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Invincible Iron Man #515: Review

Apr 2012
Matt Fraction, Salvador Larroca

Story Name:

Demon 6: Fall

Review & Comments

Rating:
4 stars

Invincible Iron Man #515 Review by (April 22, 2012)
One part of my complaint against last issue's publisher's blurb was probably incorrect. Mandarin's in the US this time, so he probably was last issue too. At least this time his being in the US has some effect. This month's cover and blurb are only slightly misleading, indicating that Jim Rhodes dies (and that Stark is with him in armour). Gen'l Babbage says the Pentagon is looking forward to doing business with Hammer Industries and Detroit Steel instead of Stark Resilient. I thought Stark got out of the arms business in the Stark Resilient story, and Hammer and Detroit Steel already took up the slack. (In fact I thought Stark quit weapons manufacture once before, a long time before that.) Sasha Hammer seems pissed off with the offhand way her father Mandarin treats her. A potential source of trouble? Is the mention of Mandarin Industries a mistake for Hammer Industries? Does Mandarin have such a company? Ghost Tech is the invisibility/intangibility technology pioneered by the Ghost. I'm not sure when Mandarin got hold of it.

I think this is the last part of the Demon story, and next issue will start a new storyline, continuing from this one. Last issue suggested Stark had a cunning plan to beat Mandarin this issue, and he'd just been luring the villains into a trap. Rhodey's Lifevest was obviously forward planning. But Tony also expected to be able to beat the override on his armour. So did Stark's plan crash and burn? Or was living to fight again the best he could hope for anyway? There's a question of how this storyline fits in with Avengers vs X-Men. At the end of this issue Stark can't use his Iron Man armour and War Machine is pretending to be dead. And it seems like the next story will have a different armour and/or a different wearer. And who knows how long that will last, or what will happen afterwards. But AvsX has Tony in the regular armour and War Machine openly active (in Secret Avengers). However there was a long gap between #513 and #514. So AvsX could happen then (along with any other Iron Man appearances like Avengers Assemble).

Added later:- I read this issue wrong. It's War Machine who's using Ghost Tech, not Whirlwind and Living Laser. That, along with Chameleon Mode, were built in to the Iron Man 2.0 suit in Rhodey's last series. Now he's got those facilities, along with the big guns from the old War Machine armour.



 

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Invincible Iron Man #515 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
War Machine is fighting the new young Melter and waiting for Iron Man to arrive as backup. But Gen'l Babbage's override mechanism has caused Tony Stark's armour to retract back into his body, and he now relies on Bethany Cabe to get him to the scene by car. So Jim Rhodes is forced to beat Melter by himself, employing stealth/chameleon mode to sneak up on him.

Meanwhile Pepper Potts dons the Rescue armour, for the first time since Fear Itself, and heads for the battle too.

Mandarin, Ezekiel Stane and Justine Hammer are coordinating their plan, as Mandarin and Sasha Hammer arrive at the Pentagon to meet Babbage. The US military is going to switch from Stark Resilient and Iron Man to Mandarin Industries and Detroit Steel.

Melter recovers and destroys one arm of the War Machine suit. Just as Whirlwind, another of Mandarin's gang, arrives to join in the attack. He employs Ghost Tech to get close.

Tony tries to get the override off his chest power source. He consented to wear it last issue assuming he could remove it when the villains showed their hand. But it's booby-trapped and won't come off.

Rhodey is holding his own against Melter and Whirlwind. But Living Laser is also there, using Ghost Tech to stay invisible. He decloaks and attacks, and Rhodey's armour is crippled before he knows what hit him. Rescue gets there, but only in time to see Laser blast the War Machine armour wide open.

The villains leave, Pepper/Rescue huddles over Rhodey's body, and Tony and Bethany arrive too late.

Laser returns at light speed to report to Stane in Mandarin City. Where Stane has finished building the giant 'squid' robot Mandarin wants.

The epilogue reveals that Jim is still alive, because he was wearing a Stark Lifevest, which Bethany was testing in #512. He's going to stay undercover, presumed dead. Stark is going to allow the villains to think they've won. But he's going to turn the tables in the next storyline.

Oh, and Tony also goes to an AA meeting, to remind us that this whole storyline was a consequence of Stark falling off the wagon during Fear itself.


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

Characters

Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)
Pepper Potts
Pepper Potts

(Pepper Hogan)

Plus: Bethany Cabe, Ezekiel Stane, General Babbage, Justine Hammer, Melter (Bruno Horgan), Sasha Hammer, War Machine (James Rhodes), Whirlwind.