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Iron Man Annual #12: Review

Sep 1991
Roy Thomas, Tom Morgan

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Story Name:

The Homecoming (Subterranean Wars Part 4)

Review & Comments

3 stars

Iron Man Annual #12 Review by (May 29, 2018)
Comments: Main story falls between IRON MAN issues #277 and 278. Next annual 1992. a) Kala made her debut in TALES OF SUSPENSE #43 way back in 1963. The Outcasts first appeared in FANTASTIC FOUR ANNUAL #13 and are not to be confused with several other Marvel groups with the same name. Roy and Dann Thomas are credited as co-writers. Wait, Tony's office is on the ground floor of the building? It must be since a tunnel to the underworld can be created right under his floorboards. c) Quasimodo made his first appearance in FANTASTIC FOUR ANNUAL #4. e) Dragonfly (Veronica Dultry) was introduced in X-MEN #94-95 and made several appearances in QUASAR and in “The Superia Stratagem” in CAPTAIN AMERICA #387-392.

Review: Undistinguished annual is marked by mediocre art and writing. “The Trap” is one of the craziest tales I've ever read in a Marvel comic—and not in a good way. The whole thing definitely goes off the rails when the girls in bikinis arrive, packing pistols. “Construction Complete” is a nice little tale, exciting much sympathy for the misshapen villain but sabotaged by inferior art.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Iron Man Annual #12 Synopsis by T Vernon

Iron Man battles a systems test that gets out of hand, damaging his lab and injuring James Rhodes (Rhodey). Summoned to his office, Tony Stark meets an elderly woman causing a ruckus. She is Kala, Queen of the Netherworld and she summarizes her history among the various rulers of the subterranean realms, ending with her losing her youth and falling in love with the Mole Man; now she wants to enlist Iron Man as an ally to rescue her and Mole Man from the Deviants. The Outcasts, a band of weirdos assigned by Mole Man to guard Kala, erupt through the floor; Iron Man, Rhodey and the guards do battle but two of them, Digger and Landslide, carry Kala off. Shellhead pursues, while Kala persuades her two Outcast captors to return her to her own realm where they can avail themselves of the fountain of youth. But Kala was deposed as queen and when they arrive in the Netherworld they are sentenced to death, Iron Man arriving in the nick of time saves them. Landslide sets off a tremor in self-defense and it creates a fault in the Earth, destroying much of the Netherworld. Iron Man uses his repulsor rays to create a counter-balancing shock to stop the quake. Kala, beautiful again in her own realm, is hailed as a hero by her people who call her queen once more. But she refuses, her loyalties are with the Mole Man now and she asks Iron Man to continue the original mission; as they go, Kala starts aging again....


Characters: Iron Man (TS), James Rhodes, Kala Queen of the Netherworld

Villains:The Outcasts (Boulder, Digger, Water Witch, Landslide)

Tony Stark, the Invincible Iron Man

Writer: Len Kaminski. Art: Don Heck. Colors: Kevin Tinsley.

Synopsis: A one-page summary of Shellhead's origin.

Characters: Iron Man


Construction Complete

Writer: Len Kaminski. Pencils: Barry Kitson. Inks: Andrew Pepoy. Colors: Kevin Tinsley.

Synopsis: At Stark Enterprises, the sentient computer Quasimodo brings himself online once again, inhabiting a newly constructed body. Tony Stark spots the “intruder” on security camera and tells the guards to evacuate the building, suiting up as Iron Man to face Quasimodo. The two battle until Iron Man uses his control over the Stark tech in his foe's new body to shut it down. Quasi begs to be allowed to ask Stark to set him free from his hideous body. Tony decides the best thing to do is to trap Quasi in a virtual reality where he believes he has an ideal, improved body.

Characters: Iron Man (TS)

Villains: Quasimodo

The Trap

Writer: Dwight Jon Zimmerman. Pencils: John Stanisci. Inks: Don Heck. Colors: Kevin Tinsley

Synopsis: James Rhodes, on a courier mission for Tony Stark, is driving along a highway when he is ambushed by the Trapster, miring his car—and then Rhodey himself—in glue. Iron Man arrives on the scene and finds himself shot down and gunked up. The villain is not the real Trapster though, he is Larry Curtiss, a Roxxon Employee, who hopes that this exploit will impress the bigwigs, letting him replace his boss as head of security. But his boss knew about this and has arrived with his bikini-clad bodyguards. The boss orders Curtiss to complete the job by killing Rhodey; Curtiss balks long enough for Iron Man to free himself and chase off the baddies. Then Shellhead and Rhodey hitch a ride with a lovely lady who has Iron Man ride in the back of the truck while flirting with Rhodey.

Characters: Iron Man (TS), James Rhodes



Writer: Gavin Curtis. Pencils: Gavin Curtis. Inks: John Tartaglione. Colors: Ed Lazellari.

Synopsis: Scott Lang is building a large holding pen for Margaret Dultry, former movie star turned animal trainer. Scott is suspicious, though, and returns that night as Ant-Man. The pen now holds a huge insect that can control other bugs—and it wants to kill our hero. The commotion awakens Margaret Dultry and her security guards; Dultry tells Scott that the monster is her sister, the villain known as Dragonfly, only mutated into a real insect. Dultry floods the pen, intending to kill both Ant-Man and Veronica; Scott uses reducing gas on Dragonfly, now mutated into a more human form, in order to rescue her from the deadly waters. Scott escapes but comes back with the police who don't believe his tale until he discovers where they have hidden Veronica—and a lot of other criminal contraband.

Characters: Ant Man (Scott Lang)

Villains: Dragonfly

Story #2

Tony Stark, The Invincible Iron Man!

Writer: ?. Penciler: Don Heck. Inker: Don Heck. Colorist: ?. Letterer: ?.

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

By None

Story #3

Construction Complete

Writer: Len Kaminski. Inker: Andrew Pepoy. Colorist: ?. Letterer: ?.

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

By None

Story #4

The Trap

Writer: Dwight Jon Zimmerman. Inker: Don Heck. Colorist: ?. Letterer: ?.

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

By None

Story #5


Inker: John Tartaglione. Colorist: ?. Letterer: ?.

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

By None

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Barberoids 1 cover original artwork on ebay

Tom Morgan
Tom Morgan
Bob Sharen
Tom Morgan (Cover Penciler)
Tom Morgan (Cover Inker)
Letterer: Phil Felix.
Editor: Nel Yomtov. Editor-in-chief: Tom DeFalco.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.


(Scott Lang)
Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)
War Machine
War Machine

(James Rhodes)

Plus: Boulder, Digger, Dragonfly, Kala, Landslide, Quasimodo, Water Witch.

> Iron Man Annual: Book info and issue index

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