Iron Man #203-204
Issue(s): Iron Man #203, Iron Man #204
It's also worth pointing out again that the Madame Masque in this story will eventually be revealed as a "Bio-Duplicate".
Stark picks up Whitney In Bethany's Body at the airport (see the Considerations section for more on that) but she's unable to complete her assassination attempt thanks to the arrival of Cly Erwin who, despite still blaming Tony for the death of her brother, has discovered where Tony's money has been hidden, thanks to a friend named Leslie that still works at Stane.
Denny O'Neil doesn't keep straight how long exactly Stark has before he has to get the money out of the system...
...but it's enough time for Iron Man to get over to Henry Pym so he can be shrunken down and enter the computer to prevent it from deleting all his money. Surely at editor Mark Gruenwald's behest, O'Neil makes sure to point out that while Iron Man is shrinking he's really shunting off his mass to another dimension.
We've already hit on this stuff before (in an earlier Iron Man issue, in fact), and it kind of takes a little of the fun out of the "dude shrinks down to enter a computer's circuitry" concept. But whatever, that's what he does, and it gives M.D. Bright a chance to give us a landscape that looks more like Star Wars than IBM.
Tony arrives home and de-armors, making himself vulnerable to Whitney/Cabe...
...but luckily Cabe/Whitney bursts in in time to save him. The ending of issue #203 is a little dramatic considering at the beginning of the issue we were already shown the flashback where the two women had their minds switched.
Of course, Tony didn't get to see the flashback, so he's a little skeptical about Bethany's claim. But he calls Rhodey to supervise while he heads after the AIM faction that attacked in issue #201 and got away with Dr. Atlanta. Clytemnestra soon joins Rhodey.
While Iron Man is attacking the AIM underwater base...
...we learn that there's something odd about Yorgon Tykkio, the guy who had been scheming to replace the Scientist Supreme.
Tykkio tells Atlanta to let himself get taken with the idea that he'll come rescue him later. In the meantime, Atlanta refuses to talk (actually, he's mute, so let's say he refuses to disclose any information). So Clytemnestra's friend Leslie comes through again, locating Dr. Atlanta's blueprints for the mind-transfer device at Stane, and Tony and Cly reconstruct the device and re-transfer Whitney and Bethany's minds, over Whitney's objection that this is being done without due process.
A fun story by a quality team. But look at this laziness: that's not how you do a SHIELD footnote!
Quality Rating: B
Chronological Placement Considerations: Iron Man picks up Whitney in Bethany's Body at the airport at the beginning of the arc, explaining that he was going to come as Tony Stark but he got delayed by AIM, which happened back in Iron Man #201 (the footnote incorrectly says "Last issue"). Which means Whitney has been waiting at the airport for a long time. It's said in issue #204 that it's only been "a few hours" since Iron Man sunk the AIM aircraft. But in addition to the actual last issue, West Coast Avengers #1-4 and the relevant Vision & the Scarlet Witch crossovers have to take place between Iron Man #201 and #203, since Iron Man's armor debuts in #200 (which continues directly into #201) and Iron Man appears in that extended WCA/V&SW storyline in the new armor. Henry Pym is also already living at the West Coast compound in this story, which is why it can't take place before West Coast Avengers #1 (vol 2). Based on all of this, i'm assuming that Whitney took some time before contacting Tony and hasn't just been waiting at the airport all this time.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (1): showBethany Cabe, Clytemnestra Erwin, Henry Pym, Iron Man, Madame Masque Bio-Duplicate, Theron Atlanta, Valdemar Tykkio, Yorgon Tykkio
It's not clear what happens to Madame Masque at the end of this issue after she yanks the wires off her head. This is because Kurt Busiek was planning on doing a Madame Masque limited series but that got scrapped when O'Neil left Marvel. So Madame Masque just shows up in time to be killed during the second Michelinie/Layton run.
Posted by: Michael | October 11, 2013 9:25 PM
When Tony fights the AIM subs, I believe he mentions they look like the ermarks. Dunno where O'Neill was going with that, but given that he drew attention to their design in the computer landscape as well, it seems significant.
As, of course, is the mystery of Tykkio. And if he's not human, what about his brother Valdemar, AIM's Scientist Supreme? O'Neill has said he doesn't remember what he had planned.
Posted by: Walter Lawson | October 22, 2013 10:14 PM
Maybe I'm missing something, but why is it treated like some big legal and ethical dilemma about whether to immediately switch the bodies back? I don't have Matt Murdock or Jennifer Walters' penchant for superhero law, but I fail to see where the violation of Madame Masque's rights are occuring.
Posted by: Jon Dubya | June 9, 2014 7:43 PM
Tony and Cly weren't 100% sure they understood the device correctly, so there was a small chance that something could go wrong. Bethany wanted to take the risk but Madame Masque didn't.
Posted by: Michael | June 9, 2014 8:05 PM
Comments are now closed.
|SuperMegaMonkey home | Comics Chronology home|