Iron Man #182
Issue(s): Iron Man #182
Tony survives, as does the baby, but the mother dies.
At the end of the issue, Tony admits to James Rhodes that he has a problem and he seems to now be on track for recovery. He tells James that he won't be wanting the armor back, though.
The original alcoholism story by Michelinie/Layton was groundbreaking, but it didn't take the time to examine things properly. It all resolved too quickly. So O'Neil's second pass at this was definitely needed. It took the time to really show Tony's descent, showed him hit bottom, and now we're going to start seeing a slow recovery. Good pacing. It could be said that going to this plot a second time was exploitative, but i don't feel that way.
James Rhodes/Iron Man returns from Secret Wars this issue.
His armor has souped-up technology that Mr. Fantastic installed after having to cannibalize portions of the original armor during the "buried under a mountain" scene, but the new stuff isn't working well now that Iron Man is back on earth.
Eventually, stupidly, this alien armor will turn out to be sentient and evil in, i think, a way to capitalize on the popularity of Venom. But for now i think it's just a way to get people interested in Secret Wars, and it will also be used to show that Rhodes is dependent on Stark when there are problems with the armor.
Quality Rating: B+
Chronological Placement Considerations: A scene in the middle of this issue shows Iron Man returning from Secret Wars along with the rest of the Avengers. It's a scene that's repeated in a number of other books, so this issue runs pretty much concurrently with all of the other issues of characters returning from Secret Wars. In this book, as with Captain America, the time of year is winter, whereas in most other books it is fall. This book runs through a period of time while Rhodey is away at Secret Wars, he then returns in the middle (with mostly concurrent scenes in Avengers #243 and Code of Honor #3), and at the end Tony Stark is shown getting out of the hospital and a caption says "A day... a week passes... Finally, Tony Stark is well enough to be released." Rhodey's appearance in Marvel 1985 takes place during this issue, most likely between Rhodey's return and his meeting with Morley Erwin where he learns that Stark is in the hospital, and which takes place "soon" after the scene with Iron Man trying out his new weapons. Since this issue spans a period of time, i've placed it where the issue ends, after Tony's release from the hospital.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (4): showCaptain America, Captain Marvel (Monica Rambeau), Gretl Anders, Hawkeye, Iron Man, Morley Erwin, Omnivore, Thor, Timothy Anders, War Machine, Wasp
The title could refer to the 1972 John Boorman/Burt Reynolds film.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | October 8, 2011 10:53 PM
You place this AFTER Alpha Flight # 9? It seems to me like it takes place concurrently with the miscarriage issue of Fantastic Four. Most of it would take place twenty-four hours prior, in fact. THEN Jim Rhodes, the FF, et al, return from Secret Wars, THEN Sue Storm miscarries and is visited by Sasquatch, THEN Sasquarch takes a verrrry long plane ride out to Ice Station Zebra in time for the events of ALPHA FLIGHT #9. That's the way I see it. What was your thinking on this?
Posted by: Jay Patrick | July 11, 2013 2:06 AM
This Iron Man issue in particular spans a long period of time. It definitely starts off prior to Secret Wars. And then it shows Rhodey returning, and then Tony spends a period of time in the hospital and is finally released. So i have this on the outskirts of the Secret Wars "return" issues because i've lined up placement with the end of the issue. I've updated the Considerations section to make that clearer.
Posted by: fnord12 | July 11, 2013 12:35 PM
If you interpret this issue to take place over a long period of time and partially before SECRET WARS ( been a while since I read it, I thought it took about a day or two) then wouldn't it make more sense to place it just prior to SECRET WARS or just after? The end of the issue has Jim Rhodes returning, and he returned at the same time as the other heroes, including the FF. The related FF issues ( about three of them ) MIGHT take place over the course of more than one day or might not ( without having read them I THINK you could cram them in one day but Doctor Octopus' appearance is problematic. It seems like he's been in the mental hospital for some time in those issues, so the more time between his last appearance in SECRET WARS and his appearance in FF the better, even if you can only squeeze in one or two more days), but if Sasquatch appears in FF before ALPHA FLIGHT #9, then ALPHA FLIGHT # 9 has to take place after this issue of IRON MAN. Whether every "return issue" fits neatly or not, Sasquatch definitely appears in FF concurrently with Jim Rhodes visiting Tony Stark in the hospital, and therefore can't go off fighting the Super Skrull on Hoth until after this issue, or any "return issue". If nothing else, his travel time and settling in at the observatory should eat up a bunch of time, as well.
Posted by: Jay Patrick | July 11, 2013 3:11 PM
And upon looking at that caption I get that a week passes with Tony in the Hopital, but still... That week ENDS with the return of the heroes, and Sue's miscarriage. It doesn't take place a week AFTER. Seems like this issue should be one of the first return issues, not one of the last. If the bulk of it takes place before SECRET WARS then it should be places as close to SECRET WARS as possible, possibly even before, but not weeks after.
Posted by: Jay Patrick | July 11, 2013 3:33 PM
Jay, if you're looking at the issue, the last page occurs a week (or more; the line "A day... a week passes... Finally" could imply even more time) after Rhodey visits Stark in the hospital. That seems like more than enough time for Langowski to return to his scientific camp in the North.
Posted by: fnord12 | July 11, 2013 3:43 PM
Fair enough then. I thought Jim immediately went to visit Tony after causing the explosion. Still, that explosion, Jim's return, Tony's long night in the snow, and the birth of the baby, all take place prior to or concurrent with the conclusion of SECRET WARS. Since all this events comprise the bulk of this issue and the "a week passes" scene amounts to just an epilogue, shouldn't the majority of the is is she's contents dictate the placement? That Jim/Tony scene could take place later, but it's a single scene. The real story in this issue has to take place before or concurrent to the relevant FF issues, and therefore before ALPHA FLIGHT #9. The way you've got it placed it seems like Jim Rhodes returned from Battleworld a week after everybody else. You've got it placed on the "outskirts" of the return issues. I think it may fit best as the FIRST issue after SECRET WARS. Or one of them, anyway.
Posted by: Jay Patrick | July 11, 2013 4:15 PM
The scene of Iron Man's return is a repeat from Avengers #243, which i have as one of the first "return" issues.
It's an arbitrary decision, but when an issue spans a period of time i generally place it at the end of that period. But i still think the key point is that a number of the issues after Secret Wars are happening concurrently, even if they are (by necessity) listed sequentially.
Posted by: fnord12 | July 11, 2013 10:00 PM
I can see that, and being consistent with our own policy is a good thing, but I guess I see it as a matter of volume. One page takes place a week later. Twenty-one pages take place before. It's not "the issue where Jim Visits tony in the hospital for five minutes", it's "the one where Tony spends twenty-four hours nearly freezing to death". I get the policy, but it feels like exceptions could be made. Regardless, I understand the many considerations that have to be made in a project like this. Not everybody is going to approach it in the same way.
Posted by: Jay Patrick | July 11, 2013 10:21 PM
Comments are now closed.
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