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Iron Man: Enter the Mandarin #5: Review

Mar 2008
Joe Casey, Eric Canete

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Story Name:

(no title given)

Review & Comments

3.5 stars

Iron Man: Enter the Mandarin #5 Review by (April 17, 2013)
This issue corresponds to the rest of Tales of Suspense #54, after the opening bit at the end of last issue. The overall scenario is the same, from Stark allowing himself to be captured, turning to Iron Man, fighting Mandarin, and getting wrapped up in metal. In ToS#54 Tony explicitly tells us he goes as Stark because Iron Man would be attacked before he got there. The philosophical chat and the execution don't happen. Mandarin's (much lower tech) guards are overcome with gas when they open the briefcase, allowing Tony to armour up. As often happened, Iron Man loses because his power runs down. Also the orbital platform menace doesn't exist. As mentioned last time, Mandarin has only been interfering with Stark missiles that the US is using in Vietnam (which of course is the wrong era for the setting of the current series).


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Iron Man: Enter the Mandarin #5 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
Iron Man heads to China strapped to a missile, as Mandarin deploys his stolen Western (ie American) technology. But it is Tony Stark who appears at Mandarin's gate, to be thrown in a dungeon. He is relieved of the briefcase he clutches, but Mandarin's people can't get it open, nor scan what's inside it.

Mandarin goes to talk with Stark. He can't understand why Stark has walked unarmed into the lion's den. They exchange philosophies. Stark says that stealing weapons, including hijacking the orbital platform last issue, shows Mandarin doesn't respect international law. Mandarin repostes that the weapons he took were from the CIA arming Asian rebels, suggesting that America is cavalier in that respect also. Stark accuses Mandarin of being a despot. Mandarin replies that so-called democracy just leads to rule by other kinds of power.

Mandarin sees that Stark is stuck in his beliefs. So he orders his execution, and leaves to supervise deployment of the orbital station. But as the executioner brings his axe down on Stark's head, Tony kicks him where it hurts. And the misaimed blade severs his chains. After dealing with the executioner, Tony sneaks through the castle towards where he presumably can detect his briefcase. A burst from his chest-beam takes care of the guards, and Stark opens the case to retrieve the rest of his armour.

Mandarin expects Iron Man to come to rescue his boss, so he dons his battle armour just before Shellhead does indeed burst into his throne room. The stage is set for a rematch from #1-2 (and Tales of Suspense #50). But now Iron Man has the new armour he built last issue (and in between ToS#53 and #54).

Despite getting some licks in, Iron Man loses the initial rounds, including the use of some of Mandarin's ring effects like impact, fire, ice and darkness. There are also weapons built into the surroundings, and the Golden Avenger is eventually bound in metal tape.

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Barberoids 1 cover original artwork on ebay

Eric Canete
Eric Canete
Dave Stewart
Eric Canete (Cover Penciler)
Eric Canete (Cover Inker)
Letterer: Comicraft.
Editor: Steve Wacker.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)

Plus: Po.

> Iron Man: Enter the Mandarin: Book info and issue index

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