Friday, April 28, 2017

Today, the role of the Controller will be played by Davros.

That big, intimidating exoskeleton suit he used to wear was cooler, but maybe not comfortable for day-to-day use. Plus, it gives him another look, in today's book: from 1994, Iron Man Annual #15, written by Len Kaminski, featuring "Minds in Collision" Pencils by Gene Colan, inks by Al Williamson; and "Wargame" Pencils by Mark Bright, inks by Kevin Yates.

The Controller was one of Iron Man's older foes, debuting back in 1969's Iron Man #12; and had actually worked for Thanos at one point. He also usually wore an exo-suit, since due to childhood illnesses and being caught in multiple explosions, he was in pretty bad shape and not especially mobile. The exo-suit made him look more physically threatening, but he was more of a mental opponent, using his mind-control technology on an army of slaves, many of which were seemingly harmless civilians that he could turn at any moment. Like the slave currently waving a gun around Tony Stark's office. Although Iron Man stops him, Tony can't figure out what was wrong with him, since while the slave acted like he was being controlled by the Controller, he didn't have any surgical implants or tell-tale control discs stuck to him. How did the Controller do it? Outsourcing.

The Controller had long known, since his first appearance in fact, if he used his tech on someone with strong enough mental powers, he could then use those powers through his slave. Meanwhile, Tony has an idea how to infiltrate the Controller's base using a holographic disguise, although I'm not sure how he knows where it is. Putting that aside, Tony's plan fails instantly, since the Controller is aware of all his slaves and knew he wasn't one, and Tony catches a beating from cybernetic drones. The Controller starts turning up the control-juice to break Tony, who had at least some resistance thanks to the artificial nervous system he had at the time. The Controller goes too far and blows a circuit: namely, his psionic slave Sarah, who turns into a rage of energy calling herself Mindstorm.

Lashing out, Mindstorm forces Tony and the Controller to mentally relive each other's lives, which probably wasn't a picnic for Tony, but the Controller describes it as "the perfect platonic ideal of torture." That may be laying it on a bit thick, but while the Controller begs for the release of death, Tony blasts the generator, cutting out Mindstorm's power, and she dissipates. And the Controller is left in control of nothing, not even himself: he appears to have stroked out, and is left in a vegetative state, aware but unable to move.

I kind of thought Controller might appear in the second feature as well, in his traditional exo-suit; since Tony fights a number of his classic a holographic simulation. That of course goes awry when the safety interlocks fail--who could have ever foreseen such an occurrence? It does give M.D. Bright an excuse to draw a ton of villains, from traditional punching bags the Blizzard and Whiplash, to a bunch of armored baddies like Iron Monger and Firepower, to end of level bosses like Ultimo and Fin Fang Foom! Tony has to link himself into the computer to stop it, and finds external sabotage, setting up the next issue of the regular series.


Dale Bagwell said...

Huh. Nice Dr. Who reference. Bendis (as he usually does) obviously either ignored this story or didn't read it since Controller looks like his usual evil and ugly self in New Avengers#1 (2004). Wondered what happened to fix his veggie ass.

googum said...

Ah, for a pro like the Controller, that's like a comfy nap. Though I think Bendis jobbed him at some point.

Dale Bagwell said...

Oh yeah I believe he did, but first he did it to Tigra first, making her beg and plead for the Hood not to beat on her anymore. Rape was implied too