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Invincible Iron Man #24: Review

Apr 2014
Kieron Gillen, Luke Ross

Story Name:

Rings of the Mandarin chapter 2

Review & Comments

4 stars

Invincible Iron Man #24 Review by (April 12, 2014)
Maria Stark was of course Tony's mother, and he founded the charitable Foundation in her memory. While Arno's story of being an orphan there is fiction, it *was* where he spent his hidden life in an iron lung as revealed in #17. Which Ring emits the disintegration ray? Originally this was the function of the right hand ring finger. In the 2010 Annual this Ring was named Spectral and given the properties of intangibility/invisibility. Maybe disintegration is still also a function of this Ring. In this case it is Terrana who fires it the 2nd time, which fits with the picture which seems to have the beam coming from nowhere, ie a cloaked user. However disintegration would seem to fit better as an aspect of the matter rearranger Remaker Ring which Malekith retains. We 1st saw the virtual gathering of Rings in #20.INH. There I was unsure whether all the Rings except Nightbringer had active users. Here it definitely seems all the Rings have users now. I'm not sure what to make of Malekith's claim that Tony is really an elf. Is he just playing on Stark's ignorance of his parentage? Only future issues will tell.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Invincible Iron Man #24 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
This issue opens quietly with reporter Abigail Burns interviewing Arno (Stark) by video link. She doesn't know he's Tony's brother, and Arno maintains the fiction by claiming that he was an orphan looked after by the Maria Stark Foundation. He says that Tony Stark recognised his genius for design and implemented his ideas in their futuristic city Troy. And that he has no interest in striking out on his own to make big money from his ideas - he just loves to create stuff.

Now back to the action. Iron Man had invaded Svartalfheim in stealth armour to steal the 4 Mandarin Rings from the ruler Malekith. But Dark Angel's magic portal dumped him in the middle of the elf's throne room. And now he's under attack from all sides.

Stark contacts Shevaun Haldane asking her to send the 'magic wand' weapon she'd designed. But Dark Angel says that the portal needs a few minutes to recharge. Malekith fires the disintegration beam from 1 of the Rings, which breaks through the armour on Shellhead's right shoulder. Luckily Stark knows that it will take even more minutes for the disintegration ray to recharge. But he still beats a hasty retreat through the ceiling.

Shevaun says the portal is ready again, but she advises Tony to use it to come home. They've lost the stealth advantage, and the stealth suit isn't built for fighting. But Stark wants to continue. He has noticed that Malekith isn't using the Rings to their full capabilities, and they don't seem to be prompting him as they did other users. He figures (correctly as we saw last issue) that the Rings don't like working for the elf lord.

So Dark Angel sends him the 'magic wand' which will disable the Rings. But also includes a strong taser especially designed to work on elves. And Iron Man switches his armour to invisible mode and waits for the elves to track him down.

Malekith divides his Wild Hunt into 3, and gives each leader a Ring. Painted Xan the torturer gets Incandescence. Snaggi the White, who killed her giant father and made a weapon out of his bones, has Lightning. And the Spectral Ring will enhance the stealth skill of Terrana of the Smoke. That leaves Malekith with Remaker.

We now have an interlude in the virtual reality where the 10 Rings meet. Malekith's 4 Rings can't attend. The Rings don't mind their users fighting each other, but they can't abide the way Malekith has taken complete control of his Rings. They decide to send their users to war against him.

All 3 factions of the Wild Hunt have followed Iron Man's trail. Until he shoots them from hiding with the taser. Xan was openly wielding Incandescence, so Stark takes it off his stunned finger. But then he's struck by lightning. Snaggi is on her feet, and Malekith is with her. And the lightning has broken the taser, and Tony finds he can't contact Dark Angel anymore.

IM dives out of the way the disintegration beam, and then slips away in stealth mode. He watches from hiding as Xan wakes up and begs his master's forgiveness for losing his Ring. Malekith forgives him by chopping his head off.

Then the elf lord speaks to his hidden quarry. He had used some of Stark's blood, shed from his shoulder, to learn the secrets of his enemy. He knows that Tony was adopted, and doesn't know his parents. Now he taunts Iron Man by claiming that he's actually an elvish changeling, swapped for a human child. Now Malekith is going to reclaim his own.

The Wild Hunt head out to find Iron Man. But Stark was still hidden nearby. Now he comes out and approaches the head of Painted Xan. Earlier Shevaun told him how they were communicating across dimensions. Tony had elf ear bones in his armour's ears, and she had a corresponding bone with her - they were talking via sympatheric magic. Stark figures that the ear bones were broken by the lightning attack. So now he digs the bones out of Xan's ears and puts those in his armour. And he's back in touch with Dark Angel.

He knows her magic portal can only be used once more. This 3rd use was intended to get him back. But he persuades her to send him a fighting armour instead. Then he attracts the attention of the elves, and faces them in an armour which out-War Machine's James Rhodes' old War Machine.

Luke Ross
Luke Ross
Michael Del Mundo (Cover Penciler)
Michael Del Mundo (Cover Inker)
Michael Del Mundo (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Joe Caramagna.
Editor: Mark Paniccia.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)
War Machine
War Machine

(James Rhodes)

Plus: Dark Angel, Red Peril (Abigail Burns).

> Invincible Iron Man: Book info and issue index

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