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Invincible Iron Man #518: Review

Jun 2012
Matt Fraction, Salvador Larroca

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Story Name:

Long way down 3: You ghosts of mine both new and old

Review & Comments

4 stars

Invincible Iron Man #518 Review by (June 9, 2012)
Last issue implied Stark was in a hurry to get to the problem at Stark Resilient HQ. He doesn't go there this issue. Mrs Arbogast was Tony's secretary/executive assistant for a long time between #118 and #329. She returned as his executive assistant at Stark Resilient in #27, and was seen often during that story and Fear Itself, but she's disappeared into the background since then. The Mauler armour debuted in Daredevil #167, but it's main user acquired it in Iron Man #156. IM relieved him of it in #225, but he was back with another suit in Alpha Flight #113. Along the way he's been a minor intermittent foe of Iron Man and Spider-Man. In #513 he was unveiled as one of Mandarin's army, with his armour upgraded by Ezekiel Stane. Chemistro was another member of that army. Calvin Carr is the 3rd person to wield the name and alchemy gun invented by his brother Curtis. None of the Chemistro's have actually been Iron Man foes. Calvin came closest in #251-252, but that was only as part of the Acts of Vengeance gang. We're still waiting for Mandarin to unleash Titanium Man and Vibro from his pool of villains. And of course there's the giant squid robot. I don't think we've seen Stane in his armour since #510, and he hasn't actually used it since the end of the Five Nightmares story in #6.

This is part 3 of 5 of Long Way Down. The splash page continues to count the days since Tony Stark had a drink during Fear Itself. In this case it's 23 days, which must cover the last 9 issues, and some adventures with the Avengers and others. The signs are that the storyline after this one will also follow without a gap. At this rate we'll have more than a year's comics packed into 1 month of Marvel time. I presume Reed Richards *did* give Tony a new chest implant at the end of last issue, but it doesn't say so. It turns out that it *is* James Rhodes in the new armour. Stark has been pretending Rhodey's dead since #515, to use him as a secret weapon. Jim slightly misquotes parts of Muhammed Ali's poem about the Rumble in the Jungle. The John Doe in the hospital is presumably Tim Cababa whom Spymaster attacked in #516. If so he's not as dead as I (and presumably Spymaster) thought he was. Spymaster had been living with him as fellow Stark employee Len Pimacher. Presumably Spymaster killed the landlord and wiped the apartment clean to protect his own identity rather than Tim's. Doug Johnson was mentally damaged by being temporarily turned to stone in Fear Itself. he has only just managed to return to the US from Paris. Sasha accuses him of drugging her (see last issue), but it probably wasn't him.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Invincible Iron Man #518 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
Tony Stark holds a press conference with Reed Richards of the Fantastic Four, confirming that he's resigned as Iron Man to fight his alcoholism. He denies knowing anything about a new Iron Man battling Somali pirates.

But that Iron Man is his friend James Rhodes, ex-War Machine, who interrupted a boatload of pirates attacking a ship, until they were supported by Firepower, one of the villains Ezekiel Stane has improved for Mandarin. Rhodey sets the pirate boat on fire and tries to go to the aid of their sinking target. But Firepower won't let him, until Rhodes blasts him out of the sky.

The original Detroit Steel Doug Johnson has attacked his replacement Sasha Hammer in her bedroom. Sasha fights him with her fingertip energy whips. But he knocks her out and carries her out of the window, before her security guards burst in.

Meanwhile in Seattle medics are treating a John Doe who was found stabbed in an apartment completely wiped clean of means of identification, including a dead landlord. Then news comes in of trouble at Stark Resilient HQ.

The police have the place surrounded. Inside Spymaster is still trying to kill Bethany Cabe and Carson Wyche. Spymaster says he's here to kill all Stark employees and destroy all Stark Resilient's data. He shoots Wyche and  disarms Bethany, but she grabs a fire axe, and wounds him as he attacks her with his wrist blades. But it's Mrs Arbogast who pops up at the last moment to shoot the villain.

Meanwhile back in the Indian Ocean, Firepower is back for more. Rhodey uses stealth mode to get close, and sends them both into the depths. He tears Firepower's armour open, and leaves him to drown. Returning to the surface he salvages the sinking ship and helps the stranded crew.

In Mandarin City Mandarin hears from Gen'l Babbage that Stark has expelled the Extremis armour from within his body. He also knows about the new Iron Man's defeat of Firepower. He tells 2 more of his augmented villains, Mauler and Chemistro, to go and assassinate Stark.

But they are interrupted by Ezekiel Stane entering in his old armour. He throws something at Mandarin. It is the bomb Mandarin put in Stane's chest, which Zeke removed last issue. He's now ready to challenge his boss.

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Barberoids 1 cover original artwork on ebay

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


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)
Mr. Fantastic
Mr. Fantastic

(Reed Richards)
War Machine
War Machine

(James Rhodes)

Plus: Bethany Cabe, Carson Wyche, Detroit Steel, Ezekiel Stane, Firepower (Edwin Cord), Mrs. Arbogast, Sasha Hammer, Spymaster (Sinclair Abbot), Tim Cababa.

> Invincible Iron Man: Book info and issue index

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