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Invincible Iron Man #1: Review

Feb 1998
Kurt Busiek, Sean Chen

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Story Name:

Looking Forward

Review & Comments

4 stars

Invincible Iron Man #1 Review by (September 3, 2019)
Comments: Bannered “Heroes Return.” Sole comics appearance of news anchor Chess Roberts who was played by Olivia Munn in IRON MAN 2. First appearance of Vittorio Silvani whose only other credit is IRON MAN ANNUAL 1999; oddly, the same details also apply to Death Squad. Pepper Potts is drawn with freckles, something that hasn't been seen in decades. Tony is referred to as “the cool exec with the heart of steel,” a line from the Grantray-Lawrence Iron Man cartoon series' theme song. “Special thanks to Alex Ross & Allen Bujak for their armor design contributions.”--Title page.

Review: So Kurt Busiek, one of my favorite writers, brings Iron Man into his third volume—and has him questioning what he's doing with his life. And after beating up some baddies and destroying a project dedicated to his mother, he resolves to turn all of his profits from his new company over to his charity to do good stuff with. And as no one would want to read a superhero comic with that as his only plot, he has Iron Man more or less invite super-villains to come and cause trouble. Because this is a superhero comic. Some nice use of guest stars at the party. Death Squad is a fairly generic gang of baddies with a military theme and they weren't interesting enough to be brought back more than once (see Comments). Okay first issue mainly serves to set up the ensuing series.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Invincible Iron Man #1 Synopsis by Tassos Papiomytoglou
After throwing a party for the christening of his new NY headquarters, Stark encounters the Death Squad, a group of highly-trained mercenaries who where paid from an unknown source to eliminate the billionaire. The result of that fierce combat is the destruction of the new Community's Centre building, a social help project which was started by Stark Industries. This frustrating outcome leads Stark to form a new consulting company under the name of Stark Solutions. The company promises aid to everyone, from the government to individuals. Through
this action, Stark hopes to provoke his enemies in order to discover his ambitious assassin.

Added synopsis by T Vernon.

The world is agog at the news that Tony Stark, billionaire playboy, is still alive (the official story is that he had been held hostage by terrorists) and has bought a skyscraper in NY and will hold a combination rechristening/resurrection party....

And equally exciting is the report that Iron Man is back in action, having returned with several other heroes who vanished in the Onslaught episode. Shellhead picks up a report that bad guys have taken over the Avalon Trading Company whose CEO George Avalon is an old friend of Tony's. Iron Man crashes in through the skylight, shrugs off the bullets, and targets each gang member with repulsor lasers. He then learns that the baddies have killed George Avalon and flattens the gang leader, Vittorio Silvani with a punch; Silvani vows revenge against the hero....

At the big party, Tony greets various VIP guests including J. Jonah Jameson and his wife Dr Marla Madison, Reed and Sue Richards, his lawyers Rosalind Sharpe and Foggy Nelson, competitors Norman Osborn and Sunset Bain. And then there are old friends Pepper Potts and James Rhodes; Pepper is evasive when Tony asks about Happy while Rhodey shifts the conversation to his new salvage business. And then there's Tony's villainous cousin Morgan Stark, who now works for Fujikawa, the company that bought out Stark Enterprises when Tony was believed dead (Vol. 1 #329). Overwhelmed, Tony steps out on the balcony and broods until everyone goes away. He even turns down a come-on from his real estate agent Leah Sheffield....

Brooding about his career as Iron Man, Tony goes over to the construction site where the Maria Stark Foundation is building a community center/medical facility/low-cost housing—but he is followed by Death Squad, a band of mercenaries hired to kill him. The villains are Firefight (guns), Airborne (flight), Smokescreen (cloaking device), Boobytrap (bombs), and Rocket-Launcher (you figure it out). Tony kicks a box of nails at them then flees their gunfire; he manages to dash into a basement and don his armor. Iron Man takes on the baddies; they have the advantage at first, even taking out his boot jets with a gummy substance but when Shellhead catches on to their strengths he is able to turn their weaknesses against them and runs them off. Then he discovers that he has destroyed the new building. At home, he ponders what he wants to do with his life....

The next morning he announces to the media that he will not try to take back Stark Enterprises but is founding Stark Solutions, a consulting firm whose profits will go to the Maria Stark Foundation for projects that will build, not destroy. Then he shows a film of Iron Man threatening any enemies and villains who would take this as an opportunity to work against Tony Stark. The reaction is mixed, Fujikawa and Sunset Bain suspicious of his motives and MODOK and AIM, plus Madame Masque, Midas, and the Mandarin planning trouble....

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Barberoids 1 cover original artwork on ebay

Sean Chen
Eric Cannon
Sean Chen (Cover Penciler)
Eric Cannon (Cover Inker)
Liquid! (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Comicraft.
Editor: Bobbie Chase.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Invisible Woman
Invisible Woman

(Sue Storm)
Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)
J. Jonah Jameson
J. Jonah Jameson

(JJ Jameson)
Mr. Fantastic
Mr. Fantastic

(Reed Richards)
Pepper Potts
Pepper Potts

(Pepper Hogan)
War Machine
War Machine

(James Rhodes)

Plus: Foggy Nelson (Franklin Nelson), Marla Madison, Mordecai Midas, Morgan Stark, Rosalind Sharpe, Sunset Bain (Madame Menace).

> Invincible Iron Man: Book info and issue index

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