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Invincible Iron Man #10: Review

Sep 2023
Gerry Duggan, Juan Frigeri

Story Name:

Sentenced to life

Review & Comments

4 stars

Invincible Iron Man #10 Review by (September 30, 2023)
This issue continues this series' regular conceit of a voiceover which is supposedly from Tony Stark's autobiography.

As expected the joint cover of this issue and X-Men #26, and the solicits that accompanied them, were just to boost sales. Tony didn't marry the White Queen in front of their assembled friends/colleagues in a magnificent church. He sham-married Hazel Kendal in a Vegas chapel with only 1 witness.

Ezekiel Stane, son of Obadiah Stane, continued his dead father's rivalry with Stark until they teamed up against Mandarin in 2012's The Future storyline in Iron Man #521-527. Since then he played a major role in the 2016 Black Panther series, working for Hydra.

Living Laser was last seen in our #2 where Feilong tricked him into believing that Tony Stark's company had captured and experimented on him.

Sandman, usually a villain but sometimes a hero, was last seen at Tombstone's wedding in Amazing Spider-Man (2022) #31. (He was in our #6 but only in flashback to Tony's 1st encounter with White Queen.)

Both of them were involved in 2021's Sinister War event.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Invincible Iron Man #10 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
This is a crossover with X-Men #26. It shares 1 scene from there in the middle but then takes the story further.

But 1st we look in on James Rhodes in prison in Texas. As part of Feilong and Orchis' campaign against Tony Stark and the mutant nation Krakoa they framed Tony's pal Rhodey for murder (#7), and he regularly gets beaten up while the guards look the other way. Now a guard gives him a mobile saying there's a call for him. Jim refuses to take it fearing that his fingerprints on such a banned item could be used to increase his punishment, but the guard insists and grudgingly says he's got friends in high places. The phone tells him Tony wants to talk to him.

Tony himself is enjoying a party at the Hellfire Club where he is the new Black King. A waiter hands him a phone saying he has a call. When he learns it's Rhodey he heads for a quiet place to talk. But when they realise that each thinks the other initiated the call they also realise it's a setup. Stark hears a fight start as Feilong enters the party and hails him, and he guesses his foe knows *exactly* what's happening on the other end of the line. He charges towards him intending to wipe the smirk off his face, but White King Wilson Fisk stops him and says that the arrangements he asked for are in place.

Meanwhile Rhodey is being attacked by 8 or so inmates. He's not going down without a fight but he's outnumbered and outarmed. But then the sand in the exercise yard starts to swirl around and forms a giant fist which scatters most of the men. 1 guy with a knife is left active and seeks to carry out his final order but another inmate breaks his wrist. Rhodey recognises Living Laser, but the man says he's just Arthur Parks while wearing a power inhibitor. He introduces himself as Jim's new cellmate. And the sand reforms into Sandman/Flint Marko. They say that they were hired to keep him safe until he could be released. Parks says he punched a cop to get a short sentence. Marko says all he needs is sand and this is Texas - sand gets everywhere.

Rhodey gets the phone back and tries to thank his friend, but Tony says he's still working on getting him out. Jim tells him just to win the war and *then* he can get him out ready for revenge. A watching guard is also on a phone reporting to Feilong that the hit didn't happen because the target now has super-powered muscle. The Tony/Jim call ends and Rhodes tells Parks he's grateful that Stark was able to hire him and Sandman. Parks says Stark's broke these days and couldn't afford them, so Rhodes asks him who *is* paying?

So we flashback a few weeks, probably to just after the end of last issue where Emma Frost in her Hazel Kendal disguise in introduced Stark to Wilson Fisk in the Hellfire Club to whom she's transferred all her assets to stop Orchis from getting them. Tony wants him to get Rhodey out of jail. He knows Fisk wants his mutant wife (Typhoid Mary) back. If they work together they can all get what they want, but he *needs* Rhodey to win. The ex-Kingpin/ex-Mayor asks Miss Frost to explain the rules. She tells Tony he has to ask nicely. Tony swallows his pride and begs for help. Fisk graciously promises it.

Now in the present we get the scene from XM#26. 'Hazel Kendal' joins the party and is disgusted to see Feilong there. She's about to remove the ring from her finger which inhibits and hides her mutant power so she can kill him, but Tony stops her and takes her to a private room. He tells her they can't kill him or wipe his mind yet because he has info that Tony needs. Also if she takes off the ring the giant robot Sentinels will come here and blow their scheme wide open. But the angry woman knees him in the groin and discards the ring anyway.

We get some extra dialogue where Tony further explains that he needs to know exactly what anti-mutant powers Feilong has given the Sentinels. And also what info he dug up about a miracle metal Howard Stark found outside reality (as revealed in #5). Then we continue with the end of XM#26 where Tony is on his knees before 'Hazel', because of being kneed and because he's picked up the ring, when Feilong walks in and thinks he's proposing to her. The couple go along with that and Tony puts the ring (back) on her finger.

Now the story continues with Stark schmoozing with Feilong and thanking him for forcing him to abandon his life of Iron Man (by gaining legal control of Stark tech). He's much happier now that he's given up his addiction to public adulation and returned to his earlier addiction to booze (but he's faking that). The villain asks if he's invited to the wedding but Tony says "No", knowing that's the best way to ensure the he *will* be there. Feilong asks where Emma Frost went when she escaped in the Iron Man armour (last issue). Stark tells him that when the armour returned it's black box said it had been to Mars where lots of other mutants are (sowing a seed in his mind that will bear fruit in later issues).

Tony and Hazel then announce their engagement to the party. Tony tells them they're heading straight for Las Vegas ...

... which is where we see them romancing. Tony reminds Emma that she's only marrying him in her fake Hazel Kendal id. He also suggests that she get rid off the X-symbol she's wearing on a neckchain. She says it a gift from Forge she found in 1 of her coats. That night Tony suits up in the Iron Man black stealth armour he's been using (here and in the Avengers) since Feilong's cease and desist order, while Emma sees to some X-business.

Stark's been working on a new armour in the Hellfire Club basement/Morlock tunnels. So he now breaks into a secret Vegas lab belonging to Ezekiel Stane, defeats a load of defence drones and opens a door to let in a truck driven by Deadpool (on loan from Captain America's latest Unity Squad in Uncanny Avengers). They load up a sophisticated fabrication device which DP drives back to the Club.

Next day he's at the wedding chapel in the outfit on the cover. Emma's there as Hazel, *not* in white as on the cover of XM#26 but in matching shades of red. The un-Frost-like demure neckline I think hides the X-medallion. On cue Feilong crashes the party as the only and uninvited guest. Emma removes the inhibitor ring and takes over his mind.

She mentally takes Tony into that mind to when Feilong was watching the video Howard left (which he later destroyed). But Tony now watches it in Feilong's photographic memory while Emma extracts all the info on the Sentinels. (But the video doesn't seem to tell him more than he already knew.) Feilong starts to realise what's happening but Emma makes him go back to 'sleep' again and forget it all. She takes the opportunity to scan his past and discovers that he was a non-mutant child of 2 mutants. He claims that they abandoned him but in fact they loved him but he hated them because they were mutants and he wasn't (though whether it was bigotry or envy isn't clear to me). Emma could just give him a fatal stroke now but she wants him to confess to the world what he's done. But if she makes him do that now then Orchis will just kill him, so she leaves it for later.

They return to reality and the marriage, with the minister not remembering anything strange. Feilong is so convinced of Stark's 'rehabilitation' that he offers him membership of Orchis, and even a senior role in his old company that the villain now owns. But Tony says he'll consider it after his honeymoon.

On their way the newlyweds discuss the mystery metal Howard was seeking outside reality. Emma is convinced it is the mutants' secret metal mysterium that they mine from the White Hot Room outside space and time. The amulet she wears is made of it. And she says there's much more of it available.

Juan Frigeri
Juan Frigeri
Bryan Valenza
Lucas Werneck (Cover Penciler)
Lucas Werneck (Cover Inker)
Lucas Werneck (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Joe Caramagna.
Editor: Darren Shan. Editor-in-chief: C. B. Cebulski.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)
James Rhodes
James Rhodes


(Wilson Fisk)
White Queen
White Queen

(Emma Frost)

Plus: Feilong (Kevin Heng).

> Invincible Iron Man: Book info and issue index

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