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Invincible Iron Man #2: Review

Nov 2012
Kieron Gillen, Greg Land

Story Name:

Believe 2: A gentleman's wager

Review & Comments

4 stars

Invincible Iron Man #2 Review by (November 25, 2012)
Tony Stark himself used Arthurian imagery during the Crossing. The Iron Man armour in the Meredith flashback is the classic look from the end of Tales of Suspense and an early chunk of the original Iron Man series. We see 3 knights fight, and Percival sitting it out. But when we 1st see them there are 5 knights. This use of JARVIS here is closer to the film version that helps Iron Man suit up. Arthur was so sure his knights would win that he put his whole sample of Extremis at risk. And Iron Man believed him. This isn't quite as bad as the heroes who destroy a computer program. Of course there would be no backups or other copies. Lancelot has red hair and freckles like early Pepper Potts. Is this significant I wonder?


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Invincible Iron Man #2 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
1 year ago a man calling himself Arthur approaches Russian Alex Draguno. Draguno was the best student in the Black Academy, trained to pilot armoured suits against American super-soldiers like Iron Man, but now reduced to operating exoskeletons in hazardous workplaces. Arthur asks Alex to be his Lancelot in the brotherhood he's putting together.

In the present, Tony Stark is recreating a version of the JARVIS AI that ran Pepper Potts' Rescue armour. He tells Pepper he's intent on personally tackling the Extremis users he learnt about last issue. He's past the info on to SHIELD, but apparently they are hampered by red tape.

Tony says one of his Extremis targets is a group called the Circle, based on a lake island in Symkaria that they call New Avalon. Coincidentally he then gets an invitation from that group, spelled out by laser beams in the middle of the air.

Stark flies there as Iron Man, followed by a hovering shipping container. He is greeted by Arthur, who explains that he leads a team of armoured knights who will defend Symkaria (and others) against their Latverian neighbour Dr Doom (and other threats).

Arthur claims that Iron Man has ushered in a new age of armoured chivalry, and the knights of New Avalon will be a force for good. He likens Extremis to the Holy Grail, and Iron Man to the Grail Knight. Stark points out that Arthur bought Extremis from the criminal organisation AIM. But Arthur evidently believes that the ends justify the means.

To further his aim, Arthur would like access to Stark tech. He doesn't want weapons or repulsor tech, which he know Stark won't give. He has his own weapons designer called Merlin. But there is lots of other stuff Tony could give. Rather than buy it, he offers Stark a wager. If Iron Man defeats the Avalon knights, then Arthur will surrender Extremis. If IM loses, then Tony gives them what they want.

Arthur knows his own suits of armour aren't as good as Iron Man's. But he believes his pilots are better (or at least 1 of them is).

Merlin is a woman named Meredith. Years ago when she was a hotshot young scientist she invented a force field which she pitched to the military. They set up a test against Iron Man. Her force field held up against his repulsors, but Stark 'cheated' by hacking through her security and switching the force field off.

She says that was the end of her career. (Actually her bitterness and revenge-obsession had a lot to do with it.) Now she's going to show Stark who's better. She's used Extremis to make the pilot knights one with their armoured suits.

Stark accepts the wager, and first faces Gawain. Iron Man opens up the large container, which contains spare parts and a robot system controlled by the proto-JARVIS. It turns out that the current Iron Man armour is modular, and the JARVIS system can alter it to give specific features.

All the knights have force-field shields to fend of repulsor blasts. But Gawain prefers armour-assisted martial arts moves. His arrogance lets him get put down by a two-handed repulsor hit.

The Extremis Grail is on show on a display stand. Tony tries to destroy it with another repulsor blast. But it too has one of Meredith's force-field shields, which holds up again.

When Stark reenters the container to modify his armour for the next bout, he includes computer hacking capabilities. While fighting Galahad he tries to break Merlin's security, but she's got much better over the years. So he just smashes his opponent with the more powerful chest uni-beam.

Before the next match Stark switches one of his hand repulsors to a uv laser. Lancelot elects to go next, for the last bout. The other knight Percival is too young.

Lancelot has trained the other knights, and proves to be the best of them. Alex's special skill is in using the boot thrusters. Evading all Iron Man's shots, and using timed thruster bursts to augment directed body blows.

But now Iron Man plays his trick card. Meredith designed the force field around the Extremis Grail to allow light through, so Stark could see his goal. But now Tony fires a high intensity laser through the shield, incinerating the Extremis virus.

Iron Man flies off home. Arthur is angry, because without Extremis he can't make any more enhanced knights. Lancelot removes his helmet to reveal that 'he' is a 'she'. And her thoughts show that things went as she planned.

Preview Pages
Click sample interior pages to enlarge them:

Greg Land
Jay Leisten
Greg Land (Cover Penciler)
Greg Land (Cover Inker)
Guru-eFX (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Joe Caramagna.
Editor: Mark Paniccia.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)
Pepper Potts
Pepper Potts

(Pepper Hogan)

Plus: Circle.

> Invincible Iron Man: Book info and issue index

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