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Invincible Iron Man #48: Review

Jul 1972
Mike Friedrich, George Tuska

Story Name:

The Fury and the Inferno

Review & Comments

3.5 stars

Invincible Iron Man #48 Review by (July 23, 2013)
Review: Mike Friedrich takes over and his opening salvo is inspiring: Tony Stark is tired of floundering like a fish out of water (a slap at the overly brooding and guilt-ridden Tony of the last couple of years?) determined to take control of his life and his business once more. By the end of the issue however, he has something else to brood over—though he doesn’t lose a lot of sleep over Simon Gilbert’s death. Friedrich will inject some fresh blood into the series, though nothing remarkable—or particularly different— will ensue. His best contribution is the quirky dialogue that pops up from time to time; sample: “I sense a change in Tony, something violent wretching in his soul! Something foul his way comes—and I fear for him!” “Wretching?” Far out, man. Anyway, Firebrand returns and the fanatic with a cause is given a personal vendetta—as though he needed one—to hate Tony. He’ll be back eventually (issue #59, to be precise). The character had potential but ended up being just another killer for hire, only with a fire theme; he was rubbed out by Scourge of the Underworld in CAPTAIN AMERICA #319, a pathetic end for several villains who had been deemed losers.

Comments: Firebrand first appeared in issue #28, though “Librarian Stan” identifies it as #18 in a footnote.

Invincible Iron Man #48 Review by (July 28, 2013)
When Firebrand returns in #59 he'll bring his sister Roxanne with him, whom Mike Friedrich will make Tony's next girlfriend. Simon Gilbert may be dead but his influence lingers on.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Invincible Iron Man #48 Synopsis by T Vernon
Having gained a new resolve to get his life back in order, Iron Man heads to his office at Stark Industries and removes his armor. As Tony Stark heads straight for the boardroom, his girlfriend Marianne Rodgers senses that something has changed drastically. Tony confronts the Board and fires Simon Gilbert as Chairman. Gilbert in turn blames Tony for the recent fracas that resulted in the death of the Guardsman, Kevin O’Brien. Tony calls for a vote—and since he owns a majority of the stock, he is again in control of the business. He demands their resignations and walks out….
A few days later in Bay City, the disgraced Simon Gilbert meets with the revolutionary Firebrand, who has improved his thermal technology since he last fought Iron Man. Gilbert wants to hire him to destroy the local Stark plant, but Firebrand isn’t interested in money—only the cause of destroying the powers-that-be. And he intends to carry out that mission….
Tony is still agitated over the recent conflict and Marianne senses that it is guilt over Kevin’s death. A phone call alerts him that his Bay City plant is being attacked by Firebrand, so Tony suits up and abandons his beloved to address the issue. Soon, the villain finds himself in battle with Iron Man, their technology evenly matching them—until the hero's repulsor rays are damaged. Firebrand blasts the floor out from under Iron Man, causing him to drop to the lower story—and giving him time to repair his repulsors. The hero fakes injury until his enemy is within range—and then he blasts him in both shoulders. Meanwhile, Simon Gilbert has planted a bomb in the building but he falls through the floor and is trapped in the debris with the device. Firebrand races to his rescue but Iron Man grabs the mercenary and rushes him out of the plant, with no time to save Gilbert. The bomb detonates, killing the former Chairman. Outside, Firebrand flies into a rage, turning the full force of his thermal blasts on Iron Man, which starts to melt his armor. The hero determinedly walks into the face of the fury and beats Firebrand into submission. As the police are taking the villain away he reveals what no one knew: that Simon Gilbert was his father—and he swears vengeance against the Golden Avenger. A brooding Iron Man goes home….

George Tuska
Vince Colletta
Gil Kane (Cover Penciler)
Vince Colletta (Cover Inker)
Letterer: John Costanza.
Editor: Stan Lee.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)

Plus: Firebrand, Marianne Rodgers, Simon Gilbert.

> Invincible Iron Man: Book info and issue index

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