Thursday, January 10, 2019

I was certain I had read this before, but picked up another copy since I thought it was the last issue; I may have been wrong on both counts. From 2004, Iron Man #87/432, "The Singularity, part 2" Written by Mark Ricketts, pencils by Tony Harris, inks by Tom Feister and Charles Wallace.

The cover has a big banner for "Disassembled," even if it's blocked by Iron Man's head; and while that isn't as big a warning sign as say, Infinite Crisis or Mr. Yuk, it's gotta be up there. Tony had recently become Secretary of Defense, but the new direction Bendis was taking the Avengers would crap all over that; in fact, it would be a new writer for the last four issues of the series. (Moreover, that stretch of issues is probably only remembered for the ones with covers by Adi Granov, which seemed very influential to the movie look.) Tony seemed to be going off the rails, verbally berating the Latverian ambassador; and Iron Man has just murdered the Stark Industries board of directors! Pepper Potts narrowly survives: she had been late due to a problem with the art department. And Tony's long-suffering girlfriend--from #4 of this series!--had realized Tony had meant to propose to her, and was going to his house to say yes.

There's a flashback and some congressional testimony next, but Tony is oblivious to the current situation since he's in an isolation chamber. This was perhaps post-Disassembled, since he mentions Scott Lang's death; but Tony seems more concerned about either a possible health problem, or nanotechnology. Still, he's willing to come out of isolation for Rumiko--just in time to see her murdered by Iron Man! Tony doesn't get long to mourn, since "Iron Man" has him by the head--to be continued! Two more issue of this storyline, and I have no idea (or no recollection) who the bad guy was, or if I read them: it's entirely possible I had stopped reading the book when the Secretary of Defense plot was dropped. I also think that was the last time I read Iron Man regularly. And poor Rumiko's death feels less like a "fridging" than an editorial mandate to clean house. Like that makes it better.

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