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Invincible Iron Man #524: Review

Sep 2012
Matt Fraction, Salvador Larroca

Story Name:

The future 4: Armor war

Review & Comments

4 stars

Invincible Iron Man #524 Review by (September 8, 2012)
This is part 4 of 6 or 7 (depending whether #527 counts) of The Future. The armour Tony unveiled last issue wasn't for Blizzard (as I thought), it was for him. This issue finally establishes that Mandarin's access to Tony Stark's brain dates back to the Extremis process. There's a parallel here with The Crossing, where Kang had supposedly been inside Tony's head for a long time. The Titanomechs were called Titans in the future described in #500. A future which this story arc will presumably abort. The giant drill is presumably part of the project that was intended to destroy the Earth in #500.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Invincible Iron Man #524 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
Pepper Potts and Carson Wyche are held captive by the AI JARVIS of Pepper's Rescue suit. They suspected it of being compromised by Mandarin and his allies. But JARVIS instead claims to be in love with Pepper.

Before they can digest this idea, the new Iron Man bursts in to the rescue, and disables JARVIS with an EMP burst. Carson shields Pepper in case it crashes her Repulsor chest implant. Pepper asks Iron Man if he is James Rhodes, but he leaves with an ambiguous answer.

In Mandarin City Tony Stark and Ezekiel Stane confer with Blizzard, Living Laser and Whirlwind, the only 3 of Mandarin's band of supervillains who have responded to Tony's plea last issue to stand united against Mandarin, the man who put bombs in their chests.

The 3 recruits are understandably nervous that Mandarin will know what they're doing. Stark reassures them by telling them what happened the last time he met with their boss. Mandarin knew that cameras in the mess hall were turned off for a while. And some of the other villains had reported Stark's speech there to him. He accused Stark of fomenting an uprising.

But Stark convinced Mandarin that the villains were trying to cause trouble for him because they all had grudges against Iron Man. The main reason that Mandarin believed him was because there are monitors in the vest Stark has to wear all the time. And Mandarin has had access to Stark's brain since it was modified by the Extremis process years ago.

But we see a panel showing Stane tampering with Stark's vest. And another presumably indicating Stark somehow subverting Mandarin's software in his brain. Later events will imply that they've also stopped Mandarin from being able to trigger the bombs in his minions' chests.

During the same conversation Stark reported to Mandarin that Titanomechs #4 and #5 (now just called Titans) should be ready soon, an #6-8 were awaiting materials for construction. (There will be 10 in all (1 for each of the alien entities in Mandarin's rings). #1-3 were built and  inhabited last issue.) But he said that the early delivery of #4-5 was based on being allowed to cannibalise some stuff from a giant drill that Mandarin had built. However Mandarin emphatically said that the drill was off-limits.

At Resilient HQ Tim Cababa and Walter Macken are tracking the spread of the Swarm nanobots they released last issue. The Swarm are attracted to Repulsor tech (they interface with it to give the user enhanced capabilities). Tim notices that there is an intense concentration in China (presumably Mandarin City). They deduce that they've found the missing Tony Stark.

Meanwhile Stark and Stane are enhancing the supersuits of their 3 allies. Tony detects the Swarm around them, and figures that his friends will now know where he is. (Obviously Swarm was under development before Stark left the company.) He expects Pepper and Rhodey will come to get him, so they'd better have their revolution ready.

Pepper goes to the Pentagon to get permission for Rescue to go to China to liberate Tony. She finds that their liaison, the dead Gen'l Babbage, has been temporarily replaced by their enemy Justine Hammer. Pepper refuses to tell Justine how she knows Stark is in China. Hammer refuses to give permission. But she does call Mandarin to let him know.

Mandarin is furious (betraying extreme control issues) because he thinks Stark has somehow been able to evade his security measures (which he has) to get a message out to Pepper & co (which he hasn't). He sends soldiers to bring Stark to be punished. They also round up all the supervillains to the mess hall, but can't find our 5 compatriots. Consumed with rage Mandarin determines to kill them all. He believes his genius will enable him to finish the Titans himself.

He triggers all the chest bombs. But nothing happens. And the 5 armoured warriors (Zeke has his old armour too) materialise in the mess hall, presumably in a last attempt to gather more allies.

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)
Pepper Potts
Pepper Potts

(Pepper Hogan)
War Machine
War Machine

(James Rhodes)

Plus: Blizzard, Ezekiel Stane, Justine Hammer, Tim Cababa, Walter Macken, Whirlwind (David Cannon).

> Invincible Iron Man: Book info and issue index

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