• Iron Man’s past victory over Magneto was a hollow one, as he knows he would not win in a rematch without specialized armor.
  • Magneto remains a strong presence in Tony’s mind, manifesting in nightmares and passing judgment on him.
  • Despite their rivalry, Iron Man and Magneto are fighting on the same side against Orchis, putting their differences aside.

Warning: Contains spoilers for Invincible Iron Man #17!!Iron Man and Magneto are two of Marvel’s biggest names, and both men have undergone epic personal journeys. They’ve come a long way from Tony Stark’s weapons-dealing past and Max’s days as an X-Men villain. Yet a certain rivalry exists between the two of them, even as the fight against Orchis opens a new chapter in their history, and Iron Man’s waking nightmare proves that Magneto would be the victor.

In Invincible Iron Man #17 – by Gerry Duggan, Patrick Zircher, Bryan Valenza, and Joe Caramagna – Tony wakes up after his strenuous fight against Feilong and his Stark Sentinels. He is delirious and caught in a waking nightmare, admitting that a long life of head injuries and drinking makes it even harder to distinguish reality from a fever dream.

Magneto is shown forcibly lifting Iron Man up and holding him in a pink electromagnetic bubble.

As he stumbles through the wreckage, he comes across an illusion of Magneto, who promptly buries him in layers of metal as Tony shouts for him to wait. It’s a glimpse inside Stark’s mind, showcasing his pervasive fear of the Master of Magnetism, despite Iron Man’s previous technical victory over him.

Iron Man Knows His Victory Over Magneto Was Hollow

It’s a Rematch He Wouldn’t Win

A close up of Iron Man and Magneto, followed by Tony Stark being absorbed into layers of sharp metal.

At a glance, it seems obvious that Magneto would crush Iron Man – a hero who fights completely encased in a metal suit. Indeed, Tony spent billions of dollars designing Magneto Buster armor to prevent that exact scenario. They traded blows during Avengers vs. X-Men, and neither held back for the majority of the fight. The two even went off-planet and pulled energy from Jupiter to bolster their abilities. Yet just as Magneto seemed to gain a definitive upper hand, he forfeited the fight because of the actions of the Phoenix Force, effectively handing the victory to the Avenger.

Were it not for Max’s surrender, Tony would have lost – and he knows it. Magneto remains a strong enough presence in his mind to manifest in his nightmares, passing his final judgment and apparent death sentence. Without highly-specialized armor and every resource he can possibly pull together, Stark stands no chance of beating the mutant leader. A brilliant mind is not enough. Magneto is one of the most powerful mutants in the world and holds remarkable control over his mutation, especially when he’s at peak power, as he is currently. Iron Man’s subconscious shows that he knows the truth.

Magneto and Iron Man Are Fighting For the Same Side

Tony’s Fears Don’t Need to Become a Reality

Magneto poses with his fists raised and surrounded by pink energy as metal shards lift in the air around him.

Fortunately for Tony, his nightmare won’t bleed over into reality any time soon. While Magneto will never truly trust the Avengers and says as much as recently as Resurrection of Magneto #4 by Al Ewing and Luciano Vecchio, they are both deep in the battle against Orchis and fighting for the same side. Rather than show up to condemn him and give their fight a real conclusion, Max arrives to offer Tony backup against the remaining Stark Sentinels. Iron Man knows he can’t defeat Magneto in a full-scale battle, but for now there is no rematch on the horizon.

Invincible Iron Man #17 is available now from Marvel Comics.

Invincible Iron Man #17 (2024)

Invincible Iron Man #17 cover, an Iron Man suit has its hand around Tony Stark's neck and one fist raised.

  • Writer: Gerry Duggan
  • Artist: Patrick Zircher
  • Colorist: Bryan Valenza
  • Letterer: Joe Caramagna
  • Cover Artist: Kael Ngu


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