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Invincible Iron Man #27: Review

Jun 2014
Kieron Gillen, Joe Bennett

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Story Name:

Rings of the Mandarin chapter 5

Review & Comments

4 stars

Invincible Iron Man #27 Review by (June 15, 2014)
The pencilling chores have been split again. Last issue Joe Bennett took over half the job from Luke Ross. Joe was supposed to continue as sole penciller for this issue and the next, but here we find Cliff Richards doing half the work. It remains to be seen what will happen next issue. Meanwhile Cliff does the 1st 7 pages including the recruitment of Abigail Burns. Joe comes in for most of the Mandarins' argument and Abigail's attack ending with a full-pager of the invasion of the Iron Men. Cliff returns for the last 6 pages covering the attack by Iron Metropolitan and Liar's unmasking. The Mandarins' City is built on the ruins of Sinister London, presumably the underground London built by Mr Sinister and seen in Uncanny X-Men #15-17 during Avengers vs X-Men. Mole Man's practice run 'destroying' New York was possibly in FF (2013) #2, dealt with by the replacement FF while the Fantastic Four were on their space vacation. But there's a continuity issue there because it suggests here that Exile was complicit in this test run. He gained his super-power and Ring during the Inhumanity background event, and Medusa in the FF issue is definitely pre-Inhumanity (and pre-Infinity). When Abigail Burns defeats Endotherm she calls him Exile, which is probably just a simple writer/editor slip. But she also says that this leaves 'only actual Ring-Wearers'. And when their base is attacked both Exile and Endotherm are with the others. Does Endotherm have remote- or AI-controlled suits like Iron Man?


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Invincible Iron Man #27 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
Pepper Potts goes on a date with her fiance Marc Kumar to the Unnatural History Museum of New York (with various super-exhibits including Devil Dinosaur). Marc asks what Tony Stark is doing now. Pepper knows he's gotten the 4 Mandarin Rings from Malekith the Dark Elf (in the last 4 issues). But all she knows now is that he's planning something with Arno, Marc seems jealous of Pepper and Tony's close relationship.

3 hours ago Tony and Arno were trying to persuade Abigail Burns to help them against the bearers of the other 6 Mandarin Rings. They've discovered that the Mandarins have an underground base city (built by Moloids and Lava Men), but they can't detect where it is.

The city is run by Mole Man, who's using his Ring to build weapons to destroy cities. He had a practice run recently against New York, stopped by the FF. But leftist Abigail isn't going to help American Iron Man against a sovereign nation for doing weapons tests.

Stark mentions that Exile will use Mole Man's weapon to wipe out the Inhumans, who he hates as of #20INH. Burns is definitely against genocide, but would need proof.

Tony next tries to use the journalist's anti-capitalism to justify attacking Colin Anderson 60, the businessman clone who's using the Moloids as a free workforce to create short-life duplicates of his Ring to sell. But she doesn't agree with using force to stop him.

She also doesn't care that Endotherm is using his Ring to attack Stark facilities. After all, she did the same when she had a Ring.

Abigail also doesn't fall for Tony's ploy that the wearer of the Liar Ring is keeping his identity secret even from his fellow Ring-Bearers. The journalist readily breaks government/corporate secrecy, but is a firm believer in the individual's right to privacy.

It's only when she hears that the 6th Mandarin is Alec Eiffel the French Neo-Nazi that Ms Burns is on board.

The Mandarins bicker as usual. Anderson doesn't want his prime market New York destroyed, while Exile is angry that Mole Man's test device wasn't armed - he did want NY destroyed, taking out his enemy Iron Man as well as lots of Inhumans. Mole Man doesn't like anyone questioning his decisions. Alec Eiffel wants to know who Liar really is, in case he's a member of an inferior race. Liar refuses, but confirms that he has it in for Stark.

Mole Man suggests their 1st real target should be Tony Stark's futuristic city called Troy, which meets with general approval. But a voice from their Rings disagrees. Endotherm detects something melting its way down to them from above. He flies to investigate and is faced with Abigail Burns in a custom-made Iron Man armour. With prosthetic flame projectors to replace the hands Malekith cut off and the Incinerator Ring she lost to him.

A flashback shows how Tony and Arno used their studies of the 4 Mandarin Rings in their possession together with alien tech from the body of Recorder-451 and magic supplied by Dark Angel to create a Master Ring to rule the others. But they needed experienced Ring pilot Abigail to wear it for them.

(Earlier journalist Abigail had probed Tony about his feelings for red-headed Pepper and her engagement. She jokingly wondered whether it was her own red hair which prompted his strong feelings (against) her.  Now seeing flame-tressed Shevaun Haldane impelled her to raise the issue again.)

Of course Burns could then use the Ring's natural ability to locate other Rings to find the Mandarins' underground city. Now she's breached its ceiling and swiftly takes out Endotherm. Then she calls in reinforcements.

A mobile skyscraper part of Troy City comes down the very large tunnel she's bored, and spews out Iron Man and a horde of his Trojan Guard drone Iron Men. Arno is inside the skyscraper controlling it, and 'transforms' it into a giant robot which attacks the tall building housing the Mandarins.

The villains try to use the Rings to teleport away but it doesn't work. Shevaun has used what she learned of Dark Elf magic from Iron Man's foray into Svartalfheim to set up a confinement ritual. Arno, calling himself Iron Metropolitan, smashes open the roof of their meeting room. The IM drones target the other Mandarins while Shellhead chases after Liar.

But Liar does something that causes Tony to back down. And before he unmasks he taunts Stark with 'clues' to his identity that Tony didn't pick up on:- His alter ego professionally used 'mind control and deceit', and Liar wore his Ring on his engagement finger. Of course Liar is Marc, and he's got Pepper as a hostage.

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Barberoids 1 cover original artwork on ebay

Joe Bennett
Scott Hanna
Christian Ward (Cover Penciler)
Christian Ward (Cover Inker)
Christian Ward (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: Dark Angel, Endotherm (Mandarin-Ten), Exile, Marc Kumar/Liar, Red Peril (Abigail Burns).

> Invincible Iron Man: Book info and issue index

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