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Invincible Iron Man #17: Review

Apr 2024
Gerry Duggan, Patrick Zircher

Story Name:

The price of knowledge

Review & Comments

4 stars

Invincible Iron Man #17 Review by (April 12, 2024)
This issue is dedicated to David Michelinie, Barry Windsor-Smith and Bob Layton who were the creators of Iron Man #232 which featured a similar nightmare. And the splash page of the story echoes that of #232 with Tony Stark hanging tangled in metal cables.

IM's dead villains in Tony's nightmare are:-
Blacklash killed by the sentient IM armour in IM(2000)#28.
Crimson Cowl (Justine Hammer) killed by Sasha Hammer and Zeke Stane in IM#527.
Crimson Dynamo (Anton Vanko) killed saving IM from Boris Turgenov in Tales Of Suspense #52.
Detroit Steel killed by Sasha Hammer in IM#520.
Firebrand (Gary Gilbert) killed by Scourge in Captain America #319.
Iron Monger (Obadiah Stane) commited suicide in UM#200.
Justin Hammer left frozen in space by Stark in IM: Bad Blood #4.
Spymaster (Mark Sharen) killed by Ghost in IM#220.

Magneto died in AXE: Judgement Day #4. But he's ben brought back in the Resurrection Of Magneto mini-series. At the end of #4 (published the same week as this 1) Emma Frost sends him to help Iron Man as she reports here.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Invincible Iron Man #17 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
It's the culminating battle with Orchis for Iron Man and the X-mutants. Iron Man for his part (after leading the Avengers against Orchis in their #12-13) has lured a horde of Iron Sentinels to the Australian outback where he tried to destroy them all with his new Model 72 armour and his giant Model 73 Sentinel Buster armour/robot, both made of the mutants' metal mysterium. But there were too many of them, and his foe, their creator Feilong, added to the problem in *his* new War Machine Sentinel armour. As the Sentinel Buster with IM inside it ran out of power, Feilong dove his WMS into its heart, disabling it.

Now Stark recovers consciousness in his M72 armour inside the 'corpse' of the S-Buster tangled in cables. He breaks free and tries to contact the Avengers, but mysterium blocks his signal. He smashes his way through the really big robot's innards but starts to have hallucinations. He sees his (dead) adoptive mother Maria Stark having tea with his (still alive as far as I know) birth mother Amanda Armstrong. He asks them if *he*'s dead but they direct him to his (also dead) adoptive father Howard.

On the way he finds the body of Zhong Wei who Feilong killed (#2) as part of his takeover of Stark Unlimited. He blames Tony for giving up control of the company (in IM(2020)#1). Stark is then dragged under (imaginary?) water by a bunch of villains whose deaths Iron Man is in some way responsible for. But he is saved by an apparition of Magneto who accuses him of creating weapons to kill mutants. (Partially correct. On the 1 hand Stark used to be a weapons manufacturer whose output could be used to kill *anybody*. On the other hand since then he's designed countermeasures against most major superchars including top-level mutants but also some of his own Avengers allies.) Tony counters that Magneto's 1st public act was to attack a military base (X-Men #1). Maggie then buries IM in metal.

Next thing we know Howard Stark is digging his son out of rocky rubble. Tony is now in his original clunky grey armour. He apologises for its crudity but Howard reminds him he built while captive in a cave (Tales Of Suspense #39 of course) and as such it's a more impressive achievement than anything he did in a lab. But he continues to say that men like them are condemned to Hell because they stole knowledge from the gods. And he pushes Tony into a suddenly opening pit and throws rocks in after him.

Then Tony breaks out of the nightmare and fully back to his senses. He's in the heart of the Model 73 where the (arc?) reactor that powers it has been wrecked by Feilong's War Machine Sentinel suicide dive. But Feilong survived and now whacks him on the back of the head with a metal bar. (Tony's not wearing his IM helmet with the rest of his M72 armour. Stark hits him with a repulsor blast in revenge for Zhong Wei. Feilong hits back with green 'flames' from his mouth. Stark fends that off with a force field and then hits him with an armoured fist in revenge for his neighbour Marielle Marcus (killed in #1 when Feilong had Tony's home blown up). He continues to pound his foe's face until Feilong admits he's failed and invites Stark to kill him. But 1st there's something he must tell him ...

Stark stops the beating but orders Feilong to shut down all his Iron Sentinels. The villain says there's a problem there. He no longer has control because the AIs in Orchis, Nimrod and Omega Sentinel (Karima Shapandar), have taken over and they want to kill all humans as well as mutants. Tony contacts his partner Emma Frost who's fighting more Sentinels with the X-Men. It turns out she's discovered the same thing. Feilong says that Orchis has way more Sentinels than even *he* knew about. And Emma tells Tony that she's sent someone to help. And the real (and surprisingly not dead) Magneto shows up.

Patrick Zircher
Patrick Zircher
Bryan Valenza
Kael Ngu (Cover Penciler)
Kael Ngu (Cover Inker)
Kael Ngu (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Joe Caramagna.
Editor: Darren Shan. Editor-in-chief: C. B. Cebulski.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)
White Queen
White Queen

(Emma Frost)

Plus: Feilong (Kevin Heng).

> Invincible Iron Man: Book info and issue index

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