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Invincible Iron Man #324: Review

Jan 1996
Dan Abnett, Jim Calafiore

Story Name:

So Far to Fall

Review & Comments

Rating:
3 stars

Invincible Iron Man #324 Review by (May 2, 2012)
These Comment blocks are in reverse order.

It is obviously teenage Luna who interferes with Century's teleportation, and abducts Moonraker for Mantis and Kang. Mantis wants revenge against her father Moonraker/Libra because she considers him part of the 'plot' that made her the Celestial Madonna, and gave her a son whom the Cotati stole from her. When he was Libra he was blind, ever since the fire that killed his wife and left him with Mantis to raise. Kang's purpose as Mantis tells it here seems at odds with that revealed in Force Works #19. Mantis says he wants to chronographically reshape Earth so that he can rule Earth's shattered civilisation. Moonraker had claimed (correctly) that the chronographic attack would produce superbeings for Kang's army. This leg of the crossover continues in Avengers #394.

The Crossing crossover continues from War Machine #22, in parallel with Force Works #20. I must say Masque reached New York rather quickly. She was last seen walking out of the isolated Arctic base into a snowy wilderness in #323. Her escape from the base happened while Iron Man and Hawkeye were flying from the West Coast in #323. Somehow she got to the plane and flew it to New York soon after the other 2 did. I believe Iron Man's control centre here is the one seen in Force Works #18, confirming that he was the shadowed figure in that issue. I think this is what was behind the door in #322. For my sequence of issues to work, Iron Man must have returned to the bunker in Force Works #18 between #322 and #323.



 

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Invincible Iron Man #324 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
This part of the Crossing crossover continues from WAR MACHINE (1994) #22.

The Avengers (Crystal, Hercules, Quicksilver and Vision) plus Hawkeye and Swordsman (Philip Javert) are recovering from their battle with Iron Man at Janet Van Dyne's estate in Avengers #393. They can't find Crystal and Quicksilver's daughter Luna, who was taken to safety by Tuc in Avengers #393 after Crystal and Quicksilver were rendered unconscious.

Masque tells them how she escaped from Stark's Arctic bunker in #323, after Iron Man took herself and Marianne Rodgers there between #321 and 322, to be guarded by Machinesmith. Then she walked to a Norwegian listening post and stole the plane she crashed outside here in Avengers #393. She came to warn them about Stark (a bit late), and ask them to rescue Marianne Rodgers from the bunker.

Century teleports in from Force Works HQ with Moonraker and Avengers' leader Black Widow. They tell the Avengers that Stark has triggered a temporal weapon under Force Works HQ, in War Machine #22, which will destroy the world in less than a day.

Moonraker explains that he is really Libra (Gustav Brandt), whose soul was saved by the Priests of Pama when Libra died. He has been sent to warn them that his daughter Mantis has allied with Kang against them.

Black Widow checks in with Force Works. The other end of Black Widow's phonecall is seen in Force Works #20. She learns that they are trying to penetrate Stark's secret sub-basement to disable the weapon. The Avengers hear about Amanda Chaney's death in Force Works #19, another person killed by Iron Man.

Giant-Man is still watching over Jan, fatally injured by Iron Man in Avengers #393, and now in a cocoon.

Century is to teleport a small team to the Arctic bunker, in case Iron Man is hiding there.

Iron Man has returned to the bunker to find Masque gone, the robotic Machinesmith broken and Marianne Rodgers recovering consciousness. He sets about mending Machinesmith. Marianne uses her telepathy to find that Kang has been poisoning Tony's mind for many years. She sees this as connected with his string of broken relationships. And with his hiding inside his armour, and behind his skilled obsession with technology.

Marianne can't use her telekinesis on Stark because he fitted her with a psionic damper after #321. But he left her telepathy functioning. She suggests that he did this deliberately so she could contact his buried goodness. And also find out about Kang's machinations. Including the hint below about young Tony's innocence, which will prompt the 'solution' in Avengers: Timeslide.

Century arrives outside with Crystal, Moonraker and Vision. Stark retreats inside an inner command centre, and turns the bunker into a mobile (but slow) fortress.

Marianne telepathically tells the Avengers that Tony was free of the evil a long time ago, before it was planted in him.

Century teleports the Avengers away. A girl appears in the middle of the teleportation trip. And when they arrive back at Jan's house, Moonraker isn't with them.

Kang and Mantis have Moonraker prisoner. Mantis blinds him, to make him more like Libra.

This leg of the Crossing continues in AVENGERS #394.

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Jim Calafiore
Sam Delarosa
John Kalisz
Jim Cheung (Cover Penciler)
Mark McKenna (Cover Inker)
Letterer: Phil Felix.
Editor: Nel Yomtov.

Characters

Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Black Widow
Black Widow

(Natasha Romanoff)
Hawkeye
Hawkeye

(Clint Barton)
Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)
Kang
Kang

(Kang the Conqueror)
Wasp
Wasp

(Janet Van Dyne)

Plus: Century, Giant-Man (Scott Lang), Luna, Machinesmith, Marianne Rodgers, Masque, Moonraker, Swordsman (Philip Javert).