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Invincible Iron Man #597: Review

Feb 2018
Brian Michael Bendis, Stefano Caselli

Story Name:

The search for Tony Stark part 5

Review & Comments

4 stars

Invincible Iron Man #597 Review by (March 2, 2018)
The Secret Origin of Tony Stark in Iron Man (2013) #9-17 revealed that Tony was adopted so Howard and Maria Stark could hide their real son from the Rigellian Recorder #451. Tony discovered his genius 'brother' Arno in #17. Arno had had to live in an iron lung since birth. Tony freed him from private hospital care and they went on to work together through the rest of that series. Arno got a chunky Iron Man armour to substitute for his iron lung. And later refined it into a slimmer exoskeleton. Arno still needed the exoskeleton last time we saw him in Original Sin: Hulk vs Iron Man. There's no sign of it here, but maybe he's slimmed it even more so he can wear it under normal clothes.

Hood's gang here include Constrictor, Centurius, Razor-Fist, Cutthroat, Chemistro, Vermin, Deathwatch, Armadillo, Crusader, a Brother Grimm, Answer and Slug.

The cover is more reflective of Tony's state in the previous couple of issues. And he's not even *in* this 1.

Alex Maleev continues to handle the Von Doom artwork, and gets a lot to do this issue.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Invincible Iron Man #597 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
Image from Invincible Iron Man #597
The opening page summary this issue is provided by Tony Stark's executive assistant Mary Jane Watson, who is with his mother Amanda Armstrong and his AI 'gal friday' Friday. She is broadcasting a message saying that Tony was in a coma but is now missing. (Last issue they found where he had been for the last few issues, but only his Iron Man armour - the man himself had gone.) She mentions that Victor Von Doom is calling himself Iron Man these days, but Tony's protégé Riri Williams (Ironheart) has had *her* armour confiscated by the Stark Industries Board of Directors. She asks Tony if he's listening to please come back and sort it all out.

That's all we'll see of these 3 this issue. And Tony Stark won't appear at all. The focus this time is on Ironheart and mostly Iron Doom.

We begin with Doom flying back to Latveria. He stops off at the pile of rocks which marks his mother's grave. He blames *her* for what he has become (Dr Doom that is), and claims that only Reed Richards saw the real him (presumably referring to the end of Secret Wars III). So he petulantly blasts the 'monument'. Then flies on to his ruined castle.

Meanwhile Riri has flown to MIT (using boot jets she presumably cobbled together after her armour was repossessed). She is greeted by the acting Dean who apologises for how she was thrown out of the University (after she 'borrowed' parts to make her 1st armour in the 2015 IM series). He's glad she's returning. (He keeps waffling on, ignoring her attempts to say why she's really here.) He realises she's a genius and they want to give her the chance to blossom, in an environment of like-minded people. We see a busy robotics/hi-tech gadgets lab.

When he learns that Stark's company has taken her armour the (unnamed) Dean quizzes Ms Williams about her creation. He establishes that she created the prototype on these premises. And although the later Ironheart armour was developed under Tony's guidance, it contains much of her own ideas. He says in that case it belongs to MIT, not Stark Industries. But when she gets it back they'll sign ownership over to *her*.

So Riri sends a signal to her armour and other stuff. At Chicago's Midway International Airport Iron Maiden and her men are loading their crates of goodies onto a plane when they are opened from the inside. The Ironheart armour and other mobile objects break out and fly away.

Back at MIT Riri reveals that what she really came here for was to ask for help finding Tony Stark. But it turns out that 3 members of the lab group are already on the job:- Toni Ho (who used to be Iron Patriot) who's father Ho Yinsen helped build the prototype Iron Man suit and who's met Riri (during Secret Empire). Madison Jeffries (a mutant genius who used to inhabit/control the Box robot). Arno Stark, Tony's brother (except Tony was adopted into the family), another science whizz. Apparently *they* sent Blade (last issue) to send her here. But not for the Tony search, and they won't tell her the real reason why.

That's all for Ironheart. Now back to Iron Doom.

The Wrecker has got back together with his Wrecking Crew and they've come to Doom's castle for the treasure they've heard lies in the ruins. They find his lab and hope to pick up some of Victor's old inventions they can use or sell. They find his Time Cube but it's broken (it was still working at the end of Dark Avengers #4). They are attacked by guardian Doom Robots who quickly take down Bulldozer. The others fight back but the robots are booby-trapped, and an explosion gets Piledriver.

Wrecker and Thunderball call out for Dr Doom to face them himself. Victor appears but insists on being called Iron Man. The remaining duo do unusually well against their armoured foe. (Well, Wrecker and his crowbar *are* imbued with Asgardian magic, and Thunderball and his ball and chain share in that power.) But they stupidly give Von Doom time to recover, and his armour to recharge. And then Iron Doom easily bests them ...

... but only to find himself facing Hood and a gang of other villains who escaped from Ryker's Island in #593 (and who Doom had delivered to jail in Infamous Iron Man). They're here for revenge. Hood's magic bullets knock him down. And along with Wrecker the bad guys mercilessly beat him.

Preview Pages
Click sample interior pages to enlarge them:

Stefano Caselli
Stefano Caselli
Marte Gracia
R B Silva (Cover Penciler)
R B Silva (Cover Inker)
Ian Herring (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Clayton Cowles.
Editor: Tom Brevoort.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Iron Man
Iron Man

(Victor von Doom)
Mary Jane Watson
Mary Jane Watson

(Mary Jane)

Plus: Amanda Armstrong, Friday (Friday Stark), Iron Maiden, Iron Patriot (Toni Ho), Ironheart (Riri Williams), Madison Jeffries.

> Invincible Iron Man: Book info and issue index

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