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Invincible Iron Man #317: Review

Jun 1995
Len Kaminski, Tom Morgan

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Story Name:

Strange Bedfellows

Review & Comments

4.5 stars

Invincible Iron Man #317 Review by (April 30, 2019)
Comments: A flip book: the book is “flipped” and the back cover becomes the cover to the second story. First story: part three of five parts. Title is from the quotation “Politics makes strange bedfellows” meaning that a common (political) cause can make allies of people who otherwise would not come together, like Iron Man and Crimson Dynamo. Tony Stark does not appear in the Iron Man armor in this tale. The Soviet Union broke up on December 26, 1991. Boris and Natasha were the bumbling villains on the cartoon BULLWINKLE SHOW—which Black Widow seems to be familiar with for some reason. First appearance/origin of Slag. And Bullski isn't dead; he returns in IRON MAN Vol. 3 #49. Second story: part three of three parts. Part one is in FORCE WORKS #12 and part two is in WAR MACHINE #15.

Review: A nice wrap-up to the heavy metal story and again Tom Morgan's art is especially good. There is more bickering about politics but now lying to the people for their own good is added to the mix. Some political hypocrisy and cynicism is at play in Tony's mind and what does he get for it? The babe. Even before he was Robert Downey Jr. Tony seemed to have it made. And Slag looks to be quite formidable—too bad he's not going to last long.

Comments on the 2nd story by Rob Johnson:-

This time Brother In Arms is repeated as the interior title. Vicious Circle The Conclusion is added to the cover.

This is the last app for Advisor. We never do find out who or what he really is, and if he worked for anybody.
It's also the end for Hazzerd, Striker, Sundance and Troubleshooter who were only invented for this flip book backup story arc.
Luke Bergier will show up again for WM#19.

War Machine himself heads for Chile and a time-trip to 1941 in his #15, and when he returns Rhodey will have lost his armour.

US Agent returns to Force Works for their #13-14 guest-starring the Avengers.

Hawkeye will be in WM#18-19 as part of the build-up to the Crossing crossover event.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Invincible Iron Man #317 Synopsis by T Vernon
Tony Stark, wearing the Crimson Dynamo armor, is in contact with Black Widow and the injured Valentin Shatalov (the real CD) as he pursues the rogue Titanium Man into Kazakhstan. Since the armor is not calibrated to Tony's brain patterns, Shatalov will have to control some of the systems remotely. As T-Man fights off missiles from the invaded country, Tony takes on his foe while Shatalov, broadcasting through the armor, begs him to surrender for the sake of his people. CD-Tony makes a mistake and pays for it violently. Natasha receives a calls from Scarlet Witch, asking if Force Works is needed; Tony declines as they must maintain the illusion that this is purely a Russian matter. An irritated Wanda signs off as Spider-Woman and U.S. Agent joke about the matter in the background....

Bullski and Shatalov continue to argue politics as Tony discovers that the fight has moved them to the Baikonur Launch Facility, the USSR's disused space facility. At Shatalov's suggestion CD-Tony grabs T-Man and tries to electrocute him but he doesn't disconnect in time and there is a massive explosion moving through the building. Natasha tries talking to the villain, reminding him that he was an idealistic young man made bitter and ruthless by the Soviet leaders; T-Man responds by punching CD-Tony in the face. Shatalov goes for the last resort: the Fusioncaster: a beam of energy explodes from the CD armor's chest and blows T-Man away. Lying helpless in his shredded armor, Boris Bullski dies....

Tony confronts Shatalov, accusing the Russian of using him to kill; Shatalov tells him that there was nothing he could do, the responsibility—and the guilt—is his (Shatalov's) alone. The following day, Shatalov is called before his superiors and berated for killing Bullski; as a punishment, the position of Crimson Dynamo is taken away from him....

At Tony's Moscow hotel suite that evening, Black Widow appears, wearing her original costume, the one with the fishnet stockings, that Tony had mentioned earlier. As they begin to get romantic, Tony suddenly realizes that, with Bullski as her partner, that he and the Widow were Boris and Natasha and he bursts out laughing. Then they go back to romance....

At the California lab, Dr Theodore Slaght emerges from the wreckage as a white hot metal creature resembling a silver Venom, vowing revenge against Tony Stark....

Story 2:- Brothers in Arms (Vicious Circle Part 3 of 3)

Writer Dan Abnett. Pencils Fred Haynes. Inks Johnny Greene. Letters Jack Morelli. Colours Ben Sean.
Flip cover pencils Fred Haynes. Inks Johnny Greene.

Synopsis by Rob Johnson

Continued from the back of WAR MACHINE #15.

U.S. Agent has just arrived with Hazzerd and Troubleshooter, sent by the San Revilla Government to deal with the attackers of Preto airstrip, and is surprised to find Hawkeye and War Machine here. He tries to back his team away but Hazzerd punches Hawkeye and then WM. Armoured Troubleshooter fires a wrist-weapon, but James Rhodes picks him up and throws him away. Hawkeye's rebel Shadows team, including Striker and Sundance, decide to join in.

USA tells his other Government troops to back off and orders Hazzerd to stop beating on Hawkeye. But Striker sucker-punches him in the back, so Jack Daniels gives him a photon shield in the face. WM gives Troubleshooter a parting shot then asks USA what he's doing here. Jack tells him that the Commission (On Superhuman Activities) sent him to help the Government fight the rebels. Hazzerd is still hitting Hawkeye while he's down, so USA drives him off with a photon blast.

The 3 heroes compare notes and War Machine tells them the Advisor has orchestrated this conflict, and both Hawkeye and USA think they're working for the US Government on opposite sides. Rebel Striker doesn't want to stop fighting until his 'boss' Hawkeye shoots him with a blast arrow. WM subdues both rebel and Government troops with concussion pulses. USA takes on his man Hazzerd. Meanwhile Hawkeye goes after his other superminion Sundance who uses his light tricks to hide. But Clint uses smoke and flare arrows to highlight him and an acid arrow to destroy the laser mechanism on his chest. Troubleshooter still has some fight in him but War Machine takes him out as USA finishes off Hazzerd and Hawkeye decks Sundance.

As the battle ends an image of the Advisor appears in the sky threatening the heroes. But they ignore him and walk off.

The next day they fly with a plane-load of refugees (including Luke Bergier) back to the US. Jack Daniels keeps kids amused. Clint Barton broods that his Hawkeye comeback didn't go well. USA invites him (again, see FW#8) to join Force Works but Hawk says he might come work for Rhodey's Worldwatch.

Story #2

Vicious Circle (3 of 3)

Writer: ?. Inker: ?. Colorist: ?. Letterer: ?.

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

By None

Story #3

Brothers in Arms

Colorist: Ben Sean.

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

By None

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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: Mark Gruenwald.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Black Widow
Black Widow

(Natasha Romanoff)

(Clint Barton)
Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)
Scarlet Witch
Scarlet Witch

(Wanda Maximoff)
U.S. Agent
U.S. Agent

(John Walker)
War Machine
War Machine

(James Rhodes)

Plus: Advisor, Crimson Dynamo (Valentin Shatalov), Hazzerd, Slag (Theodore Slaght), Spider-Woman (Julia Carpenter), Striker (of Shadows), Sundance, Titanium Man, Troubleshooter.

> Invincible Iron Man: Book info and issue index

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