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Invincible Iron Man #2: Review

Jan 2023
Gerry Duggan, Juan Frigeri

Story Name:

The autobiography of Tony Stark, chapter 2

Review & Comments

4 stars

Invincible Iron Man #2 Review by (January 20, 2023)
Living Laser debuted in #34-35 of the original Avengers run and was turned into a pure energy form in Iron Man #152-153. The look of his energy form has changed since then but as far as I'm aware he can't become human. However he *was* turned human when his power was stolen in Amazing Spider-Man (2018) #46 until his power and energy form were returned in ASM#56. Since then he's only been in Sinister War #3-4 in his energy form as part of a large gathering of villains.

Possibly the ASM events now allow him to switch between human and energy. I would certainly say that if his human form was only an illusion then it wouldn't have been susceptible to taser or sedative.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Invincible Iron Man #2 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
Tony Stark is lying wasted on some binbags in Hell's Kitchen while passersby upload the view to social media. Ironheart has come flying in her armour to see what's up. She detects that his heartbeat is erratic and starts to fly him to a hospital but he insists she take him to his armour instead. He directs her to the abandoned cab depot in Jersey City he currently calls home. On the way they renew their argument (from the end of the previous series) about her keeping Mandarin's Rings.

When they get there he puts on his chestplate and his AI BOSS starts his pacemaker, and then begins countering a toxin in his bloodstream. Tony has a rest in his hammock and reminds Riri Williams how he spent his fortune (last series) buying up deadly super-weapons and storing them in a warehouse, which is where the Rings should be. Riri says she's got them safe.

We see the villain behind Tony's problems watching the news reports on alcoholic Stark being found drunk. The person appears to have red skin like Stark's business rival Feilong who was mentioned last issue (or maybe that's just what we're *supposed* to think). The news reports also cover the lawsuits he's settling over his previous brownstone residence blowing up, and other stuff that happened last issue. And at Stark Unlimited, the company he retired from, the CEO he left behind, Andy Bhang, is giving a press conference which is interrupted by Living Laser demanding to see Tony Stark, his 'jailer'!

Tony's also watching that press conference, and Riri helps him out of the hammock and into the rest of his Iron Man armour so they can both fly there. But on the way they change course when they hear reports that LL has gone to the old Avengers Mansion (which is now a theme hotel). They get there to find him defacing the head of the IM figure in the statue of the original Avengers.

They confront Arthur Parks who again accuses Stark of holding him prisoner and experimenting on him. Maybe the experiments boosted his power because he easily dismisses Ironheart and takes down the Golden Avenger, even slicing off half of his faceplate. Tony protests his innocence, saying someone's framing him as part of a big scheme. IH rejoins the fight but LL's lasers cut into her armour too, so she takes the gauntlets off to reveal the Mandarin Rings on her fingers. She commands Art to stop fighting and then invades his mind to discover the truth, which she displays for Tony to see ...

... Parks was living in an empty penthouse he'd broken into in a building that was used by money launderers. Tony Stark knocked at his door and tasered him. He was sedated by Stark's Goons and taken to a secret lab at Stark's company.

Stark says that wasn't him. He doesn't know how long Parks has been imprisoned but he no longer has a company or goons to command. And the object of the exercise was probably to get Laser to do exactly what he's just done. Meanwhile Riri uses the Rings to mends Shellhead's statue. Arthur is now convinced of their story and leaves, asking them to include him in a team-up when they find out who's behind it all.

The 2 heroes return to Stark's pad where he mends his faceplate. And we finally get confirmation that Tony hadn't been drunk but poisoned. He figures it was in the coffee a stranger gave him at an AA meeting (end of last issue). He also assumes this is all about getting Stark Unlimited's stock price to fall so someone can buy out the company. But his old rivals Obadiah Stane and Justin Hammer are dead.

Riri leaves but Tony's voiceover tells us he has insurance against such a takeover. An old friend Zhong Wei has enough stock in the company to frustrate such a move. But we see that the man in question is dead with a large hole burned through his chest.

Juan Frigeri
Juan Frigeri
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)

Plus: Andy Bhang, Ironheart (Riri Williams).

> Invincible Iron Man: Book info and issue index

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