The Avenger That Makes It All Possible

IRON MAN #229, Marvel Comics, April 1988
80s Avengers Week continues with a random issue of Iron Man - Armored Hero with a Mullet - because, well, he's why we're even talking about the Avengers.

In the late 80s, Iron Man had a pretty cool story arc called Armor Wars. Basically, Tony Stark found out that somebody stole his Iron Man technology and sold it to every Tom, Dick and Harry who had a super-powered armor. His one-man quest: To destroy all those armors. It's a simple arc structure that allows you to have every armored Marvel character ever designed fight Iron Man. And that's fun.

Opening the book, I now see that it wasn't called Armor Wars at all (though that's what it came to be known), but Stark Wars. I don't know whether to slap writer David Michelinie in the back or in the face for that one...

The reason I picked this chapter over the others is that Iron Man wears a different suit, and that was always something that appealed to me. Iron Man's had a variety of looks, and since Tony Stark created the armor and has been known to upgrade it, there's no reason he couldn't have a suit designed for each type of mission. Iron Man #229, in fact, does just that with a black "stealth" armor, whose stripped-down design looks a lot more like the red and gold classic I grew up with than the red and white "Santa Claus" armor of the time. Here it is for all you kids who weren't yet born in 1988:
It's a good thing the Santa Claus armor isn't featured here, because Iron Man goes after his two communist enemies, the Crimson Dynamo and the Titanium Man. Red and green, respectively, and fighting in the snow to boot? Can you say Christmas Special?

Iron Man stealths his way into the USSR, disables the Dynamo by destroying the offending circuits, but gets sandbagged by the Titanium Man. Grappled from behind and without a negator pack or any repulsor blasts left (the suit is really pared down, but looks nice under Mark Bright and Bob Layton's usual clean artwork), he gets out of it like this:
Apparently, titanium explodes into a fireball at certain high temperatures. Iron Man's boot jets ignite the Titanium Man and he plunges into the sea (but nothing can put that fire out, we're told). Well, good thing the Titanium Man's armor is really made of pure titanium, eh? A bit contrived? Yeah, just a bit.

Then Tony Stark comes back to the States without the benefit of the booster rockets that brought him here... on low energy... Oh, let's just say he fell through a plot hole and woke up back in the US... And Hawkeye throws him out of the Avengers for having caused an international incident. Yeah, like that's gonna stick. Here we are, 20 years later, and Iron Man's still destroying the Avengers from within.

4 comments:

De said...

I'm in the middle of reading Iron Man's Tales of Suspense days and was surprised to see that the first Crimson Dynamo was actually convinced by Iron Man to defect and became a lead engineer for Stark Industries!

As for igniting Titanium Man's armor, I doubt very much that Iron Man's boot jets reach a temperature of 2200F (the temperature when titanium will indeed burst into flame but not melt). If Titanium Man's armor is made of a mail like Iron Man's, it will burn fairly rapidly once afire but not explode.

Whew. That certainly exhausted my nerd quota for today.

Unknown said...

Iron Man didn't jump the shark until John Byrne came aboard and put him BACK in the wheelchair.

mwb said...

I like the concept of it so much, but as you say the actual exposition was lacking.

Like Captain America, I find Iron Man is a hard character to do right. When done so he's a great read, but that is so relatively rare.

Jack Norris said...

Yeah, I'd have to agree that the red and white (or silver, I guess it's supposed to be) armour is one of the all-time ugliest Iron Man designs.

 

Blog Archive

Category

5 Things to Like Activities Advice Alien Nation Aliens Say the Darndest Things Alpha Flight Amalgam Ambush Bug Animal Man anime Aquaman Archetypes Archie Heroes Arrowed Asterix Atom Avengers Awards Babylon 5 Batman Battle Shovel Battlestar Galactica Black Canary BnB 2-in1 Books Booster Gold Buffy Canada Captain America Captain Marvel Cat CCGs Charlton Circles of Hell Class Comics Comics Code Approved Conan Contest Cooking Crisis Daredevil Dating Kara Zor-El Dating Lois Lane Dating Lucy Lane Dating Princess Diana DCAU Deadman Dial H Dice Dinosaur Island Dinosaurs Director Profiles Doctor Who Doom Patrol Down the Rabbit Hole Dr. Strange Encyclopedia Fantastic Four Fashion Nightmares Fiasco Films Within Films Flash Flushpoint Foldees French Friday Night Fights Fun with Covers FW Team-Up Galleries Game design Gaming Geekly roundup Geeks Anonymous Geekwear Gimme That Star Trek Godzilla Golden Age Grant Morrison Great Match-Ups of Science Fiction Green Arrow Green Lantern Hawkman Hero Points Podcast Holidays House of Mystery Hulk Human Target Improv Inspiration Intersect Invasion Invasion Podcast Iron Man Jack Kirby Jimmy Olsen JLA JSA Judge Dredd K9 the Series Kirby Motivationals Krypto Kung Fu Learning to Fly Legion Letters pages Liveblog Lonely Hearts Podcast Lord of the Rings Machine Man Motivationals Man-Thing Marquee Masters of the Universe Memes Memorable Moments Metal Men Metamorpho Micronauts Millennium Mini-Comics Monday Morning Macking Movies Mr. Terrific Music Nelvana of the Northern Lights Nightmare Fuel Number Ones Obituaries oHOTmu OR NOT? Old52 One Panel Orville Outsiders Panels from Sheena Paper Dolls Play Podcast Polls Questionable Fridays Radio Rants Reaganocomics Recollected Red Bee Red Tornado Reign Retro-Comics Reviews Rom RPGs Sandman Sapphire & Steel Sarah Jane Adventures Saturday Morning Cartoons SBG for Girls Seasons of DWAITAS Secret Origins Podcast Secret Wars SF Shut Up Star Boy Silver Age Siskoid as Editor Siskoid's Mailbox Space 1999 Spectre Spider-Man Spring Cleaning ST non-fiction ST novels: DS9 ST novels: S.C.E. ST novels: The Shat ST novels: TNG ST novels: TOS Star Trek Streaky Suicide Squad Supergirl Superman Supershill Swamp Thing Tales from Earth-Prime Team Horrible Teen Titans That Franchise I Never Talk About The Prisoner The Thing Then and Now Theory Thor Thursdays of Two Worlds Time Capsule Timeslip Tintin Torchwood Tourist Traps of the Forgotten Realms Toys Turnarounds TV V Waking Life Warehouse 13 Websites What If? Who's This? Whoniverse-B Wikileaked Wonder Woman X-Files X-Men Zero Hour Strikes Zine