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Invincible Iron Man #43: Review

Nov 1971
Gerry Conway, George Tuska

Story Name:


Review & Comments

2.5 stars

Invincible Iron Man #43 Review by (June 18, 2013)
Review: George Tuska offers some impressive art of a battle in Hell which almost breaks through Gerry Conway’s dialogue-heavy and senseless script. The villain boasts to the point where his employer magically appears to tell him to shut up, Kevin constantly talks to himself, and all the actions scenes are overlayed with a plethora of narration-stuffed boxes. Sigh. Meanwhile, Kline, who told Mikas last issue simply to “destroy Stark” is now miffed that his pawn tried to destroy him. It’s his own fault, really, for talking too little (unlike everyone else in the issue)—and it’s no good claiming he ordered Mikas to capture the hero; we know he didn’t say any such thing. But then there’s no point to him changing his mind two minutes later or revealing his android identity to Mikas either. Is this almost over? Biggest unanswered question: Why is there a reprinted Giant-Man story filling out the issue? Next appearance of Mister Kline: DAREDEVIL #80-81.

Comments: Kevin O’Brien adopts the identity of the Guardsman in this issue, though the name will not be used until #45. First meeting of Iron Man and Mister Kline. Following up on the revelations in DAREDEVIL, Kline is here explained to be an android who also goes by the name “the Assassin” (which is a category, not a name—and he never assassinates anyone—but just go with it) and an android. Doomprayer is often accidentally called Doomsprayer, a lot of name for what is nothing more than a giant snake. Second story reprinted from TALES TO ASTONISH #52, featuring the first appearance of the villainous Black Knight.

Invincible Iron Man #43 Review by (June 19, 2013)
A sort-of answer to T's last question is that this month all Marvel titles had extra-sized 25¢ issues. Most had extra-sized stories to go in them. But Iron Man had to make do with a filler reprint.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Invincible Iron Man #43 Synopsis by T Vernon
Iron Man is chained up in the private Hell of the villain Mikas, who holds Marianne Rodgers in thrall. The hero manages to slip the shackles and confronts the villain but a short blast of power melts the iron armor and cows the hero (!)….
Elsewhere, sensing Stark is in trouble, Kevin O’Brian dons a suit of blue and green armor and heads out to rescue his employer in a needle-like aircraft. In Washington, Ben Crandal is consumed by guilt for betraying Tony Stark
In Mikas’ Hell, the villain tosses Iron Man into a sulfur pit—and his master Mister Kline berates him for assuming too much… While plummeting, the hero re-energizes and regains the power to fly out of the pit and fight Mikas. Kline appears again to scold him for trying to destroy Stark when Kline said merely to capture him. Knowing his power is just about depleted, Shellhead attacks the villain with his fists, and even then can’t catch a break. Beaten, he appeals weakly to Marianne and it strike a chord in her submerged memory. She turns to Mikas for explanation—and he slaps her., telling her to get back in line. The slap serves merely to snap her out of the trance and she goes to Iron Man, who recovers enough to challenge the villain again. Kline reappears with an order to kill Iron Man and the setting suddenly changes to a palace. Here, Mikas orders a pair of giant robots called the Dark Ones to kill Iron Man and Marianne, while the glass floor reveals a giant serpent beneath them—Doomprayer! The Armored Avenger summons all his power and unleashes a mighty blast that clobbers the villain and most of the palace, then collapses from the exertion. The armored Kevin arrives, crashing through the ceiling in the needle jet. As they rush the dying hero to safety, Kevin explains that the room was only a stage set full of broken robots—all an illusion….

Story #2

The Black Knight Strikes

Writer: Stan Lee. Penciler: Dick Ayers. Inker: Dick Ayers. Colorist: ?. Letterer: Art Simek.

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Giant-Man captures a gang of spies led by rogue scientist Nathan Garrett. Soon after, Garrett is bailed out of jail by his Red masters and escapes to a Balkan nation. There he experiments with genetics until he creates a winged horse…. Weeks later, Wasp tells Hank Pym that she witnessed something very strange: a man dressed as a knight on a flying horse! He used his lance to burn through the side of an armored car and made off with a bag of loot; she tried to pursue but could not keep up. Hank doesn’t believe her (the cad) until it is confirmed by the police and his own ants. When a report comes in that the Black Knight is attempting to hijack a military helicopter, the huge hero drops from the sky to latch on to the targeted craft to defend it from the villain. The Black Knight responds by blinding Giant-Man with his mirror visor, tying him up with a bolo fired from his lance, then torturing him with the Itch-Ray! Giant-Man drops off, shrinks to Ant-Man size to escape his bonds and is caught by Wasp. The tiny twosome fly to the back of the winged horse where the hero grows to normal size and fights the bad guy. They crash-land in an amusement park where, after a battle that takes them on the roller-coaster, the Knight gets away on his horse.

George Tuska
Jim Mooney
Gil Kane (Cover Penciler)
Mike Esposito (Cover Inker)
Letterer: Al Kurzrok.
Editor: Stan Lee.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)

(Janet Van Dyne)

Plus: Black Knight (Nathan Garrett), Giant-Man (Scott Lang), Guardsman (Kevin O'Brien), Marianne Rodgers, Mister Kline.

> Invincible Iron Man: Book info and issue index

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