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Invincible Iron Man #55: Review

Jul 2002
Mike Grell, Michael Ryan

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Story Name:

Book of the Ten Rings: Chapter Three

Review & Comments

4 stars

Invincible Iron Man #55 Review by (December 4, 2020)
Comments: Extra-sixed issue is overall #400. Issue includes three illustrations: a portrait of Iron Man by George Tuska, Iron Man with various villains by Bob Layton, and Iron Man with his supporting cast (including Mandarin and Whiplash?) by Sean Chen, Eric Cannon, and Arsia Rozegar. Battle armor is two words here where it was one word in the previous issue. Title of the second story is sourced within the tale: once the genie (Iron Man’s identity) comes out of the bottle, it can’t be put back in. Temugin returns in issues #68-69 and Ayisha has not been seen since (as of 2020).

Review: What an odd cover, with that long horse face on Shellhead (hmmm, HorseFace ShellHead. Sounds like a relative of SpongeBob SquarePants) and it’s mainly pink! Someone was distracted that day. And the first page is also a hoot, with a sailor spotting Ayisha then Iron Man and being dismissed by his mates as crazy. It’s mostly a Temugin tale with Ayisha being a supporting player and Pepper relegated to a side matter; the second story has Tony’s identity exposed. The most interesting part is in the confrontation between the two antagonists: Tony doesn’t think the fight will be fair; Temugin agrees—and removes the Rings of Power; Tony should have realized something was up. The first tale feels incomplete with the explosively abrupt ending (and Ayisha’s vanishing from the comic); the second is a bit too long for what it does—unless one really enjoys seeing Rumiko tear into Tony like that. Milestone issue wraps up its tales satisfyingly.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Invincible Iron Man #55 Synopsis by T Vernon
Iron Man trails Ayisha Ashirov to the Arctic while in communication with Happy Hogan who still doesn’t know Pepper Potts miscarried. Friday warns Shellhead of a coming storm as he catches up to his quarry. Ayisha, a drug-addicted cyborg, wants nothing more than to die and has lured Tony there with the hopes that he will kill her. In his anger, Iron Man tells her that Pepper was pregnant and Ayisha responds that she then deserves a terrible death but Tony still doesn’t respond. The villain’s sub rises through the ice, knocking out both of the combatants; Temugin directs that they both be taken aboard. Later, when he has recovered he meets with Temugin where they exchange the usual pleasantries of a hero meeting a supervillain. Temugin shows that they have Ayisha in a glass tank and his scientists want to dissect her; he then challenges Tony to a fight….

They meet in an arena, the Iron Man armor being fully charged. Tony doesn’t think the fight is fair, so Temugin removes the Rings of Power. And to Tony’s surprise, the villain’s speed and dexterity allows him to dodge Iron Man’s weapon attacks and deliver several crushing blows to the armor. Shellhead fights back in earnest but his power is leaking due to systems damage. Temugin has his foe at his mercy when the escaped Ayisha blows up the sub, tearing a major hole in the arctic ice….

Ayisha puts the injured Iron Man on the deck of the nearby research vessel and leaves, bidding him a silent farewell….

There's a 2nd story:- “Out of the Bottle”

Writer: Mike Grell. Art: Mike Grell. Colors: Arsia Rozegar, Avalon.

Dreaming about a life with Pepper Potts and their child, Tony Stark returns to America aboard the S.S. Prometheus where his disappearance has created a stir in the business world. He hastily calls a press conference, mentioning a big announcement, but mainly to get everything settled again. He runs into Rumiko Fujikawa at the party and she resents his keeping her out of his life and they part on bad terms. Then, a gang of bank robbers, racing away from the crime scene, are heading toward a pet dog; instantly, Tony dons his Iron Man armor and drops to the street and halts the car. Violently. The revelation that Tony Stark is Iron Man becomes a sensation, with Rumiko exploding with anger that he never told her….

Later, Tony meets with Pepper where they have a sad moment, mourning the relationship—and the child—that never was….

And there's also a 3rd story:- “Jay Leno & Spider-Man: One Night Only! Part Two (Don’t Forget to Tip Your Waitress)”

Writer: Ron Zimmerman. Pencils: Greg Capulo. Inks: Danny Miki. Colors: Dan Kemp, Avalon.

Part of a three-part story running across multiple Marvel titles.

Story #2

Iron Man Gallery

Penciler: George Tuska. Colorist: ?.

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

By None

Story #3

Iron Man Gallery

Penciler: Bob Layton. Colorist: ?.

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

By None

Story #4

Iron Man Gallery

Penciler: Sean Chen. Colorist: Arsia Rozegar.

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

By None

Story #5

Out of the Bottle

Letterer: Chris Eliopoulos.

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

By None

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Barberoids 1 cover original artwork on ebay

Michael Ryan
Sean Parsons
Avalon Studios
Kia Asamiya (Cover Penciler)
Kia Asamiya (Cover Inker)
Kia Asamiya (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), Rumiko Fujikawa, Temugin.

> Invincible Iron Man: Book info and issue index

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