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Invincible Iron Man #503: Review

Apr 2011
Matt Fraction, Salvador Larroca

Story Name:

Fix me part 3: Fear itself

Review & Comments

4 stars

Invincible Iron Man #503 Review by (December 19, 2012)
2nd story:- This story doesn't hang together too well. It doesn't explain why Maria is trying to lose money. The only way I can make sense of the dialogue in the 2nd scene is that Stark and Stane were due for a business meeting, but had never met. Stark must have recognised Stane's name in the 1st scene (but it is strange that he didn't know where the man he had business with was staying). Whatever, Stark offered Stane free accommodation in his own hotel/casino. Presumably the deal is now off, whatever it was. Obadiah Stane is of course a future business rival and enemy of Tony Stark. And the father of Ezekiel Stark. Howard and Maria died long before Iron Man's career started in Tales of Suspense #39. Howard was 1st seen in a flashback in Iron Man (1968) #28, and Maria in Howard's 4th appearance in Captain America Annual #9. Over the years Howard has been implicated in many old projects, like the creation of Captain America. Of late he has appeared in the 1950's-set SHIELD series. But it is difficult to correlate his revealed life with the age of his son. And there are conflicting stories of his death.

Part 3 of 3 of the Dr Octopus story. But the cover bills it as a Fear Itself tie-in because of the last few pages of the main story. What is the 'Avengers Catastrophe' that makes Tony Stark take the Asgard project away from Stark Resilient? And who does he actually give it to? In Fear Itself #1 he ropes the Avengers in to the project announcement more as a PR exercise. Stark Resilient is still going to control it. And a lot of the work will be done by the people of Broxton, where Asgard is sited. Admittedly in FI#2 Odin will take the Asgardians back to the other-dimensional Asgard. But SR will still get to rebuild the Earthly Asgard in later issues of The Mighty Thor. For a dying man Doc Ock will continue to make frequent villainous appearances. And as of this writing he's still not dead yet. Electro and Sandman are part of Ock's latest incarnation of the Sinister Six, and the Six will continue together through to Otto's latest plot "Ends of the Earth" in the Spider-Man titles.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Invincible Iron Man #503 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
Tony Stark is being held prisoner by Doctor Octopus. Otto Octavius has asked Tony to find a cure for the neural failure that is killing him. Or admit that there is a problem that even the great Tony Stark can't solve. To ensure compliance he has threatened Manhattan with a nuclear bomb. Last issue Stark admitted defeat. But that wasn't enough for the insanely jealous criminal scientist. He'd rather see Stark dead, even if it killed himself too. So Ock activated a timer on the bomb.

Tony has only minutes to work out how to defuse the bomb. To make things harder, Doc Ock keeps needling him, and even attacking him with his artificial tentacles. But Stark has also found he can generate a thin armour without triggering an automatic explosion, so he can fight back.

Octavius also had a 2nd string to his coercive bow. He had sent Electro and Sandman to hold Tim Cababa hostage. But Pepper Potts and Len Pimacher had interrupted this ploy, with a fight which ended by blowing all the electrics in Broxton.

Now the villains are fleeing. Tim's head is injured, and Len stays to look after him, revealing a relationship between them that we didn't previously know about. Pepper goes after the duo, with her repulsor-based powers. But they get away.

Tony realises that he can't stop the bomb. So he does the only thing possible. He grovels before Otto, begging him to stop the explosion. He says that Octavius was always the superior scientist. But Doc Ock's only response is to leave.

On the way out he casually explains that there is no bomb. There is nuclear material, which Iron Man's sensors could detect. But it was never in danger of exploding.

Tony heads to Broxton and Pepper explains what happened. She mentions that Len and Tim are a couple. And that Pimacher exhibited some unexpected martial skill (last issue). Tony shrugs it off, but it makes him wonder if Len is the mole in Stark Resilient.

A couple of days later Tony, Pepper, Tim and Len make their pitch to Thor and the Asgardians for Stark Resilient to be given the contract for rebuilding Asgard (destroyed in Siege). They get the job.

Later Otto Octavius is gloating over a recording of Stark begging. Tim is bitching to Len and Pepper that Tony has now taken Tim's design for New Asgard and given it to the Asgardians (or the Avengers?) to rebuild themselves (for some Avengers reason). And they all witness the 'meteors' that strike Earth in Fear Itself #1.

Story #2

How I met your mother

Writer: Matt Fraction. Penciler: Howard Chaykin. Inker: Howard Chaykin. Colorist: Edgar Delgado. Letterer: Joe Caramagna.

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

This is the story of how Tony Stark's parents met.

Howard Stark owns a hotel/casino (and probably other things). He sees a woman trying to deliberately lose lots of money at baccarat. She's also trying to avoid 2 men, who take her to a limousine containing Obadiah Stane. Howard tries to intervene but the woman says everything's fine and they drive off. Howard doesn't believe her. He gets his staff to track Stane down.

Next thing we see they're staying at Stark's hotel, and Stane is complaining on the phone that he's come a long way to meet the owner, and won't sit around waiting even if he has been given the hotel suite for free. Stark enters and chats up the woman, until Stane's 2 bodyguards arrive. Howard and the woman KO a guard each, and escape.

Hotel staff turn up and ask Stane to leave the hotel Meanwhile Howard and the woman drive off, exchanging names. She is Maria, his future wife.

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)

(Max Dillon)
Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)
Pepper Potts
Pepper Potts

(Pepper Hogan)


Plus: Howard Stark, Maria Stark, Obadiah Stane, Spymaster (Len Pimacher), Tim Cababa.

> Invincible Iron Man: Book info and issue index

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