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Invincible Iron Man #35: Review

Mar 1971
Gerry Conway, Don Heck

Story Name:


Review & Comments

2.5 stars

Invincible Iron Man #35 Review by (April 16, 2013)
Review: Aaaand suddenly we shift from a standard (lame) spy story to a strange science fiction tale with hardly a blink. So Spymaster was merely a flunky of Zodiac? Wow…that came out of nowhere (just as the previous plot vanishes into nowhere). And we have Daredevil added to the tale for no apparent reason—presumably he’ll have a point in the continuation in his own mag—but I wouldn’t count on it. Madame Masque looks like a last-minute substitute for the Black Widow, who becomes DD’s partner in DAREDEVIL #81, a few months after this. Nick Fury has a connection to the Zodiac Key that isn’t mentioned (gotta know the backstory—Fury impersonated Scorpio in his own book for several months) leaving us to wonder what the last page is all about. And Zodiac seems to be running some rather complicated schemes that seem brilliant until you think about them. They needed to lose the Key to locate Iron Man? And he was at Stark Industries anyway? Why didn’t they just look there first? And the best part? The whole thing gets worse in part two!

Comments: Story continued in DAREDEVIL #73. Scorpio and the Zodiac Key first appeared in NICK FURY, AGENT OF SHIELD #1; the entire organization made its debut in AVENGERS #72. Kevin O’Brien’s name is often misspelled “O’Brian” in the issue. Zodiac consists of Capricorn, Sagittarius, and Aquarius in this story.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Invincible Iron Man #35 Synopsis by T Vernon
The story picks up right where it left off last issue, with Iron Man cradling the body of the wounded Jasper Sitwell and vowing to find and destroy Spymaster. After a recap of the last two issues, the scene switches to Whitney Frost, who reads of Jasper’s critical injuries in the paper and realizes that she loves him. Changing into the guise of Madame Masque, she goes swinging over the rooftops to clear her head….
At the police station, Iron Man confronts the captured Espionage Elite (though it appears Farley London and Marya Penskyov are missing) and threatens them with violence if they do not reveal the whereabouts of the Spymaster. Their lawyer, Matt Murdock, stops the Avenger from doing anything rash and the hero stalks out to search on his own….
The Spymaster, meanwhile, returns to the underground lair of his employers—Zodiac. The leader Capricorn berates him for failing the mission against Stark Industries but needs him for a new one. Capricorn assigns the agent to capture Daredevil….
Iron Man stops by SHIELD HQ to check on Jasper and Nick Fury shows him the Zodiac Key, the sentient artifact confiscated from the villain Scorpio in AVENGERS #72 (see Rob’s synopsis at the Captain America Library!), and asks whether Stark can divine its use. As Fury touches the device, though, it seizes control of his body, spinning and firing force bolts through the room. Shellhead encases it in a repulsor field and Fury recovers….
Madame Masque encounters Daredevil on the rooftops but they are almost immediately netted and drawn into a skyship. Inside they fight but Spymaster knocks them unconscious with a blast from a ray gun….
At the Stark labs, Iron Man and Kevin O’Brien are analyzing the Zodiac Key when Nick Fury drops by. The big mystery is that the key is drawing energy from outside the continuum. Meanwhile, the homing device in the Key has led Zodiac to the Stark building where they burst in planning to capture Iron Man. Capricorn and his three agents do battle with Shellhead, Fury, and Kevin but in the end they are defeated when Kevin’s mind is overcome by the Zodiac Key and he is forced by the Key’s mysterious voice into using it against his compatriots. Back at Zodiac’s HQ, the three captives are put in stasis tubes along with Daredevil and Madame Masque. As the villain’s gloat, the mystery voice commands then to release Nick Fury. Against his will the SHIELD Director is drawn toward the Key and compelled to take it, though he senses it will mean disaster….
Story continued in DAREDEVIL #73.

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


Listed in Alphabetical Order.


(Matt Murdock)
Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)

Plus: Espionage Elite, Foggy Nelson (Franklin Nelson), Jasper Sitwell, Kevin O'Brien, Spymaster (Spymaster 1), Whitney Frost, Zodiac.

> Invincible Iron Man: Book info and issue index

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