Thursday, May 06, 2010

"In Shining Iron," part three!

For the third part of Mike Grell's "In Shining Iron," Happy Hogan finally shows up, after a long (and liquid) lunch, just in time to recap things for anyone who missed the last two issues. Tony Stark has gone back in time to the year 1002, the mysterious (and sinister) Dr. Mallory has gone back after him, and the helmet of Iron Man was found on an archeological dig, with a skull inside it.

Mallory turned out to be the future version of the witch Aislinn, and merged with her past self. Now at full power and with foreknowledge of the future, all she needs now is Iron Man's armor (well, maybe she doesn't need it, but it would be nice) so she's sent a dragon to kill Tony and his new friend Brann.

As Tony tries to armor up (the old fashioned way, since most of his suit isn't working) and avoid being set on fire; the gloomy Brann cheers up considerably, since being killed by dragon would be a very metal way to go out. Kind of wishes there were witnesses to his glorious and fiery demise, though. Tony rains on his parade, by prying apart a hole in the dragon's scales, and Brann stabs it.

Later, as Brann enjoys a hearty meal of roast dragon, Tony gets the polarity reset on his armor...except his helmet, but he's bypassed the controls, most of the weapons systems would drain too much power, and it's not like the helmet's GPS is gonna work there.

The next day, they make their way to the stone circle, where Aislinn and her men await. Tony and Brann commence to whupass. At one point, Tony saves Brann by throwing the king's sword (that Brann was supposed to be delivering) and embedding it in a rock, blocking Emile's ax. Unfortunately, the sword is then stuck, and Brann is piled on and held at knifepoint by Aislinn. Tony reluctantly surrenders himself, and his armor, which Aislinn promptly dons.

Aislinn's a green villain, like R'as Al Ghul, environmentally friendly: she plans on going back to the future, leaving a "dragon's fire" magic explosive to blow up the time machine after she returns to 1002; then killing the hell out of mankind to prevent what she sees as the rape of the planet. Unfortunately for her, and possibly the planet, the devil is in the details...

Aislinn's whole plan probably would've worked, if she hadn't put on the helmet and decapitated herself: the polarity of the armor was different, and went to the future, leaving the helmet (and Aislinn's head) behind. Loyal henchman Emile gives his lady a final, gross kiss, then buries the helmet where it will be found in the future.

After a moment's panic over the headless Iron Man, Pepper sends back a new suit of armor for Tony, with a note giving him one minute before she comes in after him. (Pepper sends the armor outside the stone circle, which caused all the polarity problems...because...druids or something.) Tony says goodbye to Brann, but is taken back to the future before he can hear Brann's request. Once he arrives home, Tony's time machine melts into slag, as he still wonders what was up with Aislinn/Dr. Mallory; Pepper tells him to let it go, meaning his attempt to fix her past.

And in the year 1002, Brann enjoys the royal court and newfound notoriety as a dragon-slayer. The king himself salutes him, but Brann is embarrassed that the sword he was supposed to deliver...comes embedded in a hunk of stone.

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