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Invincible Iron Man #31: Review

Sep 2008
Stuart Moore, Carlo Pagulayan

Story Name:

With iron hands, part 3 of 4

Review & Comments

4 stars

Invincible Iron Man #31 Review by (March 1, 2016)
Roberto de la Torre now drops out as artist, but that still leaves Carlos Pagulayan/Jeffrey Huet and Steve Kurth/Andrew Hennessy as art teams. My guess is that Kurth did the 1st half of the issue and Pagulayan the last half. The split may be where Alpha Team are taken over and fire on the Commandos.

I believe this is the only appearance of Dugan's Flying Commandos. His dialogue in this issue makes it clear that he's named the team after Sgt Fury's Howling Commandos, but he doesn't spell it out. Possibly because this would involve an explanation as to how he and Nick Fury were in WWII but are still active now. The explanation at this time would have involved them being kept young by the Infinity Formula. But Original Sins #5 will reveal that the real Dugan was killed soon after they joined SHIELD, and he's actually been a Life Model Decoy since then - but 1 that *believes* he is the real deal. However this does raise a question about the the fact that at this point DDD is actually a Skrull replacement - given how the replacements are achieved.

Paladin will skip over Secret Invasion and will become part of Norman Osborn's Thunderbolts in Dark Reign.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Invincible Iron Man #31 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
The SHIELD helicarrier is being menaced by the huge Overkill Mind. Tech-whizz Gaffer can't tell Deputy Director Maria Hill much about it. Deputy Director Dum-Dum Dugan wants to deploy his new squad but Hill vetoes it. (It seems 1 Deputy ranks higher than the other, and Director Tony Stark is currently out of communication.) NORAD informs them that this thing left the Pentagon after SHIELD Special Weapons Director Nicolas Weir did something to it.

The Mind contacts them demanding Tony Stark. It scans them, and Gaffer recognises the scan as something from Nick Weir's research. Maria Hill barks orders, including agreeing to unleash Dugan's people.

Meanwhile down below in Kirikhstan Stark is trapped inside his powerless Iron Man suit. And his armoured Alpha Team aren't doing much better. The mercenary Paladin crippled his system last issue with a gun designed by Nasim Rahimov using information Stark and he had shared when they worked together. But Tony realises that Rahimov doesn't know anything about Extremis, which is much more intimately connected to the man than previous armours were. So he uses his direct access to bring the suit back to life.

Iron Man blasts Paladin, and the other mercenaries who were mobbing the Alpha Team run away. Then he gets back into contact with the helicarrier and confirms that they're in trouble. 2 of the Alphas are still active, but Farrell's suit is dead. Shellhead sends Carstairs and Colletti to help the carrier. He will join them after he's restarted Farrell's armour and they collect the mini-nukes they came for.

All the while Paladin has been trying to get back in SHIELD's good books, after revealing he'd switched sides last issue. He tries to parlay info about Rahimov into returning to work for SHIELD. Stark doesn't seem too receptive.

Upstairs Dugan has assembled his team:- Tim Dugan's Flying Commandos. But Maria Hill reminds him that their jetpacks are designed for use as a drop team, not for aerial combat. So she tells them to hang back and let the 2 Alpha Team guys go in 1st.

The Overkill Mind wants to do what it was designed for and remotely detonate their weapons. But its programming requires a human to give permission, which is why it has incorporated Weir into its system. But Nick holds back. He wants Tony Stark to be here to witness how his tech is superior to Stark's own. (We learned in #29 that he resented how his weapons research department had taken a back seat since Stark took over as Director of SHIELD.)

Weir fights as the OM makes more changes to his brain. But at last he succumbs, and the OM lashes out and kills the Alphas. And then their armours start firing on Dugan's Commandos.

Iron Man has left Farrell to secure the thumbnail nukes, and Paladin lying in a heap. Now he arrives to find Dugan's grunts executing a fighting retreat. Dum-Dum's jetpack gets hit, and the Golden Avenger has to rescue him from falling. On the way back up Dugan gives him a sitrep. Stark sends an override which puts the Alpha suits in passive hover mode, and then sets off for a personal confrontation with the Overkill Mind.

IM penetrates the OM's system, but he mistakenly assumes it's another part of Rahimov's plan. This riles Nick Weir into taking back more control of his mind, and ranting at his 'rival'. Tony only vaguely remembers the guy, and has to call up info from the SHIELD database. He now recalls that Weir always seemed a bit  unstable, and Tony had preferred to liaise with Gaffer. (You'd think as SHIELD Director he'd have done something about a 'twitchy' department head.)

Stark finds that Weir blocks him from gaining control of the Mind. He tries to talk Nick round, but Weir just continues railing at him. Meanwhile he's discovered the nanobots infesting Weir's brain. (Weir used nanotech to upgrade the Overkill Horn into the Overkill Mind in #29, and now the Mind has repaid the kindness.) Tony tries to control the nanites, but they're too slippery.

So Iron Man resorts to blasting his way into the Overkill Mind. But then SHIELD find that the OM has just triggered a countdown in their stock of missiles, including nuclear warheads.

Story #2

With Iron Hands Part Three

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

By None

Carlo Pagulayan
Jeffrey Huet
Joel Seguin
Adi Granov (Cover Penciler)
Adi Granov (Cover Inker)
Adi Granov (Cover Colorist)


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)

> Invincible Iron Man: Book info and issue index

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