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Iron Man #5: Review

Jan 2021
Christopher Cantwell, Cafu

Story Name:

Bravest of the Argives

Review & Comments

4 stars

Iron Man #5 Review by (January 9, 2021)
The solicit said this is the end of the 1st Act of The Books Of Korvac. This is the 1st reference to such a story arc name. And of course the story will continue into Act 2 next issue.

Isaac Christians became Gargoyle in Defenders #94 and stayed with them to the end in #152 where he and several other Defenders died. But he was brought back to life in a story running through Solo Avengers #16,18,20. He was Daimon Hellstrom's butler in the Hellstorm: Prince Of Lies series and later joined the Initiative. He's continued to pop up occasionally, last of all in Dr Strange (2018) #15-16 as part of the Herald Supreme story arc where he and many others died (again). But Strange restored the universe next issue so that's OK.

Eugene Patilio took over the Frog-Man suit of his villainous Leap Frog father to try to redeem his reputation in Marvel Team-Up #121. He's not appeared very frequently, but many of his apps have been with Spider-Man, including recently in the Hunted arc in Amazing SM (2018). And after that in Star #1.

The Spider-Man clone was created by Jackal in ASM#149, adopted the Ben Reilly identity in Spectacular SM #223 and the Scarlet Spider id in SM(1990)#52. For a while he took over the Spider-Man id when Peter Parker retired. But he was killed in SM#75. Miles Warren recloned him as the villainous new Jackal in ASM(2015)#22, but he re-became the heroic Scarlet Spider in the BR:SS series and got involved in the Spider-Geddon event. Lately he's popped up in Conan: Battle For The Serpent Crown #2.

Knightwing Restorations Ltd are Misty Knight and Colleen Wing and they were part of Iron Fist's cast from his earliest days in Marvel Premiere through his own series and partnership with Luke Cage. They were vpart of the 2nd Heroes For Hire team and Misty led the 3rd inarnation (which Gargoyle was briefly part of). Misty was also 1 of the Fearless Defenders. Most recently she's been 1 of the Daughters Of Liberty in the current Captain America series.

Misty should be well-disposed towards Tony Stark because he provided her with her bionic right arm (twice I believe). Her dislike of him may data back to the 1st Civil War when she didn't like the things he hired her team to do, nor the strain it put on her relationship with Iron Fist who was on the other side.

Will Halycon's adrenaline-suit mean that he got the team out of danger fast enough? I don't think they'd really kill Misty Knight off. But lots of people would be glad to see the back of the Spidey-clone.

Guardsman is mentioned here as working for Korvac but he's not been seen in this series. If it's not a mistake then he's presumably Michael O'Brien who dates back to #82 of the original run, and donned the Guardsman armour in #96. He later gave up the armour (which became the uniform of a whole troop of official Guardsmen soldiers) and became part of the Avengers support staff. Which was where he was last seen in the 1999 Av Annual.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Iron Man #5 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
As usual with this series there's a gap between the end of last issue and the beginning of this 1, and again the gap's not going to be filled with a flashback.

Tony Stark has Patsy Walker confined with her permission because Korvac can take her over (as he did at the end of last issue). The villain isn't 'talking' to her in her head at them moment so he leaves her to meet his new gang (that Halcyon recruited during the gap). Ex-Defender Gargoyle (Isaac Christians) now runs an oyster bar, and would-be superhero Frog Man (Eugene Patilio) works for him. Scarlet Spider (Ben Reilly) is a Spider-Man clone who works night security at the Metropolitan Museum Of Art. And Misty Knight is part of the Knightwing Restorations Ltd detective agency. She doesn't like Stark and is billing him for this job.

Tony summarises the situation. Korvac is a villain who killed all the Avengers (in their #177). At that time he had godlike powers that he got from Taa II, the spaceship of Galactus. Now he's been resurrected as an android and is intent on going back to Taa II to get those powers again. As a step on the way he's supercharged himself with about a 3rd of the energy of the Sun. He's also kidnapped James Rhodes as a hostage to stop Iron Man asking the Avengers for help. So Stark sent Halcyon out to recruit some under-the-radar help. He mentions that Halcyon has the mutant power of remaining calm in all circumstances, but Tony has made him a super-suit which will give him an artificial adrenaline boost so he can react to danger.

In an overstock warehouse in the Bronx Korvac and his acolytes (Blizzard, Controller and Unicorn) are preparing to take their spaceship to where they have detected Taa II to be currently. They'll leave Rhodey behind (I think) and they have a plan to stop Iron Man from following them. But 1st there's something Korvac needs to do.

Patsy hears his voice in her head again. She remembers being given electroshock therapy years ago when she suffered from voices before (in the Hellstorm: Prince Of Lies series). Now Korvac tells her to come to him and bring Stark with her. Somehow Hellcat finds herself outside in the rain with their foe as the self-proclaimed messiah promises to make all her troubles go away. But she jams her hand in an electricity supply box and the shock knocks her out.

Iron Man is on the roof as he wonders if he should let Korvac win. Maybe the man *can* make the world better, as he tried to do the 1st time. But Tony remembers all the times *he*'s thought he knew what the world needed, and he was wrong every time.

Inside the building Misty Knight has located a large energy and radiation spike in a warehouse in Port Morris in the Bronx. Gargoyle finds that it is an overflow warehouse for a home furnishings company. Deaf engineer Halcyon uses sign language (which luckily Frog Man can interpret) to tell them it has to be a large engine.

Meanwhile Iron Man has spotted Hellcat's energy discharge and flies there to find her alone. He apologises for using her as bait to get to Korvac. But Patsy is getting flashbacks of being in Hell (after she committed suicide in that Hellstorm series). Tony holds her until she calms down. He gets a message to say that his team are heading to the warehouse, but he tells them to wait for him before going in. Then people rush out of a nearby building claiming there's a man with a bomb inside. Patsy begs him not to leave her but the hero has to go.

He finds Korvac in a laundry room with no bomb. The would-be god continues to say that he can save the world. Stark continues not to believe him. Korvac suggests Tony thinks he could do a better job himself. Tony denies it. But then he gets another message from Misty to say that they've gone in without him and found a Shi'ar jumpship all powered up. But it's an empty shell. Tony urges them to get out fast, but there's an explosion and he loses contact.

Korvac says that once again Stark has been outsmarted. Angry Iron Man responds with full-power repulsor blasts, but all they do is chip away some of the android's human disguise. And now his battered, power-depleted armour crashes to the ground. His enemy contacts his minions and asks them to congratulate Guardsman because the decoy ship worked beautifully. Now they'll leave on the real ship in 10 minutes. Then he stomps on Tony's neck and the armour's AI reports critical injuries and imminent death from lack of oxygen.

Frank D'Armata
Alex Ross (Cover Penciler)
Alex Ross (Cover Inker)
Alex Ross (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Joe Caramagna.
Editor: Tom Brevoort. Editor-in-chief: C. B. Cebulski.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.


(Isaac Christians)

(Patsy Walker)
Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)
James Rhodes
James Rhodes


Plus: Blizzard, Controller (Basil Sandhurst), Frog-Man (Eugene Patilio), Halcyon, Korvac, Scarlet Spider (Ben Reilly), Unicorn.

> Iron Man: Book info and issue index

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