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Iron Man Annual #11: Review

Sep 1990
Dann Thomas, Tom Morgan

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Story Name:

If the Termini Come... (Terminus Factor Part 2)

Review & Comments

4 stars

Iron Man Annual #11 Review by (April 27, 2014)
Review: Another annual from the era of Marvel history when both writing and art were uninspired and downright mediocre at times, not to mention the muddy printing. 1) Interesting idea for an epic, featuring a monster that constantly grows throughout the series. The execution is entertaining but undistinguished. The chief flaw is that as the story progresses nearly all the heroes prove superfluous, to the point that only Thor and Quasar really contribute anything to the monster’s defeat. Some stories are just a bit too ambitious to work properly. This issue tosses Iron Man into what is basically a Machine Man tale; fortunately one doesn’t need to have read MM’s series to follow this story. Sunset Bain is a much more interesting character without the jumpsuit and Ditko-esque mascara, which would be recognized by later writers. There’s a lot of action and it features a robot bear! What more could you want? 2) The direct sequel to the first tale is presented in summary form, which gets it over with quickly. Added bonus: some mild parody of local news shows with their inane happy banter. 3) A lame comic book story with bad art is merely a pretext for a heavy-handed lecture on the rights of the disabled. Feh. 4) Cute little trifle, featuring some endearing artwork by the legendary Steve Ditko. 5) Pointless and plotless tale of a bored kid in a crummy home-made Iron Man outfit boasts art only marginally better than a self-published B&W comic of the 90s. Marvel has completely lost its pride. 6) Comedy tale is helped immensely by being text-only, allowing for more irony and dry humor than a more conventional treatment would allow. Best joke: the item given to Tony by mistake is clearly Batman’s utility belt.

Comments: 1) The Terminus Factor Part 2; story continued from CAPTAIN AMERICA ANNUAL #9 and continues in THOR ANNUAL #15. Sunset Bain was introduced as a villain in MACHINE MAN #17-18; later she would turn up in several issues of IRON MAN (1998) as a shady business connection of Tony’s. Jocasta was destroyed in battle with Ultron in MARVEL TWO-IN-ONE #93.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Iron Man Annual #11 Synopsis by Peter Silvestro
Story continued from CAPTAIN AMERICA ANNUAL #9.

Machine Man has taken refuge in a remote cabin with his friend, psychiatrist Peter Spaulding, to attempt to repair the detached head of his beloved Jocasta. A mad bear, infected with the Terminus virus (Stage 2 of the creature), crashes into the cabin and mutates into a clawed robot. It clobbers Machine Man, rips off his left arm and eats it. To save his pal, Peter activates MM’s boot jets sending him away from the monster—which then kills Peter…. Not far away, Tony Stark is at Baintronics, meeting with CEO Sunset Bain about a joint robotics project when Machine Man comes crashing down from the sky. Secretly changing into Iron Man, Tony recovers the damaged robot and heads to LA in search of replacement parts. In his absence, Sunset Bain, secretly the villainess Madame Menace, has her staff create a duplicate of Machine Man, planning to replace the original. The Terminus-bear invades, searching for more titanium to eat. Bain quickly calls Iron Man to return to battle the monster. Recalling that cold hurt the monsters in CAP ANNUAL #9 Shellhead douses his foe with liquid titanium but it only causes the creature to grow. The damaged Machine Man recovers and joins in the fight. They dump molten metal on the monster and this destroys it. The heroes then hear on the news that Terminus-infected wildlife is terrorizing Seattle and take off. Sunset Bain, her plans foiled, now ponders joining Jocasta’s head to her robot duplicate to market a line of female machines. Iron Man and Machine Man return to the cabin to repair the damaged robot and deal with the body of Peter Spaulding. They then head to Seattle to deal with the Termini….

Story continues in THOR ANNUAL #15.

Story #2

Terminus Factor Media Watch

Writer: Evan Skolnick. Penciler: Richard Howell. Inker: David Day. Colorist: David Day. Letterer: Rick Parker.

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

A local news team covers Iron Man and Machine Man fighting against the Terminus-infected animals in the streets of Seattle.

Story #3


Writer: Evan Skolnick. Penciler: Gavin Curtis. Inker: Harry Candelario. Colorist: Evan Skolnick. Letterer: Pat Brosseau.

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

A group of disabled people organize to appeal for their rights; their first mission is to protest a major bus line (“Silverhound,” ha ha) for having no wheelchair accessible vehicles. They blockade the company’s L.A. bus terminal with leader Jim Clay chaining himself behind the wheel of a bus. The mood grows ugly as frustrated passengers demand to complete their trips. Tony Stark hears about the incident on the radio and, having recently been cured of paralysis, heads out there as Iron Man to forestall any violence. But the bus with Jim Clay has been sabotaged; it begins rolling down the street and ends up perched on the edge of a bridge. Iron Man prevents it from falling but another protestor is revealed to be trapped beneath the bus. While Shellhead holds the vehicle in place, Jim Clay, using only the strength of his arms, frees his partner. The bus company agrees to the group’s demands and Tony Stark calls Jim Clay a hero.

Story #4

The Awesome Origin of Mrs. Arbogast

Writer: Carrie Barre. Penciler: Steve Ditko. Inker: Steve Ditko. Colorist: Renee Witterstaetter. Letterer: Chris Eliopoulos.

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Tony Stark is seeking a new secretary; the next applicant, a Mrs. Arbogast, is asked to wait in Mr. Stark’s office for his return from an urgent matter. As she sits in the office, Iron Man and Whirlwind appear outside the window, locked in combat. They crash inside and as the two antagonists thrash around the room, Mrs Arbogast deftly rescues the goldfish and fields phone calls. When Whirlwind seizes her, she hands him the phone saying, “It’s for you.” Thus distracted, the villain is clobbered by Iron Man. As the hero carries his fallen foe away, Mrs. Arbogast sets herself to the task of straightening up the office. When Tony Stark finally arrives, he offers her the job without an interview.

Story #5

The Devil's Playground

Writer: Rob Tokar. Penciler: Rob Tokar. Inker: Chris Ivy. Colorist: Joe Rosas. Letterer: Jack Morelli.

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

A kid who idolizes Iron Man so much that he always wears a cheesy home-made Shellhead costume is so bored that his mom throws him out of the house. His fellow “Avengers” are all away except for “Captain America” but his mom won’t let him out until he finishes his broccoli. That night, “Iron Man” undertakes a dangerous mission: sneaking back into his room. Once there he is attacked by his “other armors” (equally crummy costumes) and a major pretend battle breaks out—to the confusion of his parents.

Story #6


Writer: Dwayne McDuffie.

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Story in the form of business letters details how Damage Control accidentally recovered an experimental power source invented by Tony Stark during the clean-up of a Stark lab. While Tony gets a runaround trying to get it back from the company, it overloads dangerously and Iron Man is able to carry it out to sea in the nick of time. The head of Damage Control takes the opportunity to put the touch on Tony for a contribution to her political action committee.

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Barberoids 1 cover original artwork on ebay

Tom Morgan
Randy Emberlin
Nel Yomtov
Tom Morgan (Cover Penciler)
Tom Morgan (Cover Inker)
Letterer: Janice Chiang.
Editor: Howard Mackie.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)
James Rhodes
James Rhodes


Plus: Mrs. Arbogast, Sunset Bain (Madame Menace), Terminus, Whirlwind (David Cannon).

> Iron Man Annual: Book info and issue index

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