Iron Man #188
Issue(s): Iron Man #188
Stark, the Erwin Siblings, and Rhodey name their company Circuits Maximus this issue. Stark also adjusts the Iron Man helmet to Rhodey's wavelength, which should theoretically stop the headaches...
...but it doesn't work. Rhodey's temperament is also getting worse, making nasty comments about Stark's drinking problem and just being a jerk.
To make mattes worse, he really botches the fight against the Brothers Grimm, destroying a restaurant he was trying to protect.
And then Tony gets the brothers arrested via more conventional means (Because one of the nitwits actually referred to themselves as "Grimes"), which makes Rhodey even angrier.
We also see that Tony is working on a new suit of armor. Just for therapy, in theory. But we see where this is going.
This direction seems unfair to the character of James Rhodes. You want to do stories where he's learning the ropes and basically filling Iron Man's big shoes. That's understandable. And you want to add some much needed diversity to your cast of super-heroes. Then you want to explore a "the suit doesn't make the man" theme, which on its own is fine. But if you want Rhodey's character to look like anything other than a failure, those stories should be separated by a good period where Rhodey is a competent hero and/or you need another way for him to be successful even if he doesn't wind up as Iron Man. He'll eventually become War Machine. But that's years out. In the meantime he's the guy who tried to be Iron Man but couldn't cut it.
Maybe i'm just reacting to that, but i feel like this issue is lower in quality than others in this run. Rhodey's problems are just over the top and the Rhodey/Stark conflict is not handled as well.
There's been some nonsense in the lettercol for a few issues about who Mark Gruenwald's assistant editor is going to be. It's Howard Mackie. And i guess the joke now is that he doesn't talk much so when they give him the space to write a few words he just leaves it blank. I don't really get it.
Quality Rating: C+
Chronological Placement Considerations: Circuits Maximus is named this issue so any issues that reference that name (such as Iron Man annual #7) should come after this. The MCP places this before West Coast Avengers #2. And everything before West Coast Avengers #3 needs to take place before the Casket of Ancient Winters saga, so this is pushed back in publication time.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
At least when DC did this with Batman and Azrael, it made sense why Azrael went crazy. Here, as FNORD pointed out, it's out of character.
Posted by: clyde | March 18, 2015 8:25 PM
O'Neil has said that he had Rhodey go crazy because he felt that technology was out of control and dangerous. Unfortunately that says more about O'Neil than Rhodey.
Posted by: Michael | March 18, 2015 10:34 PM
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