Iron Man #207
Issue(s): Iron Man #207
They use it to dismantle the army of a Caribbean country called Boca Caliente (literally, "hot mouth"). Boca Caliente's army seems to consist of only a few planes...
...and there's therefore no resistance from any ground forces when AIM sends in their troops to occupy the island nation.
Yorgon Tykkio, the imprisoned brother of AIM's Scientist Supreme, thinks that AIM isn't thinking big enough with its takeover of Boca Caliente: "...this will be nothing unless the rest of the nations respect us. And in our modern age, respect means fear -- as the United States and Russia have amply demonstrated.". So, to generate that fear, Yorgon escapes from his prison...
...and heads to Boca Caliente, where he turns the satellite's heat ray on Washington DC.
With Yorgon's commentary about the US using fear, and the takeover of a largely undefended Caribbean nation, i assume the US's 1983 invasion of Grenada is being referenced. Next issue, though, Boca Caliente will morph into more of a Cuba analogue.
At this point, Stark has figured out that he's been played for a sucker, so as Iron Man he heads into space to stop the satellite.
It's nice to see AIM treated as a legitimate threat, with Iron Man thinking that "only they" could come up with the technology necessary to produce the heat ray. Thanks to Repeat Defeat syndrome, AIM is sometimes depicted as a joke, with Iron Man mocking their technology. But here, they are treated appropriately for a group of genius scientists (see, they're only trying to spread a love of learning. Is that so wrong?).
On its own, this isn't the most gripping of issues ("thrill as Iron Man battles a satellite dish!") but it's a nice set-up.
Personal stuff: Rhodey is upset that Stark keeps pushing him to use the other Iron Man suit.
Cly Erwin is considering leaving Stark's company.
And Bethany Cabe gets upset when she finds her husband taking a nap.
Quality Rating: B
Chronological Placement Considerations: The MCP places this between West Coast Avengers #9-10, along with all of Iron Man 205-208. This issue ends with Iron Man deciding to do something about AIM's takeover of Boca Caliente, but issue #208 doesn't necessarily follow directly.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (1): showAlexander Van Tilburg, Bethany Cabe, Clytemnestra Erwin, Iron Man, Valdemar Tykkio, War Machine, Yorgon Tykkio
Bizarrely, in Avengers 388, Boca Caliente is depicted as not a real island at all but an artificial metallic construct created by AIM. That completely contradicts this issue.
Posted by: Michael | December 18, 2013 9:02 PM
I never enjoyed the depiction of AIM's control of Boca Caliente. You'd think the US government would be very upset to have a terrorist organization controlling its own island nation so close to the US. Now if said island was located in the Indian Ocean or somewhere in the Pacific, then it would make more sense that the US might not intervene.
O'Neil's use of AIM is interesting because it is the start of an attempt to figure out what to do with AIM now that MODOK is gone. Originally it was a group of mad scientists, then a cover story for HYDRA, and finally an organization at war with its creation, MODOK. But writers never seemed to figure out why AIM existed. Cruder fascist analogues like HYDRA and the Secret Empire is fairly easy to understand. AIM is somewhat harder because why would a group of scientists and engineers want to rule the world?
Gruenwald eventually turned them into a high tech provider to criminals, which is never something I liked. To me, the reason for AIM is that it should be a technocratic elite. These are smart people who see all the flaws in governments, including democratic ones, and think they can run it better. They're not mad scientists, they are people who think if they rule the world they can eliminate poverty, prevent global warming, allow people to achieve their ambitions in a true meritocracy, colonize space, etc. Unfortunately all these dumb Communists, dictators, and democracies are in the way, and AIM creates all these threats to counteract the quantitative superiority of established governments. Taking Boca Caliente (or whatever) then gives them a chance to prove to the world what they can achieve.
I think O'Neil might have been heading in that direction, but I don't think he ever revealed enough of AIM or Tykkio's reasoning.
Posted by: Chris | December 18, 2013 9:45 PM
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