Friday, May 25, 2018


Chris Claremont wrote two of the annuals I love more than anything, and that probably cemented my lifelong love of comics: Star Wars Annual #1 and X-Men Annual #6. He also wrote today's annual, from 2001, Iron Man 2001, "Hunted" Written by Chris Claremont, pencils by Michael Ryan, inks by Sean Parsons, letters by David Sharpe. I make it a point to mention the letterer on a Claremont book, since they've got their work cut out for them...

This issue, Tony Stark is a fugitive in the People's Republic of Sarawak; which is at least the third nation Claremont has created in the Marvel Universe! It's more developed and cleaner than Madjipoor, and techie without the mutant-hating angle of Genosha. The government is making a big grab for the Iron Man armor, hitting Tony with an EMP and a tapeworm virus, leaving him no choice but to bail out: the armor would hide and shut down until he could get it later. His identity was a secret (again) at this time, and the government didn't care about who was in the suit; but Tony was pretty much on his own, and manages to make it about twenty feet before he stops to help a kid being hassled by a gang. The kid looks about 8, the gang members about 13; Tony is getting his ass kicked until the kid's mom shows up, and she looks like she's 23.

When the cops show up, Tony covers long enough for the mom and kid to get away, and gets arrested. The kid also stole (or found and picked up) Tony's wallet, so Tony gets put into the system and is probably looking at getting disappeared when the mom bails him out. Now, the mom is a very, very Claremont woman: super-badass-competent. She knows kung-fu, she's a single mom, she's tech-savvy on the same level as Tony, honorable and noble and a bona-fide genius. Of course she's never going to be seen again.

Also this issue: "Black and White" Written by Frank Tieri, art by Craig Wilson. I'm pretty sure Tieri was the regular book's writer at the time, and this featured Tony's old friend-turned bitter enemy Tiberius Stone and on-and-off again girlfriend Rumiko Fujikawa. Stone tries to convince Tony he's still in the virtual reality "Dreamvision," but Rumiko reveals it's really Stone that's trapped inside it, unable to completely disconnect himself from it. Tony would've maybe helped Stone if he had just asked, but when Rumiko asks him to do it, he remember she cheated on him, and they can both go to hell. Rumiko isn't real pleased with herself, either: she had wanted to hurt Tony, and made a bad decision. Rumiko...man, she did not fare well during some of this run: she was introduced by Kurt Busiek early on after Heroes Reborn, but would be killed off before this series ended with Disassembled. I'm like 40% sure I was still reading up to then...

1 comment:

Dale Bagwell said...

Huh. Didn't know Claremont write an IM annual, especially in 2001 since he was still work on the X-Men at the time (I think) and I didn't know Rumiko got killed off, but that does explain why she's no longer around. Nice one Marvel.

Tony getting pwned by a gang of kids. Cap and the rest of the Avengers, especially Thor, Widow and Clint should SHOULD and WOULD never let Tony live that down.
If I was Tony, I'd have suited up and gone back and found those little bastards and gotten the win back ;)