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Invincible Iron Man #4: Review

Aug 2008
Matt Fraction, Salvador Larroca

Story Name:

The Five Nightmares Part 4: Neutron Bomb Heart

Review & Comments

4 stars

Invincible Iron Man #4 Review by (March 22, 2012)
Pepper jokingly(?) refers to herself as Tony's love-of-your-life. But it's a long time since she got over her crush on Tony and married Happy Hogan (now dead). In fact Tony tells Maria this issue that Pepper's not his girlfriend.

Stark is worried about others, even SHIELD, getting hold of Iron Man technology. Yet he knows Stane has picked up lots of it, and he's planning to give him more. Contradictory much?

Stark uses a collector of super-character tech called Goss to get his stuff out on the black market. Goss's daughter here also appeared in New Avengers #7. They will both show up again in our #7 where Tony retrieves some of the tech he releases here. In that issue we will also find that Big Wheel and Tinkerer are 2 of the villains seen here handling the contraband.

Stane shouldn't need bits of existing Iron Man armour to build all his stuff from. Even if he's not clever enough to invent new things, he should still be able to build copies given one example.

It's also a bit strange that Stark's planted tracers only transmit when the villains are about to attack. Even if they only work when the stolen armour pieces are powered up.

Only 6 replacements are shown in the new Triumph Division. Fighter One is missing. They will show up again in #525-527 in the final fight against Mandarin. But Tim Cababa will be introduced in #28 as having something to do with the team.

The original Melter is long-dead. This could be early evidence of the new Melter to be unveiled in Dark Reign: Young Avengers.

Rand Industries is run by Danny Rand, better known as the New Avenger Iron Fist. But I don't know if they really *did* create Pepper's life-saving device, or if Tony is just trying to spare her feelings.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Invincible Iron Man #4 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
After a press conference about the terrorist attacks in the previous 3 issues, Tony Stark plays 5 simultaneous games of chess with Reed Richards while they discuss things. Mr Fantastic confirms that the suicide bombers' technology was based on Stark's own. Stark tells him about Ezekiel Stane, and Reed opines that Zeke isn't inventing anything new, he's just applying Stark-tech in different ways.

Despite also working on circuit diagrams while they play, Stark wins all 5 games, ending them all at the same time.

Tony moves on to physical engineering in his lab on the SHIELD helicarrier. He is planting tracers in old pieces of Iron Man suits. He's going to let them out in the world and hope Stane picks them up, given that Zeke needs Stark stuff to build from.

He's visited by Pepper Potts recuperating from last issue's explosion and surgery. She is worried about having a Stark super-magnet in her chest, keeping shrapnel from her heart. She wants it taken out as soon as she's fit enough for more surgery.

Maria Hill, Stark's deputy Director of SHIELD, wants Iron Man armour provided for SHIELD troops. Stark counters that it's hideously expensive, but he's really worried about Iron Man tech getting loose from his control. Hill is angry that he was willing to spend Stark-tech on Pepper but not on soldiers in danger.

Stane and his girlfriend Sasha survey the mixed bag of terrorists they've assembled. He's improved his own internal tech, but he needs more bits of Iron Man armour to create weapons for his troops. Sasha sets out to acquire them.

Zeke plans to hit 4 crucial Stark sites simultaneously, which he reckons will fatally cripple Stark Industries. While Stane builds towards his apocalypse, Stark goes about his business.

He visits the Philippines base of the Triumph Division, where the children of the team killed in #2 are taking on their parents' mantle. He buys an international drinks firm so he can use their vending world-wide machines to distribute anti-virals. He holds a remote meeting at the Pentagon about a new anti-landmine technique, at the same time investigating evidence that an upgraded Melter is in action.

Pepper repeats her request to get rid of the magnetic device that is keeping her alive, because she knows it was based on weapons-tech. Tony admits that his original chest-device was modified from his weapons research. But he tells her that her version is derived from peaceful stuff invented by Rand Industries. This makes her accept the implant.

She is further impressed when Tony shows her how she can use the magnetism to float or possibly even fly.

Maria Hill calls to say the tracers in his bait have surfaced in Long Island, Valencia, Tokyo and Los Angeles. And Tony immediately realises Stane's intent.

Salvador Larroca
Salvador Larroca
Frank D'Armata
Salvador Larroca (Cover Penciler)
Salvador Larroca (Cover Inker)


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)
Mr. Fantastic
Mr. Fantastic

(Reed Richards)
Pepper Potts
Pepper Potts

(Pepper Hogan)

Plus: Anitun, Ezekiel Stane, Great Mongoose, Mighty Mother, Red Feather, Sasha Hammer, St George, Triumph Division, Wishing Man.

> Invincible Iron Man: Book info and issue index

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