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Invincible Iron Man #28: Review

Apr 2008
Charles Knauf, Roberto de la Torre

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Story Name:

Haunted, part 8

Review & Comments

Rating:
4 stars

Invincible Iron Man #28 Review by (January 11, 2016)
The price for this extra-long finale issue is $3.99.

Roberto de la Torre reurns to finish the story after taking #27 off.

Buck Richlen was 1 of the renegade SHIELD agents who tried to kill Tony Stark so SHIELD could get control, of his company in #117-119 of the original series. He'll turn up again in Moon Knight (2006) #17-18 selling stolen SHIELD tech.

The escape pod to a mini-sub in the East River sounds familiar, and Dugan remembers it fondly, but I can't find a reference to it in early SHIELD tales. (There are several underground bullet trains, and a Hydra escape tunnel to an abandoned ship.)

Abigail Brand is head of SWORD, the SHIELD branch that deals with extraterrestrial threats. At this point they've only appeared in most issues of Astonishing X-Men. And I can't find any reference there to them appropriating the mini-sub.

The Iron Man armour used here is the Silver Centurion version which debuted in #200 when recovered alcoholic Tony Stark took back the superhero role from Jim Rhodes and defeated Obadiah Stane. The Official Index calls it the Model 8 armour, but the Iron Man Armory calls it the Model 12.

When Mandarin reappears in the next series his Rings will be back on his flesh fingers with no explanation of the transformation or his survival here. He'll be given an updated (and suspect) origin in Annual #1, emerge as Sasha Hammer's father in #33 and we'll get a glimpse of his future plans in the renumbered #500. Those plans will unroll starting in #510.

Immediately after this issue the Official Index has some other Iron Man comics:- a story in Indomitable IM and the framing tale of the IM: Legacy of Doom limited series. But then there are lots of other apps between here and #29.
He's there with everyone else in Giant-Size Astonishing X-Men #1 trying to stop a giant space-bullet from hitting Earth. He's involved in the Captain Marvel mini-series featuring the CM who doesn't know he's really a Skrull replacement. In the middle of that IM pops in to Ms Marvel #24-25 to kick off the pre-Secret Invasion story arc where MsM vies with her own Skrull duplicate. Then he liases with Black Panther in BP#35-36 over an attempted coup by Black Panther. Strangely he suggests the supposedly-dead Mandarin as 1 of Killmonger's possible backers. But then Mandarin was behind aprevious Killmonger attempt back in IM Annual #5 - and villains are always turning up not really dead, like Killmonger himself. Then there's a cameo with some Mighty Avengers at the start of Marvel Apes #1. And he's in most issues of Last Defenders, who start out as the New Jersey Initiative team but then become a different group outside the Initiative.
Shellhead joins loads of other heroes to fight a giant robot in Fantastic Four #556-557. And then in #562, the end of the latest Dr Doom story, there's another mass gathering for the funeral of a future Invisible Woman. After that the OI puts the Avengers/Invaders series which Peter Silvestro has already dealt with. Then back to the FF for a cameo in #563. After all that comes Patsy Walker: Hellcat #1 where Stark sends her to be the 1-woman Initiative team in Alaska.




 

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Invincible Iron Man #28 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
US Secretary of Defence Jack Kooning has fled to Myanmar where he's contacted an old Cambodia comrade and now drug smuggler Xang Kong. He wants to atone for his part in the Extremis mess by killing Mandarin. Xang gives him some men and weapons and a lift in a drug plane piloted by ex-SHIELD agent Buck Richlen.

As they parachute in, Director Tony Stark is facing the UN to explain why SHIELD dropped a (very un-dirty) nuclear bomb on the Prometheus Gentech factory in Nebraska. He's explained that Mandarin used the company to create an airborne version of Extremis, and Extremis is deadly to 97.5% of people. But he also claims that Mandarin escaped and still has the technology. He begs the Assembly to allow Iron Man and SHIELD to go after him.

Kooning and co have Mandarin in their sights. But the villain senses their presence, and a pulse of energy rips the sky. Jack finds his companions have been turned to stone. Suddenly Mandarin is their accompanied by living Terracotta Warriors. 1 of whom beheads Jack.

Back at the SHIELD helicarrier Stark, Dum-Dum Dugan and Maria Hill assess the situation. Mandarin's alias Tem Borjigin controls more than 700 companies worldwide. Tony believes he will be in China, and that the affair at An Hu Po (#18-19) was designed to get SHIELD banned from that country. But that only cuts it down to nearly 400 companies. Stark asks for a list of manufacturing and R&D companies. But they have to go back to the UN to hear the verdict.

The Commission on Superhuman Activities was also involved with the 'trial', and Commissioner Val Cooper announces the findings, flanked by a grinning Norman Osborn. She orders the trio be arrested for terrorism and Stark for violations of the Superhuman Registration Act (when he ignored the order to cease operating as Iron Man in the past few issues). Stark is also sacked as Director of SHIELD.

But Dugan activates a 'trap door' operation, and SHIELD agents abseil into the UN Assembly. Tony didn't know anything about this, but Dum-Dum reminds him that Stark authorised him to use Nick Fury-style dirty tricks. As Dugan hustles Stark out of the room, Maria Hill announces that SHIELD has locked down the building to protect it from external threat - ie the Extremis virus. She's using the authority of the UN-based SHIELD, of which she is Director now that Stark has been deposed.

Meanwhile Dugan takes Stark to a secret Nick Fury base under the building. They pass an escape pod that would take them to the East River. But they can't use it because the mini-sub at the other end has been borrowed by Abigail Brand and SWORD. Instead Dum-Dum had taken the liberty of requisitioning another old Iron Man armour from Stark International.

As Iron Man heads towards space to get a better overview Dugan remains at the secret base's communications centre. They detect signs of life at the An Hu Po hospital which was supposedly closed down. Breaking in Tony finds Maya Hansen. After convincing herself he's not 1 of Mandarin's illusions (see last issue), she explains that the villain now does have the airborne nano-virus without its programmed cell death safety feature. But she also mentions that she based the airborne aspect of the virus on the nano-cams she developed for Stark and SHIELD.

Dugan contacts Iron Man to inform him that the US military have the UN building surrounded but don't know what to do next. But also Xang Kong has contacted SHIELD to tell them about Kooning's mission - and that Kong has lost contact with his men outside Tem Borjigin's estate in Hopeh Province.

Stark uses his armour's connection to the SHIELD (or Stark?) database to list Borjigin's 97 factories in Hopeh. Chemical/biotech just decreases it to 49. But then he remembers last issue's 'vision' of Ho Yinsen and son talking about rainclouds and the Chinese ambassador's mention of weather modification for the Beijing Olympics. He asks for a list of Borjigin sites working on climate modification, and gets just 1 - I-Clime where we saw Mandarin's men preparing the virus and rockets last issue.

Iron Man bursts in to that site and confronts Mandarin. They fight, but the rockets are already set to seed the clouds with virus. The Golden Avenger blasts 2 of his foe's fingers, expecting to destroy some of the Rings. But Mandy removes a glove to reveal a prosthetic hand. And Tony remembers that the villain now has the Rings fused to his spine. (But the blasts still come via his hands.)

The battle continues until Shellhead rips 5 of the Rings from Mandarin's back. After more bruising combat IM has his enemy on the ropes. But Mandarin can still gloat, because the rockets have already been launched from 42 sites. Iron Man's uni-beam blasts the bad guy into a wall, and Stark tries to figure out how to stop the virus.

He reviews the design of the SHIELD nano-cams and remembers that they are vulnerable to extreme cold. But he's going to need his Extremis abilities to make use of that fact. The government had fitted him with an adamantium anklet which prevented him using Extremis. So Tony uses a built-in laser to slice his own heel bone off, allowing him to slip the anklet over his foot.

Fighting the pain he locates all the missiles and then overrides their programming to send them up into the stratosphere where the cold will kill the virus.

Enraged Mandarin punctures a nearby cannister of Extremis, despite knowing that he himself is 1 of those who will be killed by it. But Stark freezes the virus with a freon stream. And Mandarin is turned into a statue as Tony finally allows himself to faint.

Later his own Extremis has healed Tony's foot. Dum-Dum tells him that the crisis is over. All charges are dropped and he's back as Director of SHIELD.

The Mandarin 'statue' is taken to Beijing. But when they cut into it they find that it is hollow and the man is gone.



Story #2

Haunted [Part 8]

Colorist: Dean White.

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

By None


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Hideth #1 comic

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


Characters

Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)

Plus: Abigail Brand.

> Invincible Iron Man: Book info and issue index

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