Monday, July 10, 2006

So, the internet was abuzz a couple of weeks ago, when Spider-Man revealed his secret identity in Civil War #2. If I understand it correctly, Iron Man revealed his as well. For like the fifth time.

The above scene is from Iron Man, volume 3, #55/400. (Meaning 55 of the current series, 400 if counting from the old system. There's been another first issue since then, too.) Story and art by Mike Grell. Grell is best known for his DC work, mainly Legion of Super-Heroes and his creation, the Warlord.

This was the second story in the issue: at a press conference to account for his Iron Man-related disappearance for the last two weeks, Tony Stark has another fight with his long-standing on-again, off-again girlfriend Rumiko Fujikawa. To cover with his stockholders, Tony also makes hints to an upcoming 'big announcement,' to be pulled out of his ass at a later date.

At a reception afterwards, the news crew in attendance spots a group of bank robbers about to make a speeding getaway over some kid's dog. Tony leaps over the side of a balcony, armors up on the fly (!), and smashes the getaway car to save the dog. (In the next panel, as Iron Man hands the grateful child his dog, in the background the cops can be seen handcuffing a robber that was thrown through the windshield. Now that's tough on crime!)

Ignoring the string of coincidences leading to the reveal, there's a lot weird about this. In Kurt Busiek's run, a lot is made about keeping Tony's identity secret (more on that later!); and in Quesada's short run, there's a dream sequence issue where it's revealed, to horrible consequences. Moreover, I think during Busiek's run, it was established that the armor was about the size of a steamer trunk, and Tony would summon it from the trunk of his car. Now, it's briefcase sized again. That last part I'm OK with, really: ever since the Ultimates, the armor has gotten bigger, bulkier, and requires a support staff roughly equivalent to an aircraft carrier's. I may have just missed or not remember the issue with the changeover, however.

And the armor up sequence would probably look great on film.

I recently went back and read Grell's run, and I liked it a lot. I'm not sure why he left the book, as he did mid-storyline; but his issues generally had Iron Man doing...wait for it...heroic stuff. Something to be said for that.

But, my larger point here is really a question: why were people surprised to find out Tony Stark was Iron Man? Maybe I'll just have to suck it up and actually read that Civil War issue. Still, more Iron Man tomorrow, and hopefully we'll get to some of my favorites. As soon as I find them.


Anonymous said...

Say, what issues did Quesada's dream sequence happen in??

googum said...

I believe that was #27, in the middle of the sentient armor storyline of #26-30. Which I probably should have reread before I mentioned it, but I don't think it's a happy dream sequence.

Anonymous said...

Marvel continuity has become an oxymoron. Thank you, drive through.

CalvinPitt said...

The reason for Stark's reveal being a surprise is because apparently he used a satellite to mindwipe that information from everyone on the planet.

Then he went back to revealing it to his friends I suppose. She-Hulk called him on that in court in a recent issue of her book. Stark got very indignant.

"How dare you call me on the sneaky, underhanded crap I've done!"

googum said...

What, again? GAh.

We'll hit up the mindwipe issue soon, but that was before this current reveal, Stark's brief Secretary of Defense stint, Disassembled, and so forth.

I just a few moments ago finished Iron Man vol. 3, #36-45. Not great. The new armor's a bit clunky, Stark gives up and regains his fortune again, and the tech references seem really dated for a 2001 comic. Maybe we'll hit those up, but I'm still looking for another run...