Tuesday, May 11, 2010

It's been eighteen years, Tony; you might wanna look into this...


In John Byrne's last storyline in Iron Man, the Black Widow enlists Tony's help in stopping the Soviet-sleeper agent Oktober from breaking into NORAD and starting World War III. Although he initially balks at taking the mission, since his nervous system is starting to collapse; Tony suits up again, and gets Natasha through the defenses to the heart of America's missile command...where she doublecrosses Tony, since she was Oktober!

Natasha launches a boatload of nukes at Mother Russia, and splits, leaving Iron Man holding the bag. Rather than waste time explaining, Tony takes off after the missiles, racing to beat them before they enter Soviet airspace and a nuclear response is triggered. Then, after he overrides the missiles' guidance systems, Tony launches the whole lot into space...
I don't care for the way IM was sometimes drawn with an almost-toothy mouth. Um...hmm. Even if it's only been 18 years since this issue, and I have no idea how he gets twenty years as a number there; I still see more than a couple problems with Tony's plan: there's how many people or organizations that could go into space and get those missiles? Dr. Doom alone could probably gather them up in an afternoon (assuming Doom doesn't already have a metric assload of nukes) and A.I.M. or HYDRA probably could as well. And I don't know how easy it is just to shoot those missiles off without them running into a satellite, or Asteroid M, or some damn thing. Well, maybe Tony could account for that on the fly.

Meanwhile, Natasha is able to bust out of NORAD and steal a plane, in about two pages. Iron Man catches up to her, but instead of bringing her down, Natasha's able to talk him into coming with her. They visit the Soviet Deputy Attache to the United Nations, who also had been a KGB agent, who set up his own personal sleeper program in the Black Widow: once communism went down, the sleeper would be activated to punish "those who betrayed the great dream." (I don't know enough about Russian history, to know if there were those during the Cold War who genuinely knew communism was a bit of a pig in a poke, or if they all pretty much toed the line until it went under.)

The Attache tries to off himself, but is stopped by Iron Man, since he wants to clear Natasha's name...and the Attache knows her training in torture could do it.

Not a bad little two-parter, and while with a few exceptions, I like Paul Ryan's art quite a bit. The Black Widow doesn't get as much to do in the second part, and seems to shake her sleeper program immediately after launching the missiles. From Iron Man #277, "War Games" Written by John Byrne, pencils by Paul Ryan, inks by Bob Wiacek.

3 comments:

1337W422102 said...

You know, I think I want to get a Hulkbuster Iron Man figure to fight against Zangief from Street Fighter. In Street Fighter IV, The 'Gief says "For Mother Russia!" when you pull his Ultra Move. I laughed SO hard when I heard that!

1337W422102 said...

Geez, I forgot my serious comment! Couldn't Tony just aim those nukes into the sun itself rather than its orbit? I mean, that'd solve the problem big time.

uwanna said...
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