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Invincible Iron Man #25: Review

Apr 2010
Matt Fraction, Salvador Larroca

Story Name:

Stark Resilient Part 1: Hammer Girls

Review & Comments

4 stars

Invincible Iron Man #25 Review by (August 16, 2012)
Stark has stopped being an arms manufacturer before. In #73 of the original series he renamed Stark Industries as Stark International, and in #78 (which chronologically occurs within #74) he claimed that Stark International was dedicated to peaceful applications of technology. Inventions mentioned in subsequent issues were indeed not weapons (including the weapon-sounding cosmitronic cannon in #82-83). And in #118-119 Nick Fury and SHIELD tried to take over Stark International in order to get it back in the arms business. I don't know when Stark returned to weapons manufacturing, but it was probably in the 2005 series that introduced the Extremis armour and updated Iron Man's origin to Afghanistan. Tony's earlier conversion to peace was in the Vietnam era, so maybe the new origin has wiped it out. Stark has lost his company before, but possibly this *is* the first time he's had to rebuild from scratch. After Obadiah Stane took the company over, Tony managed to get it and his fortune back. When he returned from the Heroes Reborn universe he still had his personal fortune to start a new company with. The first story of the latest Avengers, Next Avengers in Av#1-6, can happen any time after Stark gets his new armour here. This issue includes an article on the artistic evolution of the design of the new armour. It is more streamlined, and is stored as a fluid in Tony's body.

Stark wasn't very clever only taking a backup of his brain before Extremis, but none afterwards, especially before initiating his brainwipe in #9. Matt Fraction uses a well-worn technique to brush over this plot hole. He has Jim Rhodes and Reed Richards say how stupid this was. Stark says he never took more backups because he never imagined he'd need one. But now it's been mentioned, we the readers can just forget about it. Maria Hill says that Steve Rogers has invited her to work with the Avengers. This leads in to Avengers (2010) #1. It doesn't say here why Stark has no Iron Man armour, but it implies that he lost it when his e-m pulse destroyed all Stark-tech. However it was really the Skrull computer virus that made it unusable, and since then (Secret Invasion, World's Most Wanted, Siege) he's been using old armours. Tony refers to James Rhodes here as a Colonel. But he left the military a long time ago. Even when he was working for the Initiative and SHIELD before Dark Reign, I don't think he'd rejoined the military. But later issues of this series and Iron Man 2.0 will confirm that he's in the Marines. Which makes it strange that he can be a freelance super hero too. Thor has been angry with Stark about Civil War and the cloning of Thor as Ragnarok. Ironically these actually happened while Thor was dead.

This is Iron Man's contribution to the Heroic Age. This extra-long issue is Part 1 of 9 of Stark Resilient. Hammer Industries has nothing to do with Dark Reign's HAMMER. The company was created by Justin Hammer. Justine Hammer has been around for a while, but mainly as villain Crimson Cowl. She bedevilled the Thunderbolts from only revealed as Justine in #67. The Cowl has since worked for the Hood, but has now given up costumed villainy for the corporate version. Sasha Hammer was Ezekiel Stane's girlfriend in The Five Nightmares, but her surname was never used there. This will be confirmed in #28. It has been suggested that Doug Johnson III is the grandson of Timely's Doug 'Jap-Buster' Johnson, who has Marvel appearances in the truncated All-Winners Squad: Band of Heroes limited series.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Invincible Iron Man #25 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
Justine Hammer of Hammer Industries, daughter of the late Justin Hammer, unveils Detroit Steel in a presentation to US military brass. It is a large armoured suit worn by Doug Johnson III, who is also training other wearers to form Steelcorps. Justine's daughter Sasha has developed the cybernetic interface. Justine hopes to sell the suits and/or services to the military. But their response is that Tony Stark is now back, and they'll continue with him. Their leader Gen'l Babbage privately tells Justine that the military won't buy weapons from females. But the Hammer girls aren't worried.

Tony is still in Broxton with Pepper Potts, Maria Hill and James Rhodes. Pepper has recovered from the events of Stark Disassembled, but Rhodey is still recuperating from being stabbed by Ghost. Tony himself seems physically mended, but his reloaded brain is still missing everything since he underwent the Extremis process in Iron Man (2005) #4.

Tony's been reading up on events since that period. Pepper lets him know the current state of his company. In The Five Nightmares Ezekiel Stane used Stark-tech to cripple Stark Industries. But Stark completed the job himself with an e-m pulse that took down Stane's forces at the cost of wiping out all of his own technology worldwide. At the beginning of World's Most Wanted he gave Pepper the job of closing the company down.

So Tony tasks Pepper with starting up a new company, while he goes to see Reed Richards of the Fantastic Four about a new Iron Man armour.

Tony tells Reed about the current state of his body. The Extremis process altered his body so that the Extremis armour was an integral part of him. But it also altered his brain so that using the armour was automatic, like breathing. His mind reload in Stark Disassembled was from a backup before Extremis, and that version is incompatible with the Extremis mods. So his chest implant is now running his body's autonomic functions.

Tony uses Reed's facilities to create a new Extremis armour, better than the previous one.

Pepper is meeting with Babbage and the other brass, to confirm that a Stark company will soon be back in business. But Stark arrives (with the implication that he's flown here by Iron Man), to tell them that he won't be making weapons any more. Babbage accuses him of being a traitor. He's not mollified by the concession to let Col James Rhodes still use the War Machine armour.

Justine is going round buying up old HAMMER hardware, and having the logo changed to Hammer.

Stark gets a visit from Thor. Tony apologises for things he did but can't remember. But he says, from what he has read, that he did what he thought was right at the time, and so would probably do them again. Thor welcomes the man of principles he used to know. Whilst things are not completely mended between them, he offers Tony Asgardian treasure to finance his new company. But Tony turns him down. Building a fortune from nothing will be a new challenge for him.

Stark invites billionaire industrialists (and the military) to a large meeting, where he proposes to make use of the one asset he has left, his chest implant. It's Repulsor technology is a secret he has kept guarded, despite many attempts to steal it. But now he is going to offer it to the world. It is a perpetual clean power source which he intends to use to power the future. He invites them to buy licenses to use it from his new company Stark Resilient (and of course fund that company to develop the technology).

Pepper thinks he's mad. She, Jim and Maria take a helicopter home. And we get our first look at the new armour, again stored within his body, as Tony follows them under his own steam.

Babbage calls Justine Hammer to tell her he wants to do business. But she's already negotiating with terrorists.

Preview Pages
Click sample interior pages to enlarge them:

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


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)
Mr. Fantastic
Mr. Fantastic

(Reed Richards)
Pepper Potts
Pepper Potts

(Pepper Hogan)

War Machine
War Machine

(James Rhodes)

Plus: Detroit Steel, General Babbage, Justine Hammer, Sasha Hammer.

> Invincible Iron Man: Book info and issue index

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