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Invincible Iron Man #5: Review

Apr 2023
Gerry Duggan, Juan Frigeri

Story Name:

The autobiography of Tony Stark, conclusion

Review & Comments

4 stars

Invincible Iron Man #5 Review by (April 28, 2023)
This is the end of what is billed as the autobiography of Tony Stark.

It adds to the confusing history of Howard Stark including how he might have died. His involvement with Nathaniel Richards and the Brotherhood Of The Shield is particularly difficult to place after Tony's birth because it pre-dated the founding of SHIELD but Tony's birth father was a SHIELD Agent.

Otherworld is a pocket universe that was home to the Celtic gods. It is currently ruled by mutant Jamie Braddock, brother of the current Captain Britain Betsy Braddock and both appearing in the current Excalibur series.
Sunfire's mission to Otherworld is to rescue Redroot, the Voice Of Arakko, from imprisonment there by Mad Jim Jaspers.

These Stark Sentinels are not the same as those created by evil Tony Stark during the AXIS event.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Invincible Iron Man #5 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
In the previous series Tony Stark gave up control of Stark Unlimited and used all his fortune to buy up dangerous black market superweapons. In this series Feilong (Kelvin Heng) has dragged Tony even lower and has also taken over the company. Feilong is also a foe of the mutant nation so Stark has gone to Krakoa to seek the help of Emma Frost (White Queen).

Non-mutants aren't allowed to set foot on the island so Emma and Tony have their meeting on horses. He warns her that Feilong claimed that the mutants are already defeated but they don't yet know it. Emma thinks it's an empty boast. He made a move against Krakoa and their allies on mutant-settled Arakko (Mars) and failed. She's called Sunfire to join them because he has had a personal interaction with Feilong. When he arrives he says he hasn't got long because he's leaving on a mission to Otherworld (as he agreed to do in X-Men (2021) #9). Emma arranges direct mind contact between Tony and Shiro Yashida. In XM#6 Shiro met Feilong on Mars' moon Phobos where he saw him project a blast from his mouth which killed a famous Arakki warrior Vornak. Feilong told Sunfire he was looking for a worthy nemesis. Returning to ordinary speech the mutants tell Tony that telepath Jean Grey learned that Feilong had used the long journey from Earth to Mars to enhance himself with cosmic rays focussed through ruby quartz lenses. Feiling's people still hold Phobos and are tolerated by the Arakki.

Sunfire leaves for Otherworld and Stark gets his AI BOSS to bring his Iron Man suit here. He transfers from his horse to the hovering armour (presumably without ever stepping on the ground). Tony says he considers Feilong a major threat but Emma still isn't convinced. She suggests he may be trying to foment discord between Stark and the mutants. As he too leaves the island he tells her she reminds him of someone (probably Pepper Potts for the grounded advice).

During his return trip to the States Stark gets BOSS to review material being shipped around Stark Unlimited's sites for the last financial quarter. He'd assumed that Feilong was going to use SU to help the mutant-hating Orchis organisation, possibly by giving people enhancements like his own. But now he realises that the villain had infiltrated the company long before he took it over and has been directing massive amounts of metal to a Texas factory. So Iron Man heads there.

Meanwhile in SU's New York HQ Feilong (his arm in a cast from his battle with the Golden Avenger last issue) assures the staff that their jobs are safe. But then he tells an aide to draw up 3 lists:- those who should be fired, those who should be 'retired' with non-competition clauses, and the few who he'll keep. Then he joins 2 nervous techs in SU's secure information room. He wants to review all data on Tony's father Howard Stark. The techs say a lot of that is on analogue files but there are lots of staff now digitising it. But the machines to read some of the analogue files are rare. Feilong looks over the list of what will be available and complains that over 2 dozen entries are missing. The tech explains that those refer to physical objects Howard left Tony, and they're stored at the Texas site. So the boss decides they should go there.

We see a crane replacing the SU sign on the Texas building with the new Feilong version as he and the tech guy walk in. It's a hangar full of obsolete machines but Feilong spots a painting which the tech just happens to know is very valuable. But his boss rips it apart and finds inside a load of old movie reel canisters. Feilong gets hold of a suitable tape player and watches the 1st 1 which is a long video message from Howard to his 'son'. He fast forwards through stuff about Tony's adoption (Tony never found this cache of tapes so he didn't discover he was adopted until his 2013 series.) He then apologises for his long absence with Nathaniel Richards (working for the Brotherhood Of The Shield in the 2010 SHIELD series). At the point he made this tape he'd been working with Adam Brashear (Blue Marvel) whose papers are also archived by the Stark company. Now he's spacesuited-up and is about to pass through a gateway seemingly created by a Van de Graaff generator or a Tesla device. He's going 'beyond' in search of a 'miracle metal' element unknown to man. He's left his research notes on the other tapes. (Presumably he never came back.)

Later Iron Man arrives at (a different part of?) the Texas facility. He forces a big metal door open then steps out of the Iron Man suit. He finds himself facing a huge metal foot and looks up to see a giant IM version of a mutant-hunting Sentinel, still under construction by drones. Then he's zapped in the back by a crowd control drone which Feilong tells him he's selling to police departments. The villain has a metal bin in which he's burning all the tapes. And he's wearing his discretely-armoured suit from last issue and no longer has his arm in a cast. He kicks Stark while he's down and complains again about the Avengers abandoning the newly-greened Mars (in the lead up to the end of the multiverse and Secret Wars). He tells Tony about the discovery Howard had made which was detailed on the burning tapes, which he 1st read with his photographic memory.

Then he puts Stark back in his armour because he wants him alive to witness how he uses the info to remake the world. He vocal blasts Iron Man out of the building and orders the nearly finished Stark Sentinel to use him as target practice. Shellhead is easily defeated by a superior version of his own technology and just manages to fly away. Feilong tells the Sentinel to let him go.

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)
White Queen
White Queen

(Emma Frost)

Plus: Feilong (Kevin Heng), Sunfire.

> Invincible Iron Man: Book info and issue index

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