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Invincible Iron Man #502: Review

Mar 2011
Matt Fraction, Salvador Larroca

Story Name:

Fix me part 2: The God number

Review & Comments

4 stars

Invincible Iron Man #502 Review by (December 12, 2012)
Part 2 of 3. Spider-Man saved Stark Industries from Dr Octopus way back in Amazing Spider-Man #55-56. Tony Stark is just yanking Ock's chain when he implies that he couldn't be bothered to fight him himself. According to the Official Index and #55 itself Stark had just been injured by Grey Gargoyle in Tales of Suspense #96. Iron Man has fought Doc Ock many times. I think the 1st time was in Marvel Fanfare #22-23. The style of armour in the flashback suggests that encounter. If so then Tony is again being economical with the truth, because then Ock's adamantium arms ripped Iron Man's armour apart. Stark says he suspects the mole is Spymaster. I don't know why he has come to that (correct) conclusion. Ock's musings may explain why Len Pimacher (whom we don't yet know is Spymaster) risked injury to save Tony in #31. Len's successful fight with Electro is explained by the fact that he is secretly Spymaster. It's also the 1st sign of his feelings for Tim Cababa. I can't remember where the bit about Tony Stark tricking Hulk with thin armour comes from. But it needs to be Extremis-type armour for the trick to work.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Invincible Iron Man #502 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
Last issue Dr Octopus 'persuaded' Tony Stark to help him by threatening to nuke Manhattan. (Tony can't turn into Iron Man because that would trigger the bomb.) Otto Octavius is dying from a neural disease, and he wants Stark to fix him. He seems also ready to die if it means that the great Tony Stark will have to admit that there's a problem he can't solve.

Stark is investigating Ock's problem, but all the while he needles the villain. He accuses him of copying other people's ideas. He also calls him a joke of a villain. Tony says that first time Doc Ock attacked Stark Industries he just let Spider-Man deal with it. And on later occasions that Ock was easy to beat.

Ock has also arranged for an extra incentive for Stark. Electro and Sandman are holding Stark Resilient employee Tim Cababa hostage in his Broxton apartment. But Pepper Potts turned up last issue unexpectedly as a pizza delivery girl. The villains now capture her as well. But she fights back with the power of her repulsor chest implant. She holds her own against the 2 supervillains, until Electro threatens Tim.

But the situation is complicated further when Len Pimacher arrives with another pizza for Tim. He sees the broken door of the apartment and the situation within. He reacts by attacking Electro, very effectively (much to everyone's surprise). He then tricks his foe into ramming his fist into an electric socket. We won't know the effect of the resulting electric storm until next issue.

Meanwhile Tony has asked Otto his opinion on the problem of a suspected mole in Stark Resilient. Stark has kept his few employees isolated on separate projects for several months, so that he can monitor all their communications. (He says that he's done this with their approval, but Tim didn't seem to know why last issue.)

Ock suggests that the spy will be lying low, and that he will have done things to make himself seem loyal and useful. But he will also do suspicious things as well, to muddy the waters. But he will wait and strike where and when Stark least expects it. Or maybe not.

Stark figures out that Octavius has already consulted doctors and discovered that there's no medical cure. So now he's looking for a scientific miracle. Tony suggests they enlist the help of Reed Richards or Henry Pym. Or maybe Dr Strange. But Doc Ock won't agree. It turns out his desire to humble Stark is greater than his desire to live. (And maybe he doesn't trust the heroes to help him.)

So Tony finally makes it plain. Ock wins. Stark isn't clever enough to fix him. But that's not enough for Otto.

As Doc Ock huddles over the controls of his octo-craft, Tony casually mentions that he once tricked the Hulk by taking off his armour, but leaving an invisibly-thin shell on. He muses aloud that such a thin armour won't trigger the nuke. (He's been experimenting by manifesting bits of armour earlier.)

Now he attacks Ock as Iron Man. As they fight Tony suggests that Otto really wants to live. But Ock replies "Of course I want to live. I just want you to die more!" And he reveals that he has set the  nuclear bomb to explode. Iron Man has 6 minutes to save New York.

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


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Doctor Octopus
Doctor Octopus

(Otto Octavius)
Doctor Strange
Doctor Strange

(Stephen Strange)

(Max Dillon)

(Bruce Banner)
Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)
Mr. Fantastic
Mr. Fantastic

(Reed Richards)
Pepper Potts
Pepper Potts

(Pepper Hogan)

(Peter Parker)

Plus: Spymaster (Len Pimacher), Tim Cababa.

> Invincible Iron Man: Book info and issue index

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