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Invincible Iron Man #520: Review

Jul 2012
Matt Fraction, Salvador Larroca

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Story Name:

Long way down 5: The dead and the dying

Review & Comments

4 stars

Invincible Iron Man #520 Review by (July 7, 2012)
This is the last part of Long Way Down. Matt Fraction seems to be sticking with the idea that Doug Johnson sneaked in to Sasha Hammer's apartment undetected and drugged her food in #516, before crudely breaking in to abduct her in #517. Sasha takes the head of Doug's armour. But I believe she hasn't taken *his* head off, because the operator lives inside the torso of the oversized battlesuit. Spymaster seems not only to genuinely have loved Tim Cababa, but he also seems to have been conflicted about his task (set by Justine Hammer) to destroy Stark Resilient from within. This is presumably to explain why Len Pimacher tried to save them (at the product launch in #31-32) even while as Spymaster he was committing sabotage. Titanomechs are deadly giant robots that appeared in Tony Stark's dreams during Stark Disassembled. He said they were things he'd thought of but never built. They were also in the Mandarin-dominated future seen in #500. Presumably this series is moving towards that future. I have only just put 2 and 2 together and deduced that the machine Ezekiel Stane has been building for Mandarin is also a Titanomech. Several times during this tale that has been unfolding since the Demon arc began in #510 Tony has suggested he has a master plan to defeat the enemy. What's taking him so long! Will the next arc Future actually see the fight back? While Tony agreeing to work for Mandarin wasn't a surprise (if you read Previews), Mandarin controlling his body was! Apart from that the best part of this issue was the Detroit Steel sections, a much more cinematic battle than the Iron Man one.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Invincible Iron Man #520 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
Last issue Mandarin sent Chemistro and Mauler to assassinate Tony Stark at a press conference. But the new Iron Man (secretly James Rhodes) came to the rescue.

Tony pretends not to know his saviour as the villains continue to attack. Rhodey surprises Chemistro with a more deadly response than he would have expected from Stark as Iron Man. And Rescue (Pepper Potts) arrives to take out Mauler, using her electromagnetic force to disassemble his armour. Tony continues his charade for the press as the new Iron Man leaves.

Also last issue ex-Detroit Steel Doug Johnson had kidnapped Sasha Hammer to force her mother Justine to let him have his Detroit Steel armour back. But she planned to detonate the armour once he was in it.

However it turns out Doug is one step ahead. He'd hacked their computer system beforehand so that he now has complete control of his armour, and starts to attack. Sasha has recovered from being drugged, and counterattacks with her energy whips while the rest of the Detroit Steel Corps get into their own armoured suits. As the Corps attack, Sasha decapitates Detroit Steel with her whips.

Later in hospital Tony, Pepper, Mrs Arbogast, Carson Wyche and Walter Macken are watching Tim Cababa view a recorded message from Spymaster, who died last issue. Tim is recovering from the severe injuries Spymaster gave him in #516. Spymaster had been posing as Len Pimacher to infiltrate Stark Resilient from the very beginning (#28). But he and Tim had become lovers. So although he hurt Tim badly he had left him to live, while moving on to kill the rest of the staff. Ironically he had actually done relatively little damage to anyone else before being stopped.

Tony tells them that he has resigned from Stark Resilient (last issue) and the company, now called just Resilient, is all theirs. He claims to be doing this to stop them being targets for his enemies.

That night he contacts Mandarin, who reveals that he can see what Stark is doing (currently drawing a tentacled robot he calls a Titanomech). He also tells Tony to punch himself in the face, and our surprised hero does just that! Mandarin reveals he has had control of his body ever since Tony rebooted himself in Stark Disassembled!

Mandarin, watched by Ezekiel Stane, says that the only way Stark can truly protect his friends is by agreeing to serve him. And Tony does.

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


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)
Pepper Potts
Pepper Potts

(Pepper Hogan)
War Machine
War Machine

(James Rhodes)

Plus: Carson Wyche, Chemistro (Curtis Carr), Detroit Steel, Detroit Steel Corps, Ezekiel Stane, Justine Hammer, Mauler, Mrs. Arbogast, Sasha Hammer, Tim Cababa, Walter Macken.

> Invincible Iron Man: Book info and issue index

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