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Invincible Iron Man #40: Review

Aug 1971
Gerry Conway, George Tuska

Story Name:


Review & Comments

2 stars

Invincible Iron Man #40 Review by (May 28, 2013)
Review: We learn the White Dragon’s scheme in this issue: he was planning to have Tony Stark bring his new imploding bullets to the UN Conference—and they wouldn’t work. Devastating. Then he switches to an idea to nuke the UN Building and half of Manhattan and leave Tony to take the blame—despite the fact there would be no way to trace Ground Zero to a specific man, especially one with no motive (and it isn’t clear from panel to panel whether the Conference was cancelled or not). One thing you can say about the White Dragon: he’s flexible—if not very logical or well-organized. His flexibility can be clearly seen in the device planted in Tony’s head: it was triggered to kill him in the previous issue—but for some reason didn’t—then we’re told it shouldn’t have. We were told it was destroyed in issue #39 but it is still there, albeit drained of its power, in this issue. Meanwhile, Kevin finds that having a powerful and wealthy industrialist/superhero in his debt for saving his life (twice) is an intolerable burden no man should have to suffer—though he is brilliant at faking a film of an explosion using security camera feeds, and no CGI—and he does it in like five minutes! Kevin missed his calling, ILM or Disney should hire this guy! Pointlessly colorful characters abound e.g. the eternally bickering henchmen, Kreol and Davina (now inexplicably white, like their employer), who are just there to destroy themselves, and especially the little boy who witnesses the battle but his mother won’t believe him—who does not grow up to become a superhero himself from that traumatic day. Anyway, George Tuska is back as penciller and Jim Mooney does a terrific job of adding some crisp substance through his inking: especially the scene of the villains rising from the river (not to mention the sexy-yet-chaste shots of Marianne Rodgers. Yowza!) The art is the only thing that elevates this silly story to “mediocre.” PS What does the title refer to? No one walks at night, much less does

Comments: Part two of a two-part story. Final appearance of this White Dragon; nothing further is ever heard of the Council of Nine.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Invincible Iron Man #40 Synopsis by T Vernon
After Iron Man’s plummet from the sky at the end of last issue, Kevin O’Brian takes the injured Tony Stark to a place of safety (which looks like a basement storeroom) while cursing the fate that made a millionaire superhero his responsibility….
No far away, the lovely Marianne Rodgers (previously seen in issue #36-37) awakens with a chill: she has had a premonition that someone she cares about is in danger. Realizing it is Tony Stark she is thinking of she phones his office and asks for him, but is brushed off by Kevin. Meanwhile, Tony’s hallucinations (not previously mentioned) are getting worse: he recalls everything that he has experienced since his car crash as taking place in a nightmare world of monsters. Kevin tries to snap him out of it, and Tony asks him to contact Nick Fury….
Aboard his submarine beneath the East River, the evil White Dragon gloats over his discovery that Tony Stark is Iron Man and how this will be his ticket back into the good graces of the Council of Nine. We learn however that the villain’s lover, Shara-Lee, has been planted by his side by her sinister father to manipulate the White Dragon into being a pawn of the Council. If the Dragon fails he will take the blame, if he succeeds, he will be eliminated. The duped villain spies on Stark and overhears his conversation with Nick Fury. Tony is refusing to deliver the main address at the UN on peaceful uses of science, which angers the SHIELD Director. Meanwhile, Tony is puzzled that his company is building a new type of weapon he supposedly designed but he knows nothing about it. To investigate the gaps in his memory he decides to return to the site of his crash in the East River….
Beneath the waters, the White Dragon’s bickering minions Kreol and Davina are setting up a nuclear weapon outside the United Nations Building. When White Dragon is informed that Tony Stark will not be attending the conference, he has a moment of disorientation before altering his plans (prompted by Shara-Lee) to having Iron Man detonate the bomb and destroy half of Manhattan. He tries to trigger the implant in Tony’s skull but nothing happens: assuming the batteries are low on the device (instead of the signal being blocked by Iron Man’s helmet), he orders his men to draw the hero/pawn closer to the power source. A team of armored enemies shoots out of the river, guns blazing at Shellhead. In an aerial battle Iron Man dispatches his foes (while a little boy witnesses the action—and his mother doesn’t believe him). Descending to the river bottom, Iron Man searches for clues to the mystery and is attacked by a mini-sub, piloted by Kreol and Davina. The two bickering minions start fighting, giving Shellhead the opportunity to blast their sub to bits. As they see the Armored Avenger approaching the master ship, Shara-Lee orders White Dragon to detonate the nuclear device, but he refuses—and the ship is rocked by Iron Man’s assault. Shara-Lee, enraged, reveals the entire plan to the hero (it involved blaming Tony Stark for the UN bombing which would discredit all his weapons systems, leading to the fall of the west). On the video screen the image of Stark Industries exploding compels Iron Man to head to the scene of that disaster. The White Dragon, having heard all the contempt Shara-Lee poured on him as a dupe of the Council, chooses to regain face by pressing the self-destruct switch, sending himself and his manipulative moll to their deaths…
Marianne Rodgers breathes easier, knowing Tony is now out of danger…
When he arrives at Stark Industries, Iron Man is surprised the find the facility intact. Kevin O’Brian explains that he faked the film of the disaster to throw the enemies off the track…

George Tuska
Jim Mooney
George Tuska (Cover Penciler)
Frank Giacoia (Cover Inker)
Letterer: Art Simek.
Editor: Stan Lee.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)

Plus: Kevin O'Brien, Marianne Rodgers.

> Invincible Iron Man: Book info and issue index

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