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Invincible Iron Man #54: Review

Jun 2002
Mike Grell, Michael Ryan

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Story Name:

Book of the Ten Rings: Chapter Two

Review & Comments

4 stars

Invincible Iron Man #54 Review by (November 27, 2020)
Comments: Third consecutive issue in which a character holds a gun to their head and pulls the trigger; second consecutive failure to succeed. After her flashy introduction last issue, Friday appears only in the guise of a stereotypical “girl reporter” from old movies.

Review: The story of Ayisha is pure tragedy, turned into a monster against her will when all she wanted to do was protect her country. The story of Pepper Potts, by comparison, just seems like a simple tearjerker, aborting the baby we didn’t know she had, though it did bring a few tears to my eye so it succeeded in its immediate purpose. The story of Temugin is still in progress: peaceful monk or supervillain’s son? It’s his to choose but he doesn’t have to make the decision until Iron Man shows up next issue. So we’re waiting to see what happens to our guest characters though only Ayisha really interests me.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Invincible Iron Man #54 Synopsis by T Vernon
Cyborg Ayisha Ashirov explains to Tony Stark how she survived the battle at the end of issue #50: she fell through into the sewers with the Battlearmor injecting her with drugs to keep her fighting. Realizing she no longer had a life, she bade a silent goodbye to her daughter Marika and came to America (aboard the Russian ship last issue) and now demonstrates to Tony that she can’t kill herself—but perhaps Tony can destroy her. He refuses so she brutally beats him, hoping he will at least kill her in self-defense. But he can’t, so she walks out, wondering if Tony will do it to save someone he loves….

In the remote Asian monastery, Temugin contemplates the peaceful life he has led there and the discovery that he is the son of the Mandarin and now his destiny is to kill a man he does not know to avenge an evil father. He is shown the lab where Sleeping Dragon (the new designer drug) is made and the stolen Russian submarine used to transport it all over the world….

Tony dons the Iron Man armor and flies to Pepper Potts’ home where he finds Ayisha has brutally injured her; she tells Tony she will meet him in ten days at the top of the world. Tony rushes Pepper to the hospital where they save her life but she has miscarried, a surprise to Tony who didn’t know she was pregnant. Happy Hogan arrives, wondering what the good news Pepper had to tell him was; Tony pleads ignorance….

Ten days later, Iron Man waits on Mount Everest, “the top of the world” for his enemy to arrive; he is still distraught over the harm done to Pepper. Friday intrudes on his thoughts with the info needed to locate Ayisha at the North Pole instead; addicted to Sleeping Dragon, Ayisha is following it to its source. Iron Man takes off, following her trail….

Temugin is informed that their enemy Iron Man is coming to them. He vows that he will fulfill his duty of killing Iron Man and then leave the life of the crimelord far behind….

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Barberoids 1 cover original artwork on ebay

Michael Ryan
Sean Parsons
Arsia Rozegar
Mike Grell (Cover Penciler)
Mike Grell (Cover Inker)
Angelo Tsang (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Chris Eliopoulos.
Editor: Tom Brevoort. Editor-in-chief: Joe Quesada.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)
Pepper Potts
Pepper Potts

(Pepper Hogan)

Plus: Ayisha Ashirov, Friday (Friday Stark), Temugin.

> Invincible Iron Man: Book info and issue index

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