whose faith is in science and the Mandarin who wants to destroy all technology to create a golden age. Below, the other heroes talk strategy and Century again suffers a seizure without his staff Parallax....

Iron Man unleashes his repulsors at full blast to demonstrate the power of science; the Mandarin is unmoved and responds with a fistful of magic that knocks the Golden Avenger for a loop. This causes the villain to weaken however and he must teleport back to his castle to recuperate. Shellhead pulls himself out of a mountain of rubble and apologizes for letting his grudge get in the way of handling the situation. Century explains what he has learned earlier: Mandarin has the Ten Rings, which, when matched with the Heart of Darkness, makes Mandarin the “nexus of potentiality” and dangerous to the very nature of his being. So if they were to change his being...? Tony enlists Dr Su Yin, Suzi Endo, and the rest of his staff in aiding him in devising a way to alter the Mandarin on a genetic level....

Mandarin pulls himself out of his nightmare and orders his Avatars to capture Iron Man and bring him there. While Tony and his science team work on their weapon, the rest of the heroes take on the Avatars in melee and seem to be getting the upper hand when Iron Man arrives and orders them to surrender to the Mandarin who has proven himself the superior. The Avatars teleport with a captive Iron Man to the presence of the villain; Mandarin suspects a trick and punches Shellhead in the face—and this infects him with a techno-organic virus which causes him to age rapidly. When Mandy touches the Heart of Darkness it implodes, taking the castle along with it, leaving Iron Man alone in a pile of rubble....

The next day at the Hong Kong Stark plant, the Force Works ship Pegasus is recovered along with Recorder RE-404; Wanda fills him in on what he's missed, including all the temporal alterations being reversed and vanishing from the minds of the citizens. Tony offers Su Yin a place with his company in the USA but she declines, preferring to help rebuild her own country. Rhodey thinks the janitor looks familiar (it's the warlord Chu Lo Yan, no longer thinking of conquest). Tony and Rhodey make up after all this time. Returning to his office, Tony lets Mrs. Arbogast keep all of his supplicants at bay while he locks himself away contemplating the bottle of liquor VOR/TEX drank from, releasing the demon Tony has kept at bay all these years and which he now gains a small victory over by locking the bottle away again....


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

Characters

Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)
Scarlet Witch
Scarlet Witch

(Wanda Maximoff)

Plus: Avatars, Century, Mrs. Arbogast, Recorder RE-404, Spider-Woman (Julia Carpenter), Su Yin, Suzi Endo, U.S. Agent, War Machine (James Rhodes).