Iron Man #184
Issue(s): Iron Man #184
But mainly, this issue has the crew dealing with death traps set by the Zodiac.
There's a little bit of resentment going on between Stark and Rhodes. After each attack, Rhodey doesn't really seem to think past the fact that he's survived, and he has the crew move on. This even goes back to last issue - after defeating the Taurus robot, he never really wonders what the original Taurus was up to. Stark makes a stray comment about that, but shuts himself up quickly.
Throughout his post-alcoholism appearances, Tony Stark is unnervingly staid and tight-lipped. I don't know if it was intentional, but it's good characterization. Stark is still dealing with his addiction and struggling to maintain control.
Rhodey has been playing fast and loose with his secret identity. Taurus was easily able to figure out that James Rhodes was Iron Man by tracing back the call that Regis Fusskey made last issue, and throughout this issue he hovers above the traveling caravan in Iron Man armor but switches back to civilian clothes when they make pit stops.
Luke McDonnell's art is odd in this issue. The faces look strangely sketchy. There's also this really awkward angle where Cly is driving the car and it looks like there's a dwarf in front of her hanging off the steering wheel.
Normally, i like the depictions of Cly. She's not a standard comic book beauty, by any means. She's got a normal, kinda nerdy, but pleasant enough face (and check out Rhodey's video collection).
Quality Rating: B-
Chronological Placement Considerations: The Aquarius appearing in this issue is a new recruit to the Zodiac. This is his first appearance. It looks like West Coast Avengers #26 is when the second one comes back and reclaims the title. The Aries appearing here is also new.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (1): showAquarius II, Aries III, Cancer, Capricorn, Clytemnestra Erwin, Gemini, Iron Man, Leo, Libra, Morley Erwin, Pisces, Sagittarius, Scorpio II, Taurus, Virgo, War Machine
Say what people would about Rhodey as Iron Man, at least his video collection has class. Sort of wonder if any of these are now on Netflix...
Posted by: Ataru320 | August 21, 2013 4:25 PM
Okay, so this is before my time, but what is the device that Rhodey is using to watch these movies?
Posted by: Bigvis497 | January 6, 2018 11:20 AM
Way to make me feel old, kid. Those are VHS (video home system, I think) tapes being played on a VCR (video cassette recorder). Not sure why it would cost $11,000, though...
Posted by: Andrew | January 6, 2018 12:56 PM
That's a funny looking VHS tape! Maybe Luke McDonell had never seen one and was going from a description? I also hope Rhodey owns those movies and isn't just skipping the state with his rentals.
Posted by: Benway | January 7, 2018 1:09 AM
Posted by: Jon Dubya | January 7, 2018 10:00 AM
Guys I'm 35, I know what VHS is :)
I may be interpreting the artwork the wrong way but I thought the item Cly was holding was some kind of handheld video player. Which would be extremely high end by 1984 standard. The fact that it's colored red instead of black confused me.
Posted by: Bigvis497 | January 8, 2018 11:54 PM
No, it's Morley that's holding the recorder- note that Morley says "I think they saw you coming" in response to Rhodey's remark about how much it cost and Cly is looking at what tape Rhodey was watching.
Posted by: Michael | January 9, 2018 7:55 AM
I get that, it just looks weird. There's a big divet in the top of the object in the first panel, then it's not as pronounced in the second panel and looks more like a standard tape. I overlooked that. It does look like some modern handheld devices in the first image which threw me off.
Posted by: Bigvis497 | January 9, 2018 12:27 PM
I don't remember these objects catching my attention when I first read this issue, but their design deviates from videocassettes of both the VHS and Betamax formats. If we've ruled-out some other obscure medium, I suppose the possibilities are that Luck McDonnell decided to go with a fictional type for some reason, or that he's simply off-model. Considering the oddness to the art noted in the review, the latter seems more likely.
Posted by: Mortificator | January 9, 2018 1:03 PM
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