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Invincible Iron Man #22: Review

Sep 2007
Charles Knauf, Roberto de la Torre

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Story Name:

Haunted, part 2

Review & Comments

4 stars

Invincible Iron Man #22 Review by (December 23, 2015)
The story-so-far page gives away the 'secret' that Tem Borjigin is Mandarin. Happy Hogan was in a coma in #14, and died there - possibly after Tony Stark switched his life support off. Stark's reasoning about Paragon is suspect (despite the fact that he was right). Controlling the density of his own body makes Paragon more like Vision than Graviton - who could be invulnerable due to a gravitational force shield rather than making his body dense. Gadget was made more dense by decreasing her volume, which I think Graviton could do. Vision-like density increase is usually attributed to dragging in more mass from another dimension, while remaining the same size.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Invincible Iron Man #22 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
The SHIELD helicarrier is hovering over Omaha while Iron Man investigates what happened to 2 of the Nebraska Initiative team when they encountered Graviton last issue. The injured villain was put in a coma to stop him escaping. But now SHIELD has taken charge of Graviton so Tony Stark can interrogate him. They will only have a brief time before the Commission on Superhuman Activities demands he be released back to federal custody, but Maria Hill is worried about what will happen if they wake him.

Dum Dum Dugan is suspending operations of the Nebraska team and taking all their files, much to the disgust of its leader Captain Ultra. Tony tries to cool Griffin Gogol down, and learns that the dead Gadget liked solving cold cases for the local cops, usually using statistical methods. She'd discovered that Nebraska had an unusually high number of missing persons recently.

Graviton is awake and Iron Man goes to talk to him. The villain seems to be raving, but claims he didn't escape from a prison transport recently - he was busted out. And that it wasn't him that killed Gadget. He also suggests that Stark is haunted by the 'ghosts' of those he's failed (like Captain America and Gadget last issue), and he tells Tony to listen to what they say.

Dum Dum and Maria are worried about Tony living in his armour almost permanently lately. And their concerns aren't eased when Stark says he believes Graviton.

In Washington DC Tem Borjigin, head of Prometheus Gentech Inc in Nebraska, has gone to see Secretary of Defence Jack Kooning to complain about Tony Stark's presence in Omaha - it's distracting Maya Hansen from her work. Prometheus is doing work for the government, developing an Extremis process that will create a national champion to replace the dead Captain America. And Borjigin reports that they have progressed faster than expected, already testing it on human subjects (without Maya's knowledge). Kooning is shocked (although he must have expected it eventually). They agree that this mustn't leak out, and Kooning will get Stark and SHIELD away from the state.

SHIELD can't find anything about missing people in the Nebraska Initiative's files, so Iron Man heads to Gadget's apartment to check her personal computer. There's nothing there either, but Tony suspects someone's been here before him.

Then he has a vision of Happy Hogan in intensive care, who reminds him that Graviton had told Gadget "The machine is behind you".

IM goes to see Paragon (Cooper Roth) in his hospital bed and accuses him of killing Gadget, because according to his own testimony he was behind her when she died. Paragon has invulnerability (as well as flight, super-strength and super-speed). But he was still injured in the explosion last issue, and the medics were able to insert an IV line. So obviously his invulnerability isn't always on. Stark reasons that Cooper consciously controls the density of his flesh, like Graviton - and so can do other stuff like Graviton, including squashing Gadget to a small ball.

Paragon responds by trying to crush Iron Man, but his armour resists. The Golden Avenger threatens to hit Cooper, and Captain Ultra streaks to his defense. Griffin takes all his pent-up anger and frustration out on Stark, until IM is forced to respond. But by then Cooper Roth is gone.

We see Coop in the basement of Prometheus where we saw bodies in containers last issue. He is crying next to 1 holding his mother Gretchen, and Borjigin is telling him they were unable to save her.

Story #2


Colorist: Dean White.

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

By None

Story #3


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

By None

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Barberoids 1 cover original artwork on ebay

Roberto de la Torre
Roberto de la Torre
Dean White
Gerald Parel (Cover Penciler)
Gerald Parel (Cover Inker)
Gerald Parel (Cover Colorist)


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)

(Franklin Hall)
Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)

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