Comic Browser:


Invincible Iron Man #38: Review

Jun 1971
Gerry Conway, George Tuska

Story Name:

When Calls Jonah

Review & Comments

2 stars

Invincible Iron Man #38 Review by (May 14, 2013)
Review: Iron Man’s brief brush with Daredevil a few issues ago (really, they didn’t interact) had some effect: Shellhead is now sneaking around at night like a vigilante even though he looks ridiculous doing so in a full suit of armor. The plot, also more of a DD thing, is all about a two-bit gangster with the name of a Biblical prophet. And this prophet is a loss: this gangster is hardly the most intimidating Jonah in Marvel Comics, am I right, Spider-Fans? And why are there two Jonahs in the story, one in flashback and his present successor? And bullets discomfort the armored hero? And Tony Stark with his arm in a sling adds a metal sling to the Iron Man armor? Frankie Majors has got to be a moron if he doesn’t make the connection. Plus the sling completely fakes out the bad guys in the end? Maybe everybody is stupid since learning that Iron Man is protecting Frankie doesn’t cause Jonah to have second thoughts about messing with the dude. This had potential to be a nice little human interest story but it fails miserably. It ends up being a lame Daredevil or Luke Cage (who hadn’t been created yet) story adapted to feature an out-of-place Iron Man, falling between tales of alien robots plotting to exterminate all life on Earth and a megalomaniacal world conqueror? Someone miscalculated.

Comments: Kevin O’Brien’s name is misspelled “O’Brian” throughout the issue. Only appearance of Jonah and Anthony Gardenia, though Frankie Majors appears very briefly in the next issue.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Invincible Iron Man #38 Synopsis by T Vernon
The story opens with Iron Man in a warehouse, surrounded by thugs with guns. Before we have time to wonder why the Armored Avenger is worried about bullets, the scene shifts back several weeks to a day at Stark Industries. Tony Stark has a visit from Lee, his personnel manager, who tells him the story of Frankie Majors. Frankie was a teenage punk from Harlem who worked his way up to head of a thriving numbers racket. But news of his success came to the mysterious ganglord known as Jonah, who dispatched his enforcer Anthony Gardenia to muscle in on Frankie’s game. When Frankie refused, Gardenia framed him for murder and he was sent to prison. While incarcerated, he was a model prisoner, studying electronics and he won an early parole. And now Lee wants to hire him for Stark Industries, but is worried about Frankie’s criminal record. Tony believes in second chances and asks Lee to give Frankie Majors a one-month trial period while as Iron Man he checks into Frankie’s past to verify whether he was really framed.
On the job, Frankie’s expertise impresses Kevin O’Brien; at night, Iron Man investigates Jonah. Outside Gardenia’s mansion, Shellhead allows himself to be captured by some guards and brought before Gardenia, who is the new Jonah. Iron Man walks in on Gardenia threatening Frankie over the phone, warning him not to rat on his old enemies. Iron Man in turn, warns the gangster to stay away from Frankie. The guards open fire on the hero and he fights his way out with a promise to take down Jonah legally. Some days later, Tony driving down the street, sees Frankie being beaten by a couple of hoods. Tony comes to his rescue and they vanquish the punks but Tony is shot in the shoulder. Back at the factory, Frankie and Kevin put his arm in a sling and leave….
A few days later Frankie walks into Tony Stark’s office and tells him he’s quitting to go back into the rackets where there is more money. Sensing something wrong, Tony suits up as Iron Man and follows him to the warehouse district. There we learn that Gardenia is holding Frankie’s girlfriend Louise hostage to force the engineer back under his thumb. Frankie loses his cools and slugs the ganglord so Iron Man burst in through the skylight to rescue him. But Gardenia and his men have their guns on Frankie and his girl, ordering one of his gunmen to take the hostages outside and kill them. Iron Man, his injured arm in a metal sling, raises his hands—and blast Gardenia with a repulsor ray. Shellhead and Frankie mop up the goons, the police are called and Frankie is expected back at work on Monday.

George Tuska
Mike Esposito
Sal Buscema (Cover Penciler)
Sal Buscema (Cover Inker)
Plot: . Letterer: Jean Simek.
Editor: Stan Lee.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)

Plus: Kevin O'Brien.

> Invincible Iron Man: Book info and issue index

Share This Page