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Invincible Iron Man #20: Review

Nov 2009
Matt Fraction, Salvador Larroca

Story Name:

Start: Disassembled Part 1: Counting Up from Zero

Review & Comments

Rating:
3 stars

Invincible Iron Man #20 Review by (June 13, 2012)
This is part 1 of 5 of Stark: Disassembled, wherein Tony Stark's friends rebuild the mind that he destroyed in World's Most Wanted.

Howard and Maria are Tony's long-dead parents, but he doesn't remember who they are. But then he doesn't remember who he is either.

Did Tony know which Captain America he'd be addressing when he made the recording? Because he talks about always looking up to Cap and Thor, which hardly applies to Bucky.

He lists heroes who've died (although some have come back):- Cap, Bucky, Thor, Bill Foster, Wasp, Hawkeye. At the time he made the recording Cap would still have been dead. But he knew Hawkeye was back because he offered him the Cap job in Fallen Son #3.

There's been some confusion over the source of Pepper Potts' chest implant. It was said to be Rand tech in #4. But then Tony said it was Stark tech in #13. The 2nd story here says it's Rand again. But the 1st story suggests it's Stark. Next issue will resolve the problem by saying it's a joint Rand/Stark device.

Tony says Pepper has the only working repulsor power source left. But what about War Machine's armour? In Secret Invasion Stark said that armour wasm't susceptible to the Skrull virus that took down all other Stark tech. And it also turned out that it was partially Stane tech (presumably Obadiah not Ezekiel). So maybe he doesn't have a repulsor power source.

I don't really buy Pepper not wanting to revive Tony.

Pepper has her own Rescue 1-shot which fits somewhere around Stark Disassembled. I'll speculate where in my comments on that issue itself.

As well as Hood, Madame Masque and HAMMER agents at Osborn's meeting, there are Answer, Basilisk, Brothers Grimm, Death Adder, Razor-Fist and Squid. There's also a guy in civilian clothes who no-one seems to be able to identify.
Hood last had a cameo in Mighty Avengers #32, but before that had a mystic battle in the Dr Voodoo mini-series after getting a new source of magic in New Av #56-60.
These particular minions were last all together in the 2009 Punisher series but only Basilisk and Death Adder played a large role (after being resurrected by Hood along with several other dead villains). Answer and Squid were in the Dark Reign: Mr Negative limited series while Brothers Grimm and Razor-Fist featured in several issues of Av: Initiative. Answer, Brothers Grimm and Razor-Fist were in Hood's gang during NAv#55-60.

Now that he's called off the hunt for Tony Stark Osborn leaves the series at this point, as do all the assembled villains bar Masque.
Osborn still has many more apps before the Siege of Asgard ends his Dark Reign, starting with Dark Av: Ares #3, Vengeance of Moon Knight #2 and Dark Av Annual #1. Hood will join him for VoMK#2-3 and then show up in Amazing Spider-Man #626 which will take him to the edge of Siege.
Answer, Brothers Grimm and and Razor-Fist will continue in Hood's gang into Siege in NAv#61. The other minions will avoid Siege and show up afterwards (Basilisk in Hercules #3-6, Death Adder in X-Men: To Serve & Protect #2-4 and Squid not until Secret Avengers #29-32).

Ghost is supposedly an anti-capitalist vigilante, but strangely pursues his calling by hiring himself out to capitalist organisations. He uses the Ghost tech he invented to become invisible and intangible. That last bit enables him to phase through things like Kitty Pryde and Vision. During Dark Reign he joined Norman Osborn's Thunderbolts from #128 but he's been shown to have his own agenda.

The titanomechs in Tony's dreams will be built for Mandarin after the series switches to cumulative numbering from #500.

The 2nd story puts most Iron Man adventures since Civil War in a sequence. It might have made even more sense to go back to the origin of the Extremis armour. There is an early Director of SHIELD tale not mentioned, involving some Mandarin-backed terrorists. And the sequence of the DoS stories is wrong, because World War Hulk comes before the Mandarin/Extremis plot and the Overkill Mind. And no mention is made of the Avengers Initiative. But apart from that it's OK.

*** The rest of the Comments are earlier versions of parts of this Comment that I can't get rid of.


There's been some confusion over the source of Pepper Potts' chest implant. It was said to be Rand tech in #4. But then Tony said it was Stark tech in #13. The 2nd story here says it's Rand again. But the 1st story suggests it's Stark. Next issue will resolve the problem by saying it's a joint Rand/Stark device. Tony says Pepper has the only working repulsor power source left. But what about War Machine's armour? In Secret Invasion Stark said that armour wasn't susceptible to the Skrull virus that took down all other Stark tech. And it also turned out that it was partially Stane tech (presumably Obadiah not Ezekiel). So maybe he doesn't have a repulsor power source. I don't really buy Pepper not wanting to revive Tony. Pepper has her own Rescue 1-shot which fits somewhere around Stark Disassembled. I'll speculate where in my comments on that issue itself. As well as Hood, Madame Masque and HAMMER agents at Osborn's meeting, there are (according to ComicBook DB) Answer, Basilisk, Brothers Grimm and Razor-Fist (who I recognise), and Bird-Man, Death Adder and Squid (I only see 2 extras, but I'm not sure which 2). There's also a guy in civilian clothes, who isn't one of those last 3. But I'm also I'm pretty sure he isn't Clay Quartermain (also mentioned in ComicBook DB). Ghost is supposedly an anti-capitalist vigilante, but strangely pursues his calling by hiring himself out to capitalist organisations. he uses the Ghost tech he invented to become invisible and intangible. That last bit enables him to phase through things like Kitty Pryde, and Vision. During Dark Reign he joined Norman Osborn's Thunderbolts.

This is part 1 of 5 of Stark: Disassembled, wherein Tony Stark's friends rebuild the mind that he destroyed in World's Most Wanted. Howard and Maria are Tony's long-dead parents, but he doesn't remember who they are. But then he doesn't remember who he is either. Did Tony know which Captain America he'd be addressing when he made the recording? Because he talks about always looking up to Cap and Thor, which hardly applies to Bucky. He lists heroes who've died (although some have come back):- Cap, Bucky, Thor, Bill Foster, Wasp, Hawkeye. At the time he made the recording Cap would still have been dead. But he knew Hawkeye was back because he offered him the Cap job in Fallen Son #3.



 

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Invincible Iron Man #20 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
Tony Stark has wiped his own brain clear to keep his secrets safe from Norman Osborn. Now he's in a persistent vegetative state in the care of Dr Donald Blake (Thor). With them are Pepper Potts, Maria Hill, Black Widow and Captain America (Bucky).

Internally, Tony has a recurring 'dream' in which he is on an archaeological dig with his people named Howard and Maria. They are uncovering modern artefacts like cars and planes. But their dig is always disrupted by giant robots Tony calls titanomechs, which he has designed but never built. And the dream starts again, but each time slightly different. Only Tony remembers that the dreams recur.

Tony is looking for something, and by the end of the issue he has started to uncover an Iron Man chestplate.

Meanwhile his friends are listening to a recording Tony made just before he handed SHIELD over to Osborn after Secret Invasion. He left the recording with the AI JARVIS in Pepper's Rescue armour, to be played when his brain was gone.

Stark says JARVIS knows a way of getting him back. If they want to. Because he knows a lot of what has happened (Civil War, Secret Invasion, Osborn's Dark Reign) can be blamed on him. But he's done his best to deny Osborn the use of the best Stark tech. Pepper has the only working repulsor generator left.

He also has some advice for the heroes. He claims Osborn succeeded because the good guys weren't united. He says Osborn will bring his own reign down by overreaching. And the heroes will be able to defeat his rigid organisation by independent but coordinated attacks. Resilient is the watchword.

Everyone agrees to resurrect Stark. Except initially Pepper, his right-hand woman who was turning into his lover! She doesn't see why he should get a 2nd chance, when all the other people who died from Civil War on don't. Including her husband Happy.

Osborn holds a meeting at Avengers Tower of some of Hood's gang. He tells them that he's withdrawing the bounty on Stark's head. He wants Tony to remain in his mindless state, and doesn't want him killed.

He also thanks Madame Masque in an aside, for her recent help. This puzzles Hood as he doesn't know that his lover was set on Iron Man's trail by Osborn, to exact her personal revenge on her old flame.

After some convoluted self-justification, the less-than-sane Masque disobeys and sends the Ghost to kill Tony.



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Elektra

> Invincible Iron Man: Book info and issue index


Story #2

The Invincible Iron Man Saga

Writer: John Rhett Thomas.

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

This gives a quick resume of recent events.

It starts with the Superhero Civil War, resulting in the deaths of Happy Hogan and Captain America, and the splitting of the Avengers.

After the Civil War Tony Stark becomes Director of SHIELD. During his tenure he foils Mandarin's plot to turn Extremis into a virus, beats Nicholas Weir and the Overkill Mind, and participates in World War Hulk. But he also loses friends Sal Kennedy and Maya Hansen, and becomes worried about the effects of the Extremis process on his body and mind.

Then we get to the Matt Fraction era I've been documenting. Ezekiel Stane deals a serious blow to Stark Industries. And the Skrull invasion disables all Stark tech, including his Extremis armour. Norman Osborn ends the invasion by killing the Skrull Queen. Osborn is given a position of power. He forms the Dark Avengers and turns SHIELD into HAMMER.

In the storyline I've just finished he wants the Superhero Registration Database. Stark destroys all copies but the one in his brain, goes on the run, and wipes his brain clean.

And here we are.



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::: click cover to ENLARGE it :::


Salvador Larroca
Salvador Larroca
Frank D'Armata
Salvador Larroca (Cover Penciler)
Rian Hughes (Cover Inker)
Frank D'Armata (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Joe Caramagna.
Editor: Ralph Macchio.

Characters

Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Black Widow
Black Widow

(Natasha Romanoff)
Captain America
Captain America

(James "Bucky" Barnes)
Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)
Pepper Potts
Pepper Potts

(Pepper Hogan)

Plus: Donald Blake, H.A.M.M.E.R., Norman Osborn.