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Invincible Iron Man #5: Review

Sep 1968
Archie Goodwin, George Tuska

Story Name:

Frenzy In a Far-Flung Future

Review & Comments

4.5 stars

Invincible Iron Man #5 Review by (September 18, 2012)
Review: A sci-fi epic that has a certain familiar feel to it. A computer system designed to coordinate defenses becoming sentient and turning against mankind? Use of a time machine to solve a major problem by eliminating someone before a certain event takes place? A central character who is part human and part machine? Yes, Marvel anticipated THE TERMINATOR by about fifteen years (or swiped from the same Harlan Ellison stories—though the similarities are not so pronounced here). Anyway, Cerebrus is a formidable foe—or would have been had he space to develop—wait, am I actually suggesting a story needed to be longer? Yes. Yes I am. Plus, they could have provided an explanation for why a supercomputer outfitted an army in nothing but loin cloths, when it would have been able to replicate the Iron Man armor. Meanwhile, headaches lie ahead: the heroes destroy all sources of power on Earth in the end, paving the way for a new Stone Age—or Zion from THE MATRIX (hey, they did it again!). Seems to me they could have stretched this to two issues and added some real drama, rather than that risky bomb test that was so irrelevant that it didn’t make it into the synopsis (Tony is worried about getting back for a bomb test that could turn into a disaster if he isn’t there—happy now? Then don’t pepper me with questions). But the big story is the debut of George Tuska as penciller; he will be the main artist on this title for quite a few years. Unfortunately I’ve never been enamored of his style; while his art is okay, he tends to draw goony faces with oversized teeth—and this looks quite odd on his later efforts for LUKE CAGE POWER MAN and other titles. He does draw a nice Iron Man and Krylla is a babe, but his excesses will worsen over time.

Comments: Only appearance of Cerebrus. This alternate future has been dubbed Earth-68091.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Invincible Iron Man #5 Synopsis by T Vernon
In his lab preparing for a weapons test, Tony Stark is suddenly engulfed in a whirlpool of light and pulled forward into the 24th century by a Time-Probe. There he is sentenced to be executed to prevent him from creating Cerebrus. Explanation: if not stopped, Tony will build a master computer to coordinate defense planning which will slowly be expanded to control affairs for the entire world. It will gain sentience and enslave humanity, dividing people into zombie-like servants or underground rebels. And now the rebels have devised a solution: kill Stark before Cerebrus was created. But they’ve stalled too long: the energy expended by the Time-Probe has attracted the notice of Cerebrus and the mad computer’s massive metal tracking coils burst through the walls, followed by its slave army. In the chaos Tony escapes into the caverns; wandering aimlessly he is discovered by a young woman named Krylla, who helps him get away from pursuing rebels. This lovely historian was opposed to the scheme to alter time so she leads Tony to the forgotten ruins of a museum where he finds a perfectly preserved suit of Iron Man armor in a display case. He dons the armor and uses his chestplate to power it up just as Cerebrus’ tracking coils arrive. The hero carries Krylla into one of the coils and they try to trace it back to its source. On the way Iron Man defeats a heat ray and a huge robot. The enraged computer then suctions Iron Man to its central chamber where Cerebrus appears as a giant floating head composed of pure energy. Cerebrus then takes the form of a giant armored warrior and Iron Man engages it in battle while Krylla tries to find the master computer bank to sabotage it. Iron Man is quickly overwhelmed by the resources of a world-controlling computer—so he resorts to a dangerous stratagem: he unmasks as Tony Stark, informing Cerebrus that if he is killed, the massive machine will never have been created. The time paradox confuses the villain long enough for Krylla to destroy the central system, causing Cerebrus to explode. As the world’s power begins shutting down, a grateful Krylla rushes Tony into the Time-Probe, returning him to his own era just seconds after he left.

George Tuska
Johnny Craig
George Tuska (Cover Penciler)
George Tuska (Cover Inker)
Letterer: Irv Watanabe.
Editor: Stan Lee.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)

Plus: Cerebrus.

> Invincible Iron Man: Book info and issue index

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