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Invincible Iron Man (1968 series) #237

December 1988
David Michelinie, Jackson Guice

Story Name:

Star Hunter!

Reviews & Comments

Rating:
4.5 stars

By T on July 4, 2017

Comments: The Space Shuttle program is mentioned as “still grounded” in the wake of the Challenger disaster (January 28, 1986); the next mission was in September 1988, after this story was written but before the date on the issue.

Review: Iron Man versus ALIEN! Why not? That is essentially what this is, though the monster has to be more formidable to be a match for Iron Man...and the monster actually gets some characterization. Trust Michelinie to see things from the baddie's point of view—even a baddie as nonhuman as this one. As an added bonus, we're shown that this creature can adapt its defenses against any weapon thrown at it, a precursor to DC's Doomsday. And kudos to Guice and Layton for showing us something scarier than the Xenomorph and Doomsday! Yikes. This issue is a triumph, not just because it has a scary monster but the grim atmosphere and elegiac mood (go look it up) provide a moody backdrop for the proceedings. But cheer up, the next issue will be back to the usual superhero goings-on.


 

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Iron Man stands in the orbiting space lab Koontz amid the butchered corpses of its crew. He reflects on how he got there....

Tony Stark fires his attorney Bert Hindel for dropping the ball on the whole Armor Wars controversy. Tony is then visited by representatives of the Justice Department. It seems that they haven't heard from the crew of their top secret space lab and they want Iron Man to investigate. Tony agrees—if the government will drop its lawsuit against him over the Armor Wars and they bring pressure to make sure the civilian suits are dropped as well....

And so, Iron Man, with some deep space modules on his armor along with a rocket booster, finds himself on the charnel house that is the space lab. He replays the logs and finds that the scientists were working with DNA to create a monster—an unstoppable killing machine to be used as a weapon against enemy satellites—and the monster escaped. The creature then stumbled across a stealth sphere and traveled to the abandoned Stark space station....

Iron Man jets over to the station and locates the creature by readings. The monster, looking like a sort of bat with many, many more claws and fangs, attacks Shellhead and flees. The thing is incredibly fast and its claws can scratch his advanced armor. Iron Man returns to the docking bay to discover his deep space modules have been destroyed by the monster. It seizes him, sending them both crashing through the bulkhead into space. Pushing them back into the station, Shellhead tries one weapon after another against his foe but none seems effective—and then he realizes that the monster is able to mutate, adapting its defenses against whatever it is attacked with. In the control room, the hero reactivates A.I.M.'s deadly bacillus and the monster is infected. As the monster dies, it speaks: “Why...you...kill me?” Shellhead answers that it because of the scientists it had killed. Monster replies “Was...my...job....” Iron Man broods on this as he repairs his modules and returns to Earth....

Elektra

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David Michelinie
Jackson Guice
Bob Layton
Bob Sharen
Jackson Guice (Cover Penciler)
Bob Layton (Cover Inker)

Characters

Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Iron Man
Iron Man

Plus: Bert Hindel, James Rhodes ((Rhodey), Mrs. Arbogast.