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Invincible Iron Man #4: Review

Mar 2023
Gerry Duggan, Juan Frigeri

Story Name:

The autobiography of Tony Stark, chapter 4

Review & Comments

4 stars

Invincible Iron Man #4 Review by (April 7, 2023)
Orchis is an organisation dedicated to stopping mutants from taking over the world. It rose during the House Of X series.

This version of Nimrod robot was created by Orchis in X-Men (2019) #20.

Dr Stasis is 1 of 4 clones of Mr Sinister (each of which believes they are the real Nathaniel Essex).


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Invincible Iron Man #4 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
Feilong (Kevin Heng) relates the initial part of this issue. He reminds us how (in the early issues of Avengers (2013)) some aliens (named Abyss and Ex Nihilo) terraformed Mars. But he tells us that humanity never took advantage of that and let Mars die again. So *he* planned to reclaim the planet for Homo Sapiens, and he altered his body to survive on Mars as it is and his company built rockets to transport people and equipment there. But before he could act the mutant nation of Krakoa claimed it and regreened it as Arakko.  But now he's ready to strike back at our mutant 'overlords'.

Now Tony Stark takes over the narration as part of the 'autobiography' that this series claims to be. He recalls various bad times in his life:- The car crash that killed his (adoptive) parents. The bomb that embedded shrapnel near his heart. Discovering his armour tech was being used by supervillains. Fighting Dr Doom in Latveria. This morning when his current adversary came out of the shadows and publicly challenged him.

Now he heads to the New York Stock Exchange (as Iron Man) and enters (as Tony Stark). Inside Feilong is announcing his takeover of Stark Unlimited and promising to work with the (mutant-hating) Orchis organisation (here represented by Nimrod and Dr Stasis) to protect humanity. He welcomes the attendance of Stark, who responds by accusing him of being responsible for the deaths of his neighbour Marielle Marcus and his friend Zhong Wei. Feilong claims not to know what he's talking about and initiates celebrations.

Later Feilong gives a press interview where he reminds folks that Stark relinquished control of his company (at the beginning of the previous series) so now he's bought it to make it great again. He challenges Stark to stop him. Tony reminds him what happened to previous people who took over his company:- Obadiah Stane - suicide. Justin Hammer - lost in space. Justine Hammer - killed by her daughter Sasha. He himself was almost killed by the bomb mentioned earlier. Someone suggests that they could fight for ownership. Feilong says Stark would lose, but Tony dares him to take the challenge.

Tony is surprised when his opponent follows him outside, and realises that he doesn't really know what Feilong can do. So he lets the villain rant while he sizes him up. Feilong advises Stark to give up because he's outdated. As Tony's armour assembles around him he goads Feilong that he should be fighting someone easier like Toad or Blob (some of the X-Men's earliest foes). Feilong responds that he doesn't know who they are because he *isn't* outdated. When Tony closes his helmet his voice changes to that of Iron Man as he suggests that his foe took over Stark Unlimited because the X-Men of Krakoa were too much for him. Feilong parries that with a claim that the mutants have already ensured their own defeat (as we will presumably see in the upcoming Fall Of X event).

Tony thinks to himself that Feilong has already mentioned abandonment (which I don't think he has) and he knows that the man is estranged from his parents, so he gets under the overconfident opponent's skin by saying that he at least knows where his father is (which 1, dead Howard Stark or his real dad Hydra Agent Jude?). It works because Feilong opens his mouth and blasts him (an ability he gave himself in XM (2021) #6). The foe recovers his poise to speak to all the mobile phones that are currently recoding him. He tells them that his business suit is actually an advanced armour of his own so he's ready to fight Iron Man if that's what the public want. IM demonstrates that for him by firing a repulsor blast which the suit shrugs off.

Shellhead switches tactics and blasts open a fire hydrant which washes his enemy off his feet. He follows it up with 2 rockets which knock him down again, and then uproots a parking meter to use as a weapon(!?). He again accuses Feilong of killing his friend Zhong Wei, saying he doesn't have many friends to spare. The other responds with his own jibe, that Stark's (real) parents abandoned him to an orphanage while *he* discarded his parents because they were holding him back. Donning (presumably armoured) gloves he challenges Stark to fight for his company and humanity. Join him and Orchis in the war against mutants and he can have SU back. He even offers to salve Stark's ego by letting it appear that Stark beats him. Stark's response is to 'stress test' Feilong's armour by using the meter as a bat to send him flying through the air over a nearby building.

While flying after his enemy Tony muses that he got too involved in Avengery things like fighting Frost Giants and Celestials and didn't notice the rise of this new business opponent. He catches Feilong before he hits the ground but then 'accidentally' tosses him at the nearby Charging Bull statue, narrowly missing the horns. He fires a hail of non-lethal bullets which Feilong barely deflects with a force shield.

He then creates a force field sphere which his thoughts tell us will shut down any recording devices within it so they can have a private conversation. He opens his faceplate to speak in his normal voice and tells his beaten foe that he understands his anger that the mutants 'stole' Mars from him, and that he somehow thinks Stark once 'owned' the planet. But he's not going to let Stark U and his old tech be used as weapons. And he should know that even Stane and Hammer were wise enough not to harm his friends or family. He doesn't want to kill Feilong so he suggests he confess to the police about blowing up his brownstone (killing his neighbour), and killing Zhong Wei for his SU stock. Feilong refuses and tries to punch Tony in his exposed face. Stark responds by crushing his hand, and recommends SU's health plan. He then jets off before he does anything worse. Feilong laughs to himself that he finally has a worthy opponent.

We cut to the law offices of Jen Walters (She-Hulk). She phones Tony to say that SU's lawyers are coming after the Iron Man tech. She suggests that he hire a specialist intellectual property lawyer.

Iron Man meanwhile is out of Earth's atmosphere. It gives Tony a chance to calm down and meditate. It's also an efficient way to let the planet's rotation bring his destination to him.

On Krakoa Island Emma Frost (White Queen) is relaxing with a cocktail when Armor (Hisako Ichiki) informs her that an unknown entity is approaching from space and X-Force are ready to deal with it. Emma orders them to stand down because she's been expecting this visitor for some time. Iron Man hovers before her and suggests they combine forces against a common enemy. (Probably he hovers because he knows that it is forbidden for non-mutants to set foot on the island.)

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)

(Jennifer Walters)
White Queen
White Queen

(Emma Frost)

Plus: Armor, Dr Stasis (Nathaniel Essex), Feilong (Kevin Heng), Nimrod.

> Invincible Iron Man: Book info and issue index

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