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Invincible Iron Man #318: Review

Jul 1995
Len Kaminski, Tom Morgan

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Story Name:

Hot Metal

Review & Comments

4.5 stars

Invincible Iron Man #318 Review by (May 7, 2019)
Comments: Final appearance of Theodore Slaght/Slag. Last appearance of Philip “Raven” Grant, seen at the staff meeting. Last issue for writer Len Kaminski. Like Doc Savage and Superman, Tony Stark has a “Fortress of Solitude,” though he can't use that name for copyright reasons. Issue includes a tribute to the late Don Heck, the first artist for Iron Man.

Review: A poignant issue has Tony regretting not having told his mentor how much he appreciated the part he had in Tony's life. And to keep the issue from being too maudlin, Tony later regrets telling his staff how much he appreciated them. The look of the monster Slag is quite impressive, as the comic has for several decades compelled the artist to find new and creative ways to portray various villains, monsters, and scientific legerdemain and this one is another triumph, with Slag resembling melting lead, an effect I didn't think was possible. And now Len Kaminski is moving on and we'll see what the next writer has in store for us. Spoiler: it's a very strange story arc that many readers hated: The Crossing.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Invincible Iron Man #318 Synopsis by T Vernon
Having learned of the explosion at the Polytech lab, Iron Man races over there with a team to search for Dr Theodore Slaght. Tony, concerned that he and his old mentor parted on bitter terms (issue #315), recalls happier days in college, when Slaght, seeing Tony's character flaws, advised him to have an open mind and listen to the power of reason. And in the wreckage they find a giant metal monster; Iron Man orders the workers to flee to safety while he confronts it—and then the creature gasps out its name and Tony realizes this is what remains of his beloved mentor. Tony can't bring himself to fight Slag and the creature's intense heat overloads Shellhead's thermocoupler, causing his armor to melt. Slag smashes Iron Man to the ground and demands that he deliver a message to Tony Stark, burning the words “mysterium tremendae” into his chestplate....

Those words take Tony back to a conversation he had with Dr Slaght at his parent's graveside, when Slaght wanted him to ponder the mysteries of death; Tony wouldn't have it, he just wanted his father to be proud of him. Slaght assured Tony that he was proud of him, a statement that meant very much to Tony. And now Tony has repaired his armor and is full of regrets as he heads for the rendezvous at his parents' graves....

Tony in his Iron Man armor faces Slag and he uses a cryogenic module to freeze the monster solid. Tony wants to know if Slaght's mind is still in there somewhere but Slag bursts out of the icy shell with multiple heads and multiple voices. Tony realizes his mentor is gone forever and attaches mutually opposing magnetic fields to him; they repel each other until Slag is torn apart....

The next day, Tony meets with his staff (Bethany Cabe, Happy Hogan, Abe Zimmer, Erica Sondheim, Mrs. Arbogast, Philip Grant and others), apologizing for his intense ways and assuring them that he appreciates them much. The staff find this amusing so Tony moves on....

Epilogue: In a new blue armor, Iron Man flies to his secret lab in the Arctic....

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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.

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