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Invincible Iron Man #4: Review

Dec 2015
Brian Michael Bendis, David Marquez

Story Name:

(no title given)

Review & Comments

4 stars

Invincible Iron Man #4 Review by (December 5, 2015)
The cover claims to be an homage to John Romita Sr's last panel intro of Mary Jane Watson in Amazing Spider-Man #42. But the exact pose is actually based on an artwork by Adam Hughes, which is 1 of the 1st images you'll get if you Google the character, itself an homage to the original. Mandroids are powered armour designed by Tony Stark for use by SHIELD against super-powered foes. They were 1st used against the Avengers (including Iron Man) in the lead-up to the Kree-Skrull War in Av#94. But this is the 1st time I've heard of their vulnerable intercommunication system. It is claimed that Iron Man has already missed 3 appointments with the sick kids to help the Avengers save the world. Does this mean this story arc happens after the Avengers are recreated in the All-New All-Different Avengers? But then we don't know why or when the Avengers were disbanded, given that we (still!) don't yet know how this universe relates to Secret Wars and the universe that went before. The armours Tony Stark takes with him to the hospital include the Endo-Sym 'Superior' version. This should mean that the Superior Iron Man phase does exist in this universe's past.

Mary Jane Watson is the woman who never married Peter Parker (at least in the altered reality after One More Day/Brand New Day). The Jackpot club is presumably named after her greeting line in the ASM#42 panel mentioned above "Face it, tiger, you just hit the jackpot", and not after the post-BND character Jackpot who we were initially led to suspect was MJ herself. Her previous club in New York was called MJ's which she bought in ASM#688 to celebrate the end of the Ends Of The Earth story. We don't know how it was destroyed, but presumably it was after she broke up with Peter (again) in Superior SM #31. The letters page claims that now they've stolen Mary Jane from the Spider-Man comics they're not giving her back. Who knows what her future here will be, given that Tony has already acquired a new womanfriend Amara Perera? But I find it significant that they've given her freckles which I don't think she ever had before (except in pics outside actual comics). (Is this 1 of the little differences between the old universe and the new 1?) But we know how Tony likes redheads with freckles! The letters page also says the boy Max is based on a real kid who's battling haemophilia. And it gives us a heads up that the 'Tony's real parents' plotline will be taken up in a new title International Iron Man.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Invincible Iron Man #4 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
In Marina Del Rey Iron Man is fighting the light-sabre-wielding ninjas who attacked him last issue. His AI Friday can't get any clues as to their identities. They communicate with each other over a private cybernetic web that she can't crack. But she can detect that they are people not robots.

As usual with a Marvel fight the bad guys initially have the upper hand. In particular repeated blows to his neck threaten to breach Tony Stark's armour. But he morphs the armour to provide extra protection there, and indeed all over. Then he manages to grab 1 of their swords and integrates it into his system.

Now Shellhead turns to tide of the battle. He spends 2/3 of his available power on a zero point energy bubble blast which knocks the ninjas down. Then he throws 1 of them into the ocean which shorts out the ninja's tech. And all the other ninjas are affected. Their cybernetically linked systems reminded him of the Mandroids he designed - and disrupting 1 caused the others to reboot. And during that short period the Golden Avenger is able to smash all their tech.

Now he rips the mask off 1 of his foes to find a Japanese guy within. Friday translates as the ninja says he's failed and dishonoured. Then they all self-destruct in a form of seppuku.

Iron Man leaves the local police to clean up and heads back to base. He reviews the story so far:- Madame Masque is stealing weapons of power (like a Wand of Watoomb similar to 1 Dr Strange has), and the ninjas were after her.  Dr Doom is now out of his armour and acting like a good guy, but Tony doesn't buy it. Friday says she can't locate Doom or Masque. She also tells him that MM broke into the Tokyo office of Stark International 2 days ago. Stark has the security chief fired for not reporting it immediately and orders an investigation.

The AI reminds her boss that he's due to visit sick children at St Jude's Hospital. He wants to continue mulling over the situation instead, but Friday plays him a recording of himself saying that he's already put it off 3 times (for good reasons) and he mustn't do it again (not even for some humorous invented scenarios).

Tony takes along a selection of armours to show the kids, including his latest which he morphs to fit a precocious boy named Max. Meanwhile Friday in another armour is keeping watch for Dr Doom, Madame Masque or more ninjas. But Victor Von Doom's hybrid of magic and tech allows him to slip past her and interrupt the proceedings.

Meanwhile in Chicago Mary Jane Watson is opening her new nightclub called Jackpot. She's moved to the Windy City because her previous club in New York got trashed by a super-battle. But her hopes of avoiding super-clashes are about to be dashed.

Madame Masque is there to meet an associate Behilio who she now kills. And Iron Man and Doom show up to confront her.

David Marquez
David Marquez
Justin Ponsor
David Marquez (Cover Penciler)
David Marquez (Cover Inker)
Justin Ponsor (Cover Colorist)


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Doctor Strange
Doctor Strange

(Stephen Strange)
Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)

> Invincible Iron Man: Book info and issue index

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