Thursday, April 23, 2009

If you've got a mess of Iron Man figures on your shelf, then this is the issue for you.

Finally got a replacement copy of Iron Man #300, "Appetite for Destruction!" Written by Len Kaminski, pencils by Kevin Hopgood and Tom Morgan, inks by Steve Mitchell. It's not as good as Iron Man #100 or #200, but damned if I don't like it more than I'd expect to. Especially since, by this point, I had done the unthinkable and dropped Iron Man.

Previously, around issue #284 or so, Tony Stark was in pretty bad shape, and about to die. Without telling Jim Rhodes that he was going to be put in cryogenic suspended animation, Tony gives Jim control of Stark International and a suit of armor tailored to Jim's skills, the War Machine suit. Jim does a pretty good job with both, but when Tony comes back, Jim gets pissed that Tony didn't tell him, and huffs off. I don't know if I agreed with Jim's rage, but I left the book with him: those may still be my favorite issues of Iron Man to date.

But #300 was a big anniversary issue...and the traditional new Iron Man armor...and War Machine guest-stars! Ah, Marvel gets me again!

Giant alien robot thing Ultimo is tearing up the place, and as the issue begins, Tony is out. Happy is like one warning light away from a seizure. The remotely-piloted armor he was using at the time was destroyed by Ultimo and the feedback nearly killed him, so it's down to Jim, who calls in the reserves: long-time supporting characters (and in some cases, occasional Iron Man subs) Happy Hogan, Eddie Marsh, Bethany Cabe, Mike O'Brien, and Carl Walker. Everyone suits up in an old Iron Man suit and takes off, which isn't as sweet a deal as it first sounds: Eddie must have drawn the shortest straw, since he gets the archiac grey suit. Carl wrecks a classic 70's Layton-style armor trying to cover Eddie, but the disappointing part probably was that he had a more-advanced suit when he was the mercenary Force. Mike (in the red-and-silver) and Happy (early 70's shellhead) do OK for a bit, then crash into each other.

Only Bethany Cabe makes a halfway decent showing, but she had the most recent armor and had been pretty badass for about a hundred and eighty issues of the book. (Not a straight run, but still.) Bethany did have a secret weapon, though:

Why didn't she get her own suit after this? Anyway, while all this is going on, Tony hacks his own brain, as you did in the 90's, then gets his new modular armor and saves the day. That particular suit was used in the 90's Iron Man cartoon, but I mainly remember it for a brief appearance in Joe Quesada's stint.

For his part, Jim was already pissed at himself, since he felt he "acted like Tony" in risking the replacements; but he's extra-pissed that he risked them so Tony could just waltz in with the save. He would stay mad for the better part of a year, but a more level-headed Bethany would take a position at Stark Enterprises.

Shoot, I might have to check out that new War Machine book now.


grifter said...

damn it, you beat me to this one. i was gonna wax poetic about that brain reboot thing.

googum said...

Please do! I didn't hit on the reboot, although it reminds me of Johnny Mnemnomic. Not a good movie, but one I'm still fond of for the soundtrack.

Ace said...

In Invincible Iron Man at the moment, Tony is hacking his own brain again.

Also, War Machine is great fun. Lots of explosions.