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Invincible Iron Man #20: Review

Sep 1999
Roger Stern, Sean Chen

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Story Name:

Cheating Death (Machinery of War Part 3)

Review & Comments

4 stars

Invincible Iron Man #20 Review by (February 3, 2020)
Comments: This is the fourth bio-duplicate of Madame Masque, first seen in issues #10-11; details of her death will appear next issue. Kurt Busiek and Roger Stern co-plotted this issue. Sean Chen and Patrick Zircher co-penciled; four inkers are credited: Jesse Delperdang, Lary Stucker, Larry Mahlstedt, Rob Hunter.

Review: The story arc is wrapped up in spectacular manner with a lot of armored action and a suspenseful race to save Jocasta. Not a lot else to say but…wow. That’s some action.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Invincible Iron Man #20 Synopsis by T Vernon
Iron Man and the new War Machine are being bombarded by every weapons system Jocasta controls while the hapless AI can only apologize. Sunset Bain shuts off her comm-link, leaving WM to assume he is being targeted by his controller StuartRampageClarke. WM takes the opportunity to fire on IM as well and Shellhead barely manages to explode the hunter missile with his repulsor rays. WM goes in for the kill, only to be contacted by James Rhodes in a flying Lamborghini, bringing Parnell Jacobs’ wife Glenda Sandoval with him. We get a flashback to the Sin-Conghese War where Rhodey saved Parnell’s life, making them army buddies thereafter; after the war, they became mercenaries together but the moral questions of their job bothered Rhodey so he walked away from it. Glenda pleads with Parnell to stop but he doesn’t. Iron Man has had time to link to Jocasta’s system and he is able to direct Jocasta’s fire on War Machine. Rhodey reminds Parnell he still owes him for saving his life all those years ago so he stops his attack on Shellhead to cancel the debt. As he takes off, Iron Man revives and knocks the missiles out of the air with scrap that fell off the bulky WM armor. As IM goes into action using WM’s armaments, he appeals to Jocasta to fight what is controlling her. Hearing Tony’s voice, Sunset Bain tells him that the system has been hacked and it’s out of control. Tony knows she’s lying and again encourages Jocasta to fight back—and she does by triggering her self-destruct protocol while sends all of her files to the police. IM heads to the rescue while Sunset Bain makes the hard decision to delete the files and lose control of Jocasta. IM crashes into the lab to find Jocasta’s head melted to slag. With a heavy heart he tells Bain that Tony quits and heads back to the lab where he is able to download Jocasta which he had hastily uploaded during the battle. When Pepper Potts comes in, Tony gives her a big kiss, which is witnessed by Happy Hogan and Jocasta and then heads out to invite Carol Danvers to dinner, leaving three confused staffers….

Epilogue: On Puget Sound, some dredgers uncover the body of a woman and call the police. When Detective Plexico arrives he finds that it is another Madame Masque….

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Barberoids 1 cover original artwork on ebay

Sean Chen
Jesse Delperdang
Steve Oliff
Sean Chen (Cover Penciler)
? (Cover Inker)
? (Cover Colorist)
Plot: . 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: Glenda Sandoval, Jocasta (Jocasta Pym), Rampage, Sunset Bain (Madame Menace), War Machine (Parnell Jacobs).

> Invincible Iron Man: Book info and issue index

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