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Invincible Iron Man #34: Review

Feb 1971
Allyn Brodsky, Don Heck

Story Name:

Crisis and Calamity

Review & Comments

2.5 stars

Invincible Iron Man #34 Review by (April 10, 2013)
Review: So Spymaster’s elaborate scheme which required the services of an espionage elite boils down to: a) trick Tony Stark away from the building, b) break in and incapacitate the guards, c) bring Tony back and force him to open the safe, and d) worry about Iron Man when the time comes. It would have been a lot simpler (and a lot similar) to just hire a baddie in a big metal suit (there are lots of them out there), have him crash through the wall and fight Shellhead, and sneak in and steal stuff in the confusion. In fact, it doesn’t seem necessary to get Tony out of the building—and definitely not to take him to the villain’s HQ—just to bring him right back. But then we wouldn’t have had the opportunity for Farley London to dramatically unmask, providing a major trope from MISSION IMPOSSIBLE, the template for this two-part tale. Sadly the villains, except for master of disguise London, are pretty interchangeable (odd in a team of specialists), the action confusing, and the final page almost obscured by a plethora of words. One can only hope it gets better—but it won’t.

Comments: Conclusion of a two-part story, though the events seep into the next issue as well.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Invincible Iron Man #34 Synopsis by T Vernon
Tony Stark awakens as a prisoner in the headquarters of the Espionage Elite, guarded by Farley London, the enemy agent disguised as Nick Fury to lure him into a trap. London forces Tony into a helicopter and takes him back to the captured Stark Industries plant. Their arrival is secretly observed by Jasper Sitwell and the guards, who wonder at Nick Fury’s uncharacteristic behavior. Meanwhile, Kevin O’Brien, left tied up in his lab by the invaders, recovers, cuts his bonds with a handy laser, and gathers some devices to combat the spies….
In Tony’s office the Spymaster and his henchmen force Tony to open the safe containing his top-secret plans. After stalling to allow Jasper and the guards to get into position, he plays a pre-recorded tape that convinces the villains that Iron Man is on his way up. Spymaster and Samson Washington take the elevator down—but Kevin has sabotaged it and they are trapped between floors. In the office, London has disguised himself as Tony Stark and broadcast a message to the building’s staff that the explosions were accidental and to go about their business. At this point, Kevin O’Brien bursts in and fires a stun gun at the Tony Stark who tries to shoot him (not even going to try for a bluff, London?), giving the real Tony the opportunity to slip off and don his Iron Man armor. London gets away just as Spymaster and Washington escape the elevator. The muscleman Washington is taken out easily by Iron Man while Jasper Sitwell captures Marya Penskyov only to be trapped by Roger Phillips and taken hostage. Spymaster takes on Iron Man with his own weaponized armor and the fight is evenly matched until the hero is reminded that the baddies have Sitwell hostage. As the spies head for their getaway copter, Jasper throws himself at Spymaster and is shot. The Espionage Elite release a smoke bomb and fly off. The critically injured Jasper pleads with Iron Man to go after them and the Armored Avenger brings down the copter—but the Spymaster has escaped with his jets. Cradling the body of his wounded friend Iron Man vows to find and destroy the mastermind….

Don Heck
Mike Esposito
Sal Buscema (Cover Penciler)
Sal Buscema (Cover Inker)
Letterer: Jean Simek.
Editor: Stan Lee.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)

Plus: Espionage Elite, Jasper Sitwell, Kevin O'Brien, Spymaster (Spymaster 1).

> Invincible Iron Man: Book info and issue index

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