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Invincible Iron Man #516: Review

May 2012
Matt Fraction, Salvador Larroca

Story Name:

Long way down 1: Night of the long knives

Review & Comments

4 stars

Invincible Iron Man #516 Review by (May 6, 2012)
Tony meets the other Avengers in Avengers Mansion, not Avengers Tower. This could mean that this issue is set before Avengers vs X-Men #1, where Avengers Tower seems to be brought back into commission. Also previews of forthcoming comics suggest that Ms Marvel becomes Captain Marvel during that series. Plus the splash page of this issue claims it is less than a month since the end of Fear Itself. All these things point to AvsX happening after this storyline, rather than between #513 and #514 as I suggested last issue. Indeed AvsX would probably have to be after the next storyline as well, due to begin in #521. And this would all depend on Tony returning as Iron Man in a familiar armour after this sequence of Iron Man stories is over. (No wonder the Marvel Chronology Project can't piece history together until 2 (real) years or so have passed!) Sasha feels sick and hungry. Could this be a sign of pregnancy? Could the missing power source for the tentacle robot be Stark repulsor tech? Pimacher was probably Spymaster from the start. Justine Hammer hired Spymaster in Iron Man (2008) #26, and Pimacher showed up in #28. Why (unless I've misread things) does Stark think Gen'l Babbage will be unhappy about him quitting as Iron Man? He doesn't even work for Babbage. And Babbage has been trying to stop him being Iron Man.

This is part 1 of the 5-issue Long Way Down. But it seems more like an epilogue to the Demon storyline, because we have yet to see the new armour and possibly new Iron Man that will feature in the rest of the new story. Also, last issue Tony Stark promised to turn things round and fight back. But this next sequence sounds like a continuation of the decline. This female Firebrand is a successor to 3 male Firebrands, only 2 of whom were Iron Man foes. Her attack on the financial centre fits their radical anti-capitalist eco-warrior activism. But her (artificial?) power has been created by Stane for Mandarin's army. This Crimson Dynamo is possibly the same as the only previous female bearer of the title and armour Galina Nemirovsky, after a long line of men. She was a member of the Russian team Winter Guard debuting in the Hulk: Winter Guard 1-shot, succeeding Dmitri Bukharin seen in the Dynamo role in Iron Man (2008) #14, and probably last seen in Widow Maker #1. Both of these villains were briefly shown as members of Mandarin's assembled army in #513. There are speculated that this CD was the even later magical version from the Iron Man/Thor mini-series. I've changed my mind. This CD doesn't look like either of them, but at least Galina was female, and this one doesn't use magic. Crimson Dynamo appears from within a 'lightcloak' effect, which Stark claims to be his tech nicked by Stane. Last issue referred to it as Ghost tech, which I assumed derived from the villain Ghost.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Invincible Iron Man #516 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
Iron Man is fighting the new female Firebrand, another of Mandarin's upgraded villains, in Charlotte North Carolina, the 2nd-largest US financial centre. He has her defeated, until she is joined by the female Crimson Dynamo. But that doesn't faze Tony, until Hammer Industries flick the switch that collapses his armour. And they send in Sasha Hammer and the Detroit Steel Corps to take the beaten villains away. Hammer are working with Mandarin, so the villains are secretly returned to Mandarin City, and Ezekiel Stane is going to mend their damaged technology.

Tony visits Avengers Mansion, where he is too proud to accept help from Captain America and Ms Marvel. He takes a leave of absence from the Avengers.

Sasha contacts Zeke to talk about what sounds like a plan to rebel against Mandarin. Stane intends to do something about the bomb Mandarin put in his chest. But Mandarin also used one of his rings in #512 to quell Zeke's insubordination, and now Stane finds he can't stand up to his boss. As demonstrated when Mandarin gets very angry about an abortive demonstration of the giant tentacled robot Stane has been building for him. Even though one major problem is the absence of a power source that Mandarin promised.

We next drop in on Stark employees Tim Cababa and Len Pimacher at home. Where Tim discovers Len is really Spymaster, working for Justine Hammer, and gets killed for his pains.

Stark goes to see Gen'l Babbage, and tells him he quits being Iron Man.

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.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)
Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)
Ms. Marvel
Ms. Marvel

(Carol Danvers)

Plus: Crimson Dynamo (Anton Vanko), Detroit Steel Corps, Ezekiel Stane, Firebrand, General Babbage, Sasha Hammer, Spymaster (Sinclair Abbot), Tim Cababa.

> Invincible Iron Man: Book info and issue index

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