Thursday, August 25, 2016
Got this little trade for a buck-fifty: from 2013, Iron Man: Armored Vengeance, reprinting Iron Man #258.1 to #258.4, script by Bob Layton and David Michelinie, pencils by Dave Ross, inks by Layton. Why #258.1 on? Because the numbering for Iron Man wasn't already a nightmare...actually, as the introduction points out, while Michelinie and Layton were the creative team for the original Armor Wars storyline, John Byrne and John Romita Jr. did the follow-up, Armor Wars II, in the original Iron Man #258. This series was Michelinie and Layton's own spin on a sequel...
There are a couple good points for it: it does tie in to a point from their run when Rhodey was nearly killed and a bit gun-shy about suiting back up, and gets him back on track. There's also some classic IM foes, the Dreadnoughts and the Mandroids. Unfortunately, I don't consider Justin Hammer a classic, even if here he's the aged industrialist and not the hip douchebag of the films. Hammer used nanites on Stark, which combined with the biochip in his spine to form the Entity, an online consciousness out to destroy any that might stop it. (EDIT: The biochip and the Entity weren't still in Stark's spine, that might've raised the stakes some!)
A couple supporting characters are killed by the Entity, namely Stark's personal physician Dr. Sondheim, and his girlfriend Rae LaCoste. But that doesn't fit, continuity-wise: LaCoste dated Rhodey in the War Machine book. That makes this a "What If?" kind of story; I wish I had the original Armor Wars II handy to compare it to. I was misremembering and confusing Rae with the much, much cooler Bethany Cabe, and I was going to be pissed if she was killed off.