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Invincible Iron Man #12: Review

Jan 1999
Kurt Busiek, Patrick Zircher

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Story Name:

Spoils of War

Review & Comments

4 stars

Invincible Iron Man #12 Review by (November 26, 2019)
Comments: Part two of two parts. First appearance of Hannah Donleavy who will show up again over the next few issues.

Review: A grim and visually cluttered issue gives us a good look at Tony realizing that being Iron Man is yet another addiction that he can’t handle. As promised last issue Tony has another life-threatening malady that threatens to end his career as Iron Man; when comics came out once a month for years, things like this weren’t so obvious but now that we have the ability to binge-read years of comics at a time, certain trends and repetitions becomes clearer. So, here’s the latest bump in Tony’s medical history and his ongoing quarrels with a multitude of doctors, pleadings of friends, and threats from villains. This one isn’t bad per se but after a while it becomes amusing. And to end on an unsubtle note we find out all about next issue’s bad guy! See you in thirty, as they used to say….


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Invincible Iron Man #12 Synopsis by T Vernon
Tony Stark is mentally recounting the history of James Rhodes as the original War Machine but then he is brought back to the present: the villainous new War Machine threatens to hurl the injured Iron Man to his doom unless Warbird backs off…but Tony has recovered enough to blast the baddie with his repulsor rays, setting him up for Warbird to punch him into the sky. But WM recovers quickly and fires back; Shellhead suggests that he and Warbird need to work together to defeat their foe but she won’t take orders, as she perceives it. War Machine takes the opportunity to complete his original task and destroys the Anodyne plant. Sunset Bain is watching remotely and promises him a bonus to be “a little extra-destructive.” As WM starts smashing everything and Iron Man has to rescue endangered employees, he realizes he is responsible for the War Machine armor and what is done with it—and that gives him an idea…. Meanwhile, Rhodey rushes out to investigate his theory about the impostor…. And Warbird is shocked when Iron Man flies off, leaving her with the villain, who promptly punches her into the sky….

Iron Man returns home to face the scorn of Jane Foster but he is in a hurry to save lives so Pepper Potts agrees to get him what he needs. Meanwhile, Happy Hogan answers the doorbell to meet Hannah Donleavy of the local youth league for an appointment with Tony; she is annoyed to find that the famous Stark is blowing her off once again but she recognizes Happy from his boxing days and invites him to talk to the kids some time….

Back at the Anodyne site, War Machine is overwhelming Warbird with his superior military training, ready to snap her neck when Iron Man arrives and clouts him. Shellhead attaches a negator pack to him, an object devised during the Armor Wars which will seek out and destroy any Stark-created tech in a villain’s armor. But it doesn’t work—and Tony is stunned to discover there is no Stark tech in this armor that he thought he had created. War Machine punches IM and jets off. Tony tries to follow but his strength gives out and he plummets until caught by Warbird who returns him to his home, where Jane Foster is forced to deal with this uncooperative patient….

The next day, Sunset Bain calls Tony and offers her condolences over his losing the Anodyne job and offering to hire him for a job of her own. And now Tony knows who it was hired the evil War Machine to destroy Anodyne. Angry, he drags himself out of bed and tries to put on his armor but he quickly collapses. Jane lets him speak to Hank Pym who has discovered what is going on: the electrical systems in his armor are slowly killing him and he must give up being Iron Man….

Later that night, Carol Danvers visits Tony, having been called by Pepper. She apologizes for her anger over his attempts to help her with her drinking and she promises to see him after he returns from rehab. The next day he is sent to the Basel Stress Clinic in Northern California—and we learn in the final panel that Dr Xander Basel, the clinic’s director, is secretly the Controller….

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Barberoids 1 cover original artwork on ebay

Patrick Zircher
Larry Mahlstedt
Steve Oliff
Sean Chen (Cover Penciler)
Lary Stucker (Cover Inker)
Liquid! (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Richard Starkings.
Editor: Bobbie Chase. Editor-in-chief: Bob Harras.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)
James Rhodes
James Rhodes

Pepper Potts
Pepper Potts

(Pepper Hogan)

Plus: Controller (Basil Sandhurst), Sunset Bain (Madame Menace), War Machine (Parnell Jacobs), Warbird (Carol Danvers).

> Invincible Iron Man: Book info and issue index

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