Friday, May 07, 2010

An Iron Man rerun, with something new!

This double-page spread wouldn't fit in my scanner!
This post was originally from July 2006, and this issue July 2002: Tony jumps over a ledge and armors up on the fly, to save a little boy's puppy. Reminds me a bit of the previews for Iron Man 2's red-and-silver Mark V!
I don't have all the issues in front of me, but I don't think Tony ever managed to go more than a couple of issues without being a complete dick to Rumiko.
So, the internet was abuzz a couple of weeks ago (in 2006...), when Spider-Man revealed his secret identity in Civil War #2. If I understand it correctly, Iron Man revealed his as well. For like the fifth time.

The above scene is from Iron Man, volume 3, #55/400. (Meaning 55 of the current series, 400 if counting from the old system. There's been another first issue since then, too.) Story and art by Mike Grell. Grell is best known for his DC work, mainly Legion of Super-Heroes and his creations the Warlord and Jon Sable, Freelance.

This was the second story in the issue: at a press conference to account for his Iron Man-related disappearance for the last two weeks, Tony Stark has another fight with his long-standing on-again, off-again girlfriend Rumiko Fujikawa. To cover with his stockholders, Tony also makes hints to an upcoming 'big announcement,' to be pulled out of his ass at a later date.

At a reception afterwards, the news crew in attendance spots a group of bank robbers about to make a speeding getaway over some kid's dog. Tony leaps over the side of a balcony, armors up on the fly (!), and smashes the getaway car to save the dog. (In the next panel, as Iron Man hands the grateful child his dog, in the background the cops can be seen handcuffing a robber that was thrown through the windshield. Now that's tough on crime!)

Ignoring the string of coincidences leading to the reveal, there's a lot weird about this. In Kurt Busiek's run, a lot is made about keeping Tony's identity secret; and in Quesada's short run, there's a dream sequence issue where it's revealed, to horrible consequences. Moreover, I think during Busiek's run, it was established that the armor was about the size of a steamer trunk, and Tony would summon it from the trunk of his car. Now, it's briefcase sized again. That last part I'm OK with, really: ever since the Ultimates, the armor has gotten bigger, bulkier, and requires a support staff roughly equivalent to an aircraft carrier's. I may have just missed or not remember the issue with the changeover, however.

And the armor up sequence would probably look great on film. (EDIT: I swear I wrote that back in 2006!)

I recently went back and read Grell's run, and I liked it a lot. I'm not sure why he left the book, as he did mid-storyline; but his issues generally had Iron Man doing...wait for it...heroic stuff. Something to be said for that.

But, my larger point here is really a question: why were people surprised to find out Tony Stark was Iron Man? Maybe I'll just have to suck it up and actually read that Civil War issue. Still, more Iron Man tomorrow, and hopefully we'll get to some of my favorites. As soon as I find them.


Anonymous said...

ugly ass art!

Anonymous said...
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Kandou Erik said...

I liked Mike Grell's run as well. When he first stated, I really like it, and understood more why Grell was famous for his different approch to writing superheroes. But then I was mystified by all the disapointment and hatred other fans found in the very same books.

I also like the subsequent writers, carrying on with Iron Man's long overdue public life.

What really stunk, though, was the Iron Man Disassembled story arch, before the series rebooted with Warren Ellis. They basicly tried to squeeze the genie back into the bottle - and have everyone forget that Tony is really Iron Man. He really should have used that hypnotisim satalite again, because I doubt anyone with a brain believed him. I imagined his secretary laughing at him behind the phone, in the Extremis arch, when he called to ask for his "Important Shipping Crate" be delivered somewhere. Like she didn't know what was in that crate - Mr Iron Man.

Luckily, with little to no fan fare, Iron Man revealed his identity again because he was taking over SHIELD.

Iron Man just works better, especially in the modern age, with having a public identity. It just works for the character - and isn't a gimmick.

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