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Iron Man Annual #15: Review

Jan 1994
Len Kaminski, Gene Colan

Story Name:

Minds In Collision

Review & Comments

Rating:
3 stars

Iron Man Annual #15 Review by (January 8, 2019)
Comments: Main story falls between issues #306 and 307/FORCE WORKS #3 and 4. The Controller last appeared in issue #293 and will return (after a few appearances with the Avengers and Heroes for Hire) in Volume 3, issues #12-13. Second story leads in to issue #307. Full writing credits for third story: Conceived by Len Kaminski. Design and layout by Scott Benson. Text by Benson & Kaminski. Issue includes a collage of covers.

Review: Iron Man has a furrowed brow on the cover and that shouldn't be possible but it's a comic book, anything can happen. The first tale showcases the great Gene Colan's later, more impressionistic style, befitting an adventure that takes place largely in the mind. True, it's a bit hard to follow but the eerie visuals carry us through. The second story has a lot of promise with all the villains but it quickly settles down once we realize it's all a training simulation—but then we learn the simulation is out of control and it ramps the action back up. The third tale is rather offbeat but offers much characterization, assuming anybody actually read the whole thing. I did but that was as a favor to my old pal writer Scott Benson. If you're reading this, hi Scott!




 

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Iron Man Annual #15 Synopsis by T Vernon
The Controller tests his new systems, looking through the eyes of various slaves, recalling his childhood as an invalid and determining to be in control one day, followed by a battle among his berserkers, finally having Stark employee Bob Peterson snap and threaten Mrs. Arbogast with a gun in a plot to assassinate Tony Stark. But then Iron Man bursts in and subdues the would-be killer who, when questioned, responds with the Controller's voice....

Erica Sondheim examines Peterson and finds no trace of any type of controlling device; here Controller reveals that he has devised a new method of mind control, one without any mechanical aid, namely channeling through a latent psionic named Sarah Jessup. Tony tells Bethany Cabe he will have to face the Controller as Iron Man, using an image inducer to disguise himself as one of the villain's berserkers. But with his new powers he easily detects the interloper and has his berserkers capture Iron Man. Controller pours his energy into the hero's brain, planning to crush him once and for all but something goes wrong: the sudden increase of power kills Sarah Jessup and spawns a monster called Mindstorm which lashes out against the two antagonists. Her psionic violence threatens to tear their minds apart, forcing their memories together so that they experience all of each other's hurts and pains pushing them toward madness. But while the Controller is overwhelmed, Tony Stark acts, using the bad guy's knowledge of the system to shut it down, depriving Mindstorm of her energy and so she consumes herself and vanishes....

Iron Man discovers that Controller has suffered a stroke and he is hospitalized and assumed to be in a persistent vegetative state and they consider pulling the plug, unaware that the Controller is aware and able to hear them....


2nd story: War Game

Pencils: M.D. Bright. Inks: Kevin Yates. Colors: Ben Sean

A band of villains including Blacklash, Blizzard, Melter, Beetle, Unicorn, and Titanium Man and commanded by the Mandarin, attacks Iron Man. Iron Man takes them all down with a minimum of effort. Here we learn that this is a training simulation as Shellhead asks for another scenario with increased difficulty. Now he battles flying killbots, one of which blasts him out of the sky, then other mechanized killers pursue him and the program can't be shut down. Then he finds himself fighting Crimson Dynamo and a quartet of armored enemies. After a sound beating he looks up to see Ultimo, Fin Fang Foom, and the Technovore again led by Mandarin. Tony patches his brain into the system and discovers it's been sabotaged and shuts it all down from the inside. Abe Zimmer and PhilipRavenGrant search for the culprit but he is hiding deeply; Tony concludes that he will have to go into the computer system himself—which is what the mystery villain has wanted all along....


3rd story: The Media Takes on Tony Stark

Writer: Len Kaminski, Scott Benson. Art: Kevin Hopgood.

A selection of periodical articles about Tony Stark from news and financial magazines and gossip columns, giving insight into our protagonist's character.


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> Iron Man Annual: Book info and issue index


Story #2

Wargame

Writer: Len Kaminski. Colorist: Ben Sean.

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

By None


Story #3

The Media Takes On Tony Stark

Colorist: ?.

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

By None


Story #4

(No Title Given)

Colorist: ?.

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

By None


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Gene Colan
Al Williamson
George Roussos
Mark Bright (Cover Penciler)
Andy Lanning (Cover Inker)
Letterer: Phil Felix.
Editor: Nel Yomtov. Editor-in-chief: Tom DeFalco.

Characters

Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)

Plus: Abe Zimmer, Bethany Cabe, Controller, Erica Sondheim, Mrs. Arbogast, Raven (Philip Grant).