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Invincible Iron Man #331: Review

Aug 1996
James Felder, Joe Bennett

Story Name:

Going for Broke

Review & Comments

Rating:
3.5 stars

Invincible Iron Man #331 Review by (July 2, 2019)
Comments: Part three of three parts. Final appearance of Stockpile and its members Calico, Brass, and Joust plus the third Unicorn (who seems to be British by his use of the word “knackered”); Sunstreak will reappear frequently in the SECRET INVASION/DARK REIGN era. Morgan Stark will show up in IRON MAN Vol. 3:1 without any indication of him having been Brass. At the end of the issue readers are directed to AVENGERS #401 and X-MEN (1991) #55 for the Onslaught saga.

Review: The story opens with a semi-helpful three page summary of who is teen Tony Stark and why is he here. Then there's a full page for explaining who Morgan Stark is and why he's here. So with four pages of what feels like wall-to-wall text with drawings stuck in the gaps, it's amazing that the story turned out readable. The new villains are severely short-changed though just variations on what we've seen before (fire person, gun person, giant robot person); Morgan Stark gets a lot of new backstory that will be forgotten five minutes later. The battle is a bit too science-heavy for me but overall, the tale is pretty cool, with Tony finally taking responsibility for everything his older alter ego did, which doesn't seem fair but it's the penultimate issue of a comic book. All this is gone after the next issue.




 

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Invincible Iron Man #331 Synopsis by T Vernon
At the Stark plant, Iron Man (Teen Tony Stark) is battling the criminal band called Stockpile, made up of Sunstreak (flame powers), Joust (guns that fire electric blasts), a new Unicorn, and Brass, a cyber-linked armor suit controlled from afar by the gruesomely disfigured Morgan Stark, Tony's evil cousin. War Machine recovers at this point and they take on the baddies together. Shellhead is impaled by Unicorn's horn, causing a short circuit. Iron Man deflects Sunstreak's solar blast into Brass who burns and melts, the neural feedback critically injuring Morgan Stark. Shellhead uses a freezing ray to take down Sunstreak and Rhodey flattens Joust by throwing Unicorn at her; the armored heroes then work together to pull the ceiling down on Unicorn. All okay? No, the suffering Morgan Stark has animated the Iron Man armors in the Armory and set them on the heroes. Morgan Stark vows to destroy Howard Stark's legacy and Tony somehow feels responsible to protect it so there follows several pages of Shellhead and Rhodey using various methods to take down each of the armors but they are soon overwhelmed by the numbers. Finally Tony makes a drastic decision: Rhodey carries Joust and Sunstreak out of the building, noting the Unicorn has already fled and Tony channels all of his suit's power to his repulsor gauntlets, risking the shutdown of his heart pump, to create a sub-atomic resonance frequency. The multiple armors fire back, cutting Tony's armor to pieces. Morgan tears Tony's face piece off to gloat—and then Tony reveals he has taken control of all the armors remotely and armed the self-destruct protocols. As the entire building goes up in a massive explosion, War Machine recovers Abe Zimmer's body for burial....

Epilogue: Tony Stark arrives at school in time for his mid-term, hiding in the back of the room to avoid Professor Meredith McCall, even though she is blind. Then there is a loud noise and a bright light—and a Sentinel is outside on the grass....


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> Invincible Iron Man: Book info and issue index

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Joe Bennett
Mark McKenna
John Kalisz
Joe Bennett (Cover Penciler)
Ralph Cabrera (Cover Inker)
Plot: . Letterer: Phil Felix.
Editor: Mark Gruenwald. Editor-in-chief: Bob Harras.

Characters

Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)

Plus: Meredith McCall, Morgan Stark, Stockpile, Sunstreak, War Machine (James Rhodes).