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Invincible Iron Man #5: Review

Jan 2013
Kieron Gillen, Greg Land

Story Name:

Believe 5: Men of the world

Review & Comments

4 stars

Invincible Iron Man #5 Review by (January 4, 2013)
Iron Man is off into outer space now, but he also went at the end of #527, the last issue of the previous series. He's been suffering a mid-life crisis during this current arc, as he did during #527. I choose to consider that #527 overlapped this arc, and both space trips are the same one. This reduces the problem of fitting IM's own adventures in between his Avengers duties. (The recent Mandarin story is enough of headache in that department.) Our hero will be in space for at least the next story arc. He's also going to be in Guardians of the Galaxy in the same space armour. I don't know how long either gig will last. The space-armour helmet reminds me of Annihilus. I wonder if Tony's space travels will cross that alien's path?

Eli likens himself to Robin Hood. With his beard and space station he seems more like Nemo to me (Verne's Captain, not the lost fish). Eli moans that humanity abandoned space after the Moon landings. The government and corporations won't support manned exploration further out. (He is dismissive of the automated devices that have gone instead?) However he ignores the fact that private corporations *may* still take the baton from governments. And he is being parochial when he says that the government won't do it. Just because the US government (and Europe) are holding back, it doesn't mean the Chinese and Indians won't step up. In the Marvel universe he can't ignore things like the Kree-Skrull War, so he has to mention that super-heroes such as the Fantastic Four have been out into the wider universe. But he's also chosen to forgot non-super stuff like StarCore, and the SHIELD space agency SWORD. This is another example of the problem having Marvel events happen in the real world. The real current relationship between Earth and outer space is totally at odds with Marvel history.

This is the last part of the Extremis arc "Believe". As mentioned here all his opponents (apart from AIM) were doing something they believed in. For #521 I commented that Stark's plans for for a clean free energy source would transform the world into something totally different from the one we live in, which would be at odds with Marvel's (and DC's) policy of setting their stories in the recognisably current world. (Ignoring of course the fact that having all these super-characters running around makes the world completely different anyway.) It looks like the current writer is of the same opinion.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Invincible Iron Man #5 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
Reslient CEO Pepper Potts shows Tony Stark the new Resilient phone, but Tony wants to know whatever happened to the idea of free energy via repulsor technology that he promised the world (back in Iron Man (2008) #25). Pepper says they're working on it, but meanwhile they need the phone to make the money to support the research.

Pepper changes the subject to the last detectable batch of Extremis users. She's worked out that they are in orbit. Tony says he'd already figured that out, and admits he'd been reluctant to go after them because he's guessed who they are. But now he straps on his modular Iron Man armour and heads into space.

It turns out that the orbiting space station is run by an old friend Eli, who was young Tony's mentor after his father died. Eli had always had a dream of getting into space.

Stark accuses Eli of buying the Extremis process off AIM, who had tortured Maya Hansen to get it. Extremis is too potentially dangerous to leave in anyone's hands. Iron Man is here to destroy it.

Eli counters that he didn't pay AIM anything. He stole Extremis, as he has most of his other technology. He likens himself to Robin Hood, stealing from the present rich to give space travel to future generations. He reminds his friend that the US government stopped exploring space after the Moon landings. They and big business are too short-sighted to do it. He claims that only super-heroes have been back to space since then. But it's Eli's vision that will propel mankind itself to its destiny in the stars.

His crew is a mixture of scientists and thieves, and they have all been modified by Extremis to survive better in space. E.g. they have radiation resistance. Later they will add adaptations to enable them to live on individual other planets and moons.

Stark is very sympathetic to Eli's goal. But he can't afford to leave Extremis where someone like Dr Doom might get hold of it. So he still going to destroy their source of the virus/process.

Eli and crew draw their weapons and attack Iron Man. But with no effect. Stark had reasoned that they wouldn't risk explosive weapons on a space station. So he had correctly equipped his armour with counter measures to an ECM (Elrectronic Counter Measure) assault.

Iron Man disables his opponents with tasers. Then he destroys their Extremis device. But he leaves them with their current modifications, so they can continue to explore space.

Weeks later Tony and Pepper discuss Stark's recent feeling that he's been wasting his life. Whether for good or ill, all the characters from these last 4 issues were at least pursuing their goals. And Eli's dream struck a chord with Tony, so he makes a decision. He dons another armour, this one specifically designed for extended space travel. (The AI in this suit seems to be different from JARVIS of the previous issues, and is called PEPPER.) And Iron Man heads out for deep space.

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: Eli Warren.

> Invincible Iron Man: Book info and issue index

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