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Invincible Iron Man #71: Review

Oct 2003
Robin Laws, Robert Teranishi

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Story Name:

Vegas Bleeds Neon Part Two

Review & Comments

4 stars

Invincible Iron Man #71 Review by (March 5, 2021)
Comments: First appearance of the Ablative Armor Mark I.  Eric Cannon and Robin Riggs share inking duties.

Review: The plot thickens: Howard Hughes and aliens? That’s new. Usually it’s weird stories about Hughes’ reclusive final years but I’ll take this any day. So, Shellhead heads into an alien ship and gets infected with “stuff,” causing a multitude of problems. Not bad for a story that started out as “Tony Stark, PI.” And the new armor is pretty cool with the ablative tiles with their oddball properties as well as the invasion of the alien ship. All around cool, if a bit somber, which is the effect of the realistic art.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Invincible Iron Man #71 Synopsis by T Vernon
At a Las Vegas hotel, a green ooze has animated the Iron Man armor and now it’s trying to kill Tony Stark. Tony finds that the ooze adapts to any of the fail-safe measures so he hits the self-destruct button which kills it. He has his hazmat team scoop it up….

Tony meets with his partner Saige Kaufman and shows her his new ablative armor, covered with polymer tiles that pop off when damaged and are quickly replaced by new ones. This is the perfect defense against what Tony is calling the nanoplasm, nanites that spread like a virus converting machinery into flesh and blood; it is what the mysterious diagram was picturing….

Tony meets with casino boss Marc Vicus who was an old friend of Tony’s father before he got into the casino business. But when Tony asks why he left his old industries to come to Vegas, Vicus is evasive. Tony reviews the recording he made of the conversation and becomes curious. He and Saige do some research and learn that Vicus’ first property in Vegas once belonged to Howard Hughes and before that it was the site of a UFO crash. Iron Man heads out to investigate the property and, using magnetic imaging to locate the buried UFO, he drills into the earth and enters the ship. Its automatic defenses attack Shellhead and scrape off some of the new armor’s tiles, effectively poisoning the craft. Iron Man then finds Mo Stanton, hooked up to the ship by a maze of cables, tubes, and probes. Stanton reveals Vicus’ scheme: the casino owner has been taken over by the alien “stuff” and is planning to infect all of Las Vegas with its DNA. Stanton was writing a book about Howard Hughes and Vicus mistook him for an enemy. As the tiles kill the ship, Iron Man bursts through to the surface with Stanton. Then, in an instant of distraction, one of the alien bugs leaves Stanton’s body and pierces Shellhead’s armor, infecting Tony with the alien nanoplasm….

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Barberoids 1 cover original artwork on ebay

Robert Teranishi
Eric Cannon
Tony Avina
Tony Harris (Cover Penciler)
Tony Harris (Cover Inker)
Tom Feister (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Randy Gentile.
Editor: Tom Brevoort. Editor-in-chief: Joe Quesada.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)

> Invincible Iron Man: Book info and issue index

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