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Invincible Iron Man #18: Review

Sep 2009
Matt Fraction, Salvador Larroca

Story Name:

World's Most Wanted Part 11: Kids with Guns vs. The Eternal Angel of Death

Review & Comments

4 stars

Invincible Iron Man #18 Review by (June 5, 2012)
This is the penultimate part of year-long the Dark Reign story where Tony Stark is on the run from Norman Osborn's HAMMER, slowly destroying his own brain to keep its secrets out of the villain's hands.

Tony returns to the Afghan area where he built the first iron suit. This is his updated origin from Iron Man (2005) #1, replacing the Vietnam War original in Tales of Suspense #39.

The Official Index says this armour is a copy of the Model 1 armour Stark used in the earliest issues of Tales of Suspence. But Tony here calls it the Mark 0, just enough to keep him alive at the time. He says he improved it in the US. I figure that all means that the Model 1 armour was a different beast. But nothing really explains why this suit is back in Afghanistan, along with a working computer and power source.

The framing story in Iron Man: Requiem takes place within this issue. The Marvel Chronology Project has it after Tony reaches the cave in p1-2 and before he gets the Mk0 armour partly working in p5-7.

Madame Masque's bald head suggests she wears a wig, along with the mask to hide her scarred face, which is presumably now part of Pepper Potts' disguise.

We're never given a reason why Dubai is the destination of choice.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Invincible Iron Man #18 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
After having his old Iron Man suit shot down in Afghanistan last issue, Tony Stark walks the rest of the way to the abandoned terrorist camp where he built the Model 0 Iron Man armour which saved his life. He remembers that he took that armour back to the US and improved it. But for some reason he must have brought it back here later.

He powers it up, despite knowing that Norman Osborn's HAMMER will be able to detect it. He needs its repulsor power source to finish wiping his brain, to keep the last copy of the Superhero Registration Database (and other stuff) out of Osborn's hands. It's the only Iron Man armour simple enough for his semi-lobotomised brain to control.

In Avengers Tower, Victoria Hand brings Madame Masque to see the captive Maria Hill and Black Widow.

Ex-SHIELD agent Walsh detects the surge of repulsor power in Afghanistan and reluctantly notifies Osborn. Norman says they can't take the HAMMER helicarrier into Afghanistan because the Pentagon wouldn't like it. He wants Walsh to tell him when Stark leaves Afghanistan. Osborn plans to take Stark down in his Iron Patriot armour.

The 2 tribesmen who shot Tony down find him and shoot him before he can get inside the armour. But they turn out to be young boys, and they only crease him. Using translation software in the computer system in the camp, Tony finds out they know who he is, and they want him to make them armour. Tony refuses, and disarms the boys and frightens them off.

Then he gets in the old Model 0 armour and flies away. He figures he has 7 hours left before his brain is wiped clean. And he wants to get to Dubai.

Victoria Hand is overseeing the opening of the Crimson Dynamo armour that HAMMER have retrieved from the ruins of Stark's Tunguska base. (Tony flew it there in #14, and Madame Masque blew the base up in #16.) Inside they discover Madame Masque!

The person we thought was Masque frees Maria Hill and Black Widow, revealing herself to be Pepper Potts. She mentally communicates with the JARVIS AI in the Rescue armour she brought back from Russia, currently stored in Osborn's armoury. JARVIS seeds a virus into the HAMMER computer system.

Walsh has spotted Iron Man's flight and, again reluctantly, tells Osborn. Osborn prepares to leave the helicarrier as Iron Patriot. But then Walsh lies and says Iron Man is heading towards Pakistan. And Osborn flies off in the wrong direction.

Salvador Larroca
Salvador Larroca
Frank D'Armata
Salvador Larroca (Cover Penciler)
Salvador Larroca (Cover Inker)
Letterer: Joe Caramagna.
Editor: Warren Simons.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Black Widow
Black Widow

(Natasha Romanoff)
Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)
Pepper Potts
Pepper Potts

(Pepper Hogan)

Plus: Christopher Walsh, H.A.M.M.E.R., Ms. Hand, Victoria Hand.

> Invincible Iron Man: Book info and issue index

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