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Invincible Iron Man #84: Review

Mar 1976
Roger Slifer, John Tartaglione

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Story Name:

Night of the Walking Bomb!

Review & Comments

4 stars

Invincible Iron Man #84 Review by (April 8, 2014)
Review: The Freak again? Ho hum. But this time it’s different: he actually poses a threat to the entire city. So the plot goes from “Iron Man has to subdue a deadly friend without hurting him” to “Iron Man has to subdue a deadly friend without blowing up New York.” And Trimpe/Tartaglione’s art makes the fight scenes fairly brutal for a 70s comic. Kudos to Len Wein for coming up with a new twist on the stale plot. And kudos to later Marvel writers and editors for never bringing him back.

Comments: Part one of a two part story. Happy became the Freak previously in TALES OF SUSPENSE #74 and IRON MAN #3; Eddie March went through the same thing in issue #67. Maybe Tony ought to just mothball the thing. The issue includes a topical reference to New York City’s financial woes in noting that the two officers survived the copter crash only to be laid off the next day. Len Wein was so concerned that readers would notice the similarities between this issue’s sewer adventure and the one in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #151-152 that he added an explanation to the letters column in issue #86 (not #85 as promised). I can’t imagine anyone who would care, or even notice. Guilty conscience, Len?


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Invincible Iron Man #84 Synopsis by T Vernon
Iron Man rushes the Enervator to the hospital where Happy Hogan lies in critical condition from the injuries sustained while standing in for Shellhead in issues #82-83. After dropping the device off, he returns as Tony Stark to comfort Pepper—but she blames him for Happy’s condition. Happy is operated on with the Enervator in use and the surgery is a success. As he is being wheeled to a recovery room he transforms into the gigantic crazed Freak and escapes into the building. Tony suits up, again preparing to face a dangerous friend….
Interlude: Michael O’Brien is still trying to prove that Tony Stark murdered his brother Kevin, the Guardsman (in issue #46)….
After searching the hospital, Iron Man finds the Freak in the cobalt storage room and the monster has absorbed enough radiation to make him a walking bomb. It has also increased his strength so he can throw Shellhead through the wall and into the sewer. The Freak can also shoot energy blasts; hospital officials choose to flood the tunnel to send the dangerous duo out into the East River where they meet again aboard a ship. Freak beats on Iron Man with a two-ton crane and destroys a police helicopter that comes too close. The fight continues onto a bridge where the mad monster hurls his foe from a tower down to the roadbed far below. Freak engages Iron Man in a bear hug and the radiation fuses all of the armor’s circuits. The fiend then and leaps aboard a passing train, leaving the disabled hero helpless behind him….

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Barberoids 1 cover original artwork on ebay

John Tartaglione
Marie Severin
Petra Goldberg
Gil Kane (Cover Penciler)
Mike Esposito (Cover Inker)
Plot: . Layouts: Herb Trimpe. Letterer: John Costanza.
Editor: Len Wein.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)
Pepper Potts
Pepper Potts

(Pepper Hogan)

Plus: Freak (Happy Hogan), Michael O'Brien.

> Invincible Iron Man: Book info and issue index

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