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Invincible Iron Man #596: Review

Jan 2018
Brian Michael Bendis, Stefano Caselli

Story Name:

The search for Tony Stark part 4

Review & Comments

4 stars

Invincible Iron Man #596 Review by (February 3, 2018)
The Iron Doom section continues to be artisted by Alex Maleev.

Before Secret Wars III Blade last occupied the unusual position of superhero in the Mighty Avengers, masquerading as Spider Hero or Ronin. In the new universe he's made more typical appearances. Eg hunting zombies in Gwenpool #11 and vampires under the Darkforce Dome in Secret Empire: Brave New World #5, plus as a member of the Spirits of Vengeance team in their new mini-series.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Invincible Iron Man #596 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
Image from Invincible Iron Man #596
Last issue Iron Maiden (Melina Vostokoff) plus help was hired by Stark Enterprises to take possession of Ironheart's armour, and anything else derived from Stark technology. It looked then as though she'd talked them out of it because of the bad publicity (she's recording everything). But now she seems to use a different argument and loses.

Riri Williams suddenly changes from defiant to compliant. She says they've got her bang to rights without the missing Tony Stark to back her up, and surrenders her armour. Her mother tries to stop her but Riri says she doesn't want to risk a fight in their neighbourhood. They somehow take the Tony Stark AI hologram too, which has been inactive since the end of the issue. (We know it's because the AI's attention is elsewhere.)

Riri's friendly neighbour Xavier King is with her. She apologises for the scene, but young Xavier says it's the most exciting day of his life. His mother calls him to come home, but he says he'll be back later. And Riri tells *her* mom that she's got backups for all the software they took anyway.

Also last issue Hood came after Victor Von Doom with Corruptor and Living Laser as backup. They lay in wait for him at his house in the South of France. Hood shot him with 2 magic explosive bullets while he was out of his Iron Man armour.

But now we see Doom fight back with defensive and offensive black magic. (Hood gave Victor plenty of time last issue to work up a plan by boasting about what he was going to do.) Laser tries to get a shot in (contrary to Hood's plan, whatever that was) but Doom lays him low. Hood shoots again, and Corruptor seems to be emitting rays from his eyes (which is *not* what he does).

But Victor now uses mystic mind-control to force Parker Robbins to point 1 of his guns at his own head. Hood struggles to resist the command to pull the trigger. Meanwhile Jackson Day has moved behind Von Doom (seeming to teleport there - *another* power he doesn't possess). Now he grabs Victor's head and uses his *real* power. Skin contact allows psycho-chemicals to take control of *Victor*'s mind. (Doom had been ignoring Day, assuming him beneath his notice.)

Corruptor thinks he has the great Dr Doom at his mercy. But Victor still controls *Hood*'s mind, and he makes him shoot Jackson Day in the head. Doom now armours up as Hood shoots at him again. But a spell makes Parker Robbins dissolve away.

Another thing that happened last issue was that Tony Stark (probably) was lying somewhere in an old Iron Man suit having hallucinations. This time he sees his father Howard Stark sitting at a grand piano having a drink. Howard wants to know why he's just lying there not asking for help. Tony says he got himself into this mess (by continually experimenting with his body) and he doesn't want to burden any of his friends with it. Dad asks again, and Tony claims he doesn't *need* help.

Tony then deflects the questioning by asking Howard why he never told him he was adopted. He claims that 'dad' stood by and watched him struggle with his demons and take refuge in alcohol, when if he told him the truth everything might have been alright. Howard dismisses that as a rationalisation, and adds that his wife Maria colluded in the deception - but Tony thinks *she* could do no wrong.

Howard says he *is* Tony's father in the ways that count. He raised him. He *protected * him from the truth about his villainous (as we learnt in International Iron Man #7) biological father. He gave him the Stark name and fortune, and the opportunity to make the most of his engineering brilliance. Compared with all that being adopted was irrelevant.

Tony starts to come to his senses, but Howard's parting remark is that there are lots of people who would gladly help him - so why doesn't he call for any of them? As Tony sinks back into unconsciousness again he calls out for Rhodey. (But he *should* know James Rhodes is dead - it happened before his coma.)

The last thing that happened last issue was that the AI Friday summoned AI Tony to Stark HQ because she suspected he/it knew where Tony Stark is. Now he's taking Friday, Mary Jane Watson (Tony's PA) and Amanda Armstrong (Tony's real mother) to New Jersey (on a flying platform fronted by the head and shoulders of an IM armour).

He claims not to actually *know* where Stark is, but now that they've asked him directly he's been able to detect the likeliest place. It's an abandoned-looking building, presumably owned by Stark or his company, that is noticeable because the AIs can't scan inside it - which is what tipped him off.

The door appears to be locked. But when Friday examines it and cracks it's security it turns intangible and they just walk through it. Inside they find a secret lab, and an Iron Man armour lying on the floor. It's presumably the correct 1, but when Amanda removes the helmet there's no-one inside. But they see fresh footprints leading away. They assume Tony's alive and was here very recently.

Last scene:- Riri rings someone (probably MIT) to accept their offer (see the most recent #6). But she's interrupted by the arrival of Blade (the vampire hunter) with an alternative proposal.

Preview Pages
Click sample interior pages to enlarge them:

Stefano Caselli
Stefano Caselli
Marte Gracia
Mike Deodato Jr. (Cover Penciler)
Mike Deodato Jr. (Cover Inker)
Dean White (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Clayton Cowles.
Editor: Tom Brevoort.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.


(Eric Brooks)
Iron Man
Iron Man

(Victor von Doom)
Mary Jane Watson
Mary Jane Watson

(Mary Jane)

Plus: Amanda Armstrong, Friday (Friday Stark), Iron Maiden, Ironheart (Riri Williams), Tony Stark AI, Xavier King.

> Invincible Iron Man: Book info and issue index

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