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Invincible Iron Man #523: Review

Aug 2012
Matt Fraction, Salvador Larroca

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Story Name:

The future 3: Swarm

Review & Comments

4 stars

Invincible Iron Man #523 Review by (August 25, 2012)
Mandarin says he hasn't taken the rings off since he found them. But there have been times when he has lost one or all of them. For instance his son Temugin wore them for a time. Mandarin refers to the rings he removes here by numbers and names which correspond to previous designations (in Wikipedia):- 3 Spin (Right Hand Middle Finger - Vortex Beam), 5 Remaker (Right Hand Thumb - Matter Rearranger) and 8 Lightning (Left Hand Middle Finger - Electro-Blast). In #521 Stark said that the stuff he requested was necessary to build the Titanomechs (but a conversation with Stane suggested there was other stuff hidden in the list). This issue makes it seem like the Titanomechs aren't dependant on any of this stuff, and Mandarin had agreed to a deal whereby Stark got private material in exchange for building the robots. Stark also tells the villains that Mandarin has been inside his head for a few years. Is that further back than Stark Disassembled, where I assumed something was inserted during the brain reload? Could it predate Stark's first thoughts about the Titanomechs? We first saw them in his dreams in #20, before the brain reload, and he supposedly imagined them earlier. It all boils down to the question did Mandarin plant the idea of building them in Stark's mind, or did he get the idea from there after he gained access? Mandarin doesn't know Stane has his IQ back? So what does he think the operation on Zeke was for last issue? And it seems from last issue he doesn't know Stane's bomb has gone too. Mandarin's grip is very sloppy! The suit is the one on the cover. It's got lots of Repulsor nodes like recent armour, but it's bulkier. And it has stubby wings like the Heroes Reborn version. But it doesn't look like the armour on Marvel NOW preview covers.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Invincible Iron Man #523 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
In Mandarin City Tony Stark has built 3 Titanomechs for Mandarin. Mandarin takes off 3 of his rings and inserts one in each giant robot.

Mandarin demands Stark finish the other 7 Titanomechs, for his other rings. Tony counters by asking where the materials he wanted are. Mandarin is affronted by his insubordination, but does back down enough to say that his minions are acquiring the stuff.

Later we see Mandarin talking to the Titanomechs, and calling them Masters.

Pepper Potts as Rescue is still chasing the new Iron Man to find out who he is and where he got his tech from. After a battle in which Iron Man conspicuously tries not to hurt her, Pepper pulls off one of his boots. As he speeds away she sees a brown-skinned foot.

The members of Resilient (Bethany Cabe, Carson Wyche, Mrs Arbogast, Splitlip, Tim Cababa and Walter Macken) launch (literally) their new product Swarm (in the absence of Pepper). They seed the air with its nanobots from a plane. these 'bots will link up with Reslient's Repulsor-powered devices, and with their satellites to provide a global data-storage system.

Later as Pepper and Carson retire for the night, Pepper airs her suspicion that the new Iron Man is Jim Rhodes, despite the fact that she saw him die in #515. She wonders why Stark didn't entrust he with that information. She comes to the conclusion that Tony may have felt he couldn't trust JARVIS, the AI in her Rescue suit.

Carson starts to explore the computer in the Rescue helmet. But it reacts by making the rest of the Rescue armour attack them. JARVIS says it's for their own good.

Stark and Ezekiel Stane implement the first stage in their plan against Mandarin. Zeke remotely locks the doors to the mess hall, and sends false images to monitors of that room. Tony takes the gamble of addressing all Mandarin's assembled criminals in that hall.

He reminds them that Mandarin has put bombs in all their chests. And he tells them that Mandarin's rings contain alien entities, which he intends to transfer to Titanomechs, which will then take over the world. Tony asks the supervillains to put aside their hatred of himself, and join him in opposing Mandarin.

Then the security staff get suspicious because they can't open the doors. Zeke has to reverse his tampering. And the guards burst in to find everyone eating as normal. No-one gives Stark away.

Later Blizzard approaches Stane. He says he doesn't have access to his own armour or weapons, but he wants to help. Stane reveals that he has his full IQ back. And Stark shows Blizzard a new Iron Man suit he's built.

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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: Bethany Cabe, Blizzard, Carson Wyche, Ezekiel Stane, Mrs. Arbogast, Splitlip, Tim Cababa, Walter Macken.

> Invincible Iron Man: Book info and issue index

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