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Invincible Iron Man #5: Review

Mar 2017
Brian Michael Bendis, Stefano Caselli

Story Name:

(no title given)

Review & Comments

4 stars

Invincible Iron Man #5 Review by (March 31, 2017)
The cover image of all those other heroes has nothing to do with the story. The solicitation that went with it claimed that other heroes would ask Riri to join their teams and Iron Man's old villains would come looking for revenge. Well Techno-Golem was already here. But SHIELD *does* try to recruit her. They could be represented on the cover by Agent Thing, or by Captain America if he's taken over SHIELD at this point.

Sharon Carter is described as a SHIELD Commander. She was offered Directorship of SHIELD in CA: Steve Rogers #10 after Maria Hill was sacked. But she declined in favour of Cap. Nothing here indicates whether this issue takes place in Hill's reign or Cap's.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Invincible Iron Man #5 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
Mrs Williams (still no name) is worried about her 15-year old daughter being the armoured superhero Ironheart, even though she's older than her years. She knows that she can't stop her but just hopes she can guide her a bit. She tries to talk about it with the Tony Stark AI in Riri's garage workroom but gets no reply.

The AI is currently busy in Chicago with de-armoured Riri. They are facing Tomoe and her techno-ninjas along with Pepper Potts. Tomoe has done her shtick of mentally taking over the IH armour and Pepper's Rescue suit and combining them into her own large armour. Now another 'Iron Man' has shown up and challenged Tomoe, but she just sees that as another resource to commandeer.

Meanwhile Riri did her own commandeering and used the laptop of a local boy to write a virus in concert with the AI. The AI is also piloting the IM suit. Riri held off a couple of techno-ninjas with a fire extinguisher while the boy was supposed to hit Enter when the AI told him to - as Tomoe was dismantling 'Iron Man'. But nothing seemed to happen - cliffhanger.

Now we find that the confused boy hasn't obeyed orders, until Riri shouts "Now!" at him. Then she rushes outside to see Tomoe finishing taking the IM armour apart and being shocked to find no Tony Stark inside. (Apparently the Techno-Golem just figured that Tony had got over whatever his current problem was.)

For a few seconds as Tomoe adds the new armour to her own the virus still seems not to have worked. But then Tomoe's suit suffers rejection and violently breaks into pieces. And phase 2 of the virus kicks in and infects all the cybernetically linked ninjas, incapacitating them.

However it's not all over yet. Tomoe is still up and about, and approaches menacingly with 1 of her ninja's light sabres. Riri grabs another 1 and manages to switch it on. All is set for a duel as the villainess asks if the heroine knows how to use a sword. Riri remembers her stepfather offering to teach her to fence. Now she regrets being too busy with her inventing to take him up on it.

Tomoe leaps in to the unequal fight. Then an iron glove knocks her out. Pepper has regained mental control of the pieces of her armour.

Now the Rescue and Ironheart suits reform around their mistresses, as SHIELD turn up. Apparently Pepper's armour is classed as a weapon of war and is fitted with a lojack alarm to tell SHIELD if it gets taken over by anyone else. She figures that SHIELD will insist on the same thing being done to Ironheart.

SHIELD Commander Sharon Carter gratefully takes receipt of the Techno Golem and her biohack ninjas. She knows who Riri Williams is and remembers that she was 1 of Iron Man's group who attacked the SHIELD Triskelion HQ (Civil War II #5), and accuses her of wearing stolen property. (Riri 'borrowed' stuff from MIT to build her 1st suit in the previous IM series, but this 1's been created with Tony Stark's resources.)

Pepper and Sharon are shocked to learn that Riri is only 15. But Carter still offers a job as a SHIELD trainee. Riri violently rejects that and Carter accuses her of supporting Hydra. Riri says that black and white view is part of what she doesn't like about SHIELD, and their habit of abusing their power even if for good cause.

Riri and Pepper agree to meet sometime to continue their conversation interrupted by Tomoe in #3. Riri sarcastically guesses that SHIELD will eavesdrop. With that she makes her exit. But not before meeting Tomoe's glare from her (hopefully Golem-proof) confinement box.

Pepper and Sharon exchange words. The unfortunate helpful local boy gets arrested by SHIELD despite his protestations of innocence. And there's a gratuitous cameo by Deadpool in the background.

Later Mrs Williams finds exhausted Riri asleep in her armour in the garage. Mom insists her daughter disinfect her (minor) wounds, while Riri is more worried about disinfecting the suit from Techno-Golem viruses. They dismiss her passing out as natural (but maybe it's foreshadowing). Riri is more worried than her mother was about getting no answer from the Stark AI ...

... which is currently in Tony's New York lab with his company's AI Friday. She's surprised to find him taking holographic human form when there are no humans about. But he says because he's a digital copy of an actual person (unlike Friday) he is used to having a body and misses it.

Friday asks about Riri Williams but Tony says he's though of a better way to protect the good from the bad. "I'm sure you've come to the same logical conclusion yourself ... it's the humans." (Now that is foreshadowing.)

Preview Pages
Click sample interior pages to enlarge them:

Stefano Caselli
Stefano Caselli
Marte Gracia
Stefano Caselli (Cover Penciler)
Stefano Caselli (Cover Inker)
Marte Gracia (Cover Colorist)

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