Iron Man #23
Issue(s): Iron Man #23
Titanium Man killed Janice Cord last issue, which is why Iron Man is taking out his frustrations on the boat crew. Later, Stark finds a gun to his head while driving. The gunholder turns out to be the person who tipped Stark off about Titanium Man entering the country in the previous arc. Her name is Cheryl Porter...
...and she was married to one of the smugglers and thought that tipping off Stark would prevent them from doing anything that would get her husband arrested. But her tip-off to Stark put her on their bad side, and they've hired this guy to kill her.
The man in the Yellowjacket costume gone horribly wrong is the creatively named Mercenary.
Now if you're a handsome industrialist playboy, and you've just regained the ability to take your shirt off for the first time in [seven minus the sliding timescale] years, and your lame sort-of girlfriend just died, and a pretty girl approaches you asking for help, what do you do? You bring her to your little love shack up in the Adirondacks, that's what.
Of course the Mercenary follows...
...but so does Vincent Sandhurst, Janice Cord's corrupt ex-lawyer who is trying to cover-up the fact that he was caught embezzling.
And ultimately, after the Mercenary has disguised himself as Tony Stark, Sandhurst mistakenly kills him instead of Stark, taking a fatal bullet himself in the exchange.
Despite his heroics, Iron Man unfortunately learns that Cheryl intends to return to her husband, so no nookie for him.
Quality Rating: D+
Chronological Placement Considerations: Should take place relatively soon after last issue, although Janice Cord has been buried by this point.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: Marvel Masterworks: Invincible Iron Man vol. 6
A good little follow up making a story out of the minor detail of how the titanium man got into the country.
but boy, the Mercenary had a goofy design.
Posted by: kveto from prague | January 17, 2013 6:00 PM
Give the Mercenary a different costume (or NO costume, even better) and a name upgrade - and this issue wouldn't be half-bad. Goodwin is a solid writer and my gut feeling is that Goodwin is doing a more traditional job of comic writing here (i.e, no 'Marvel Method'). Wonder how the splash page got dropped?
Posted by: Zeilstern | May 20, 2014 6:16 PM
Oh, just realized - the splash page got used as the COVER.
Posted by: Zeilstern | May 20, 2014 6:17 PM
Shades of Excalibur #55.
Posted by: Morgan Wick | June 2, 2015 9:50 PM
One of the strengths of Goodwin's run was its serialized storytelling, and I think part of the problem here is that Stan's "done in one" edict forces him to compress things quite a bit. It's still telling a serial story, but the pacing is off; I don't think it's a coincidence tat Goodwin leaves the title in a few issues.
Posted by: Omar Karindu | October 17, 2015 9:35 AM
Goodwin does a little Roy Thomas-esque showing off early int he story with Iron Man recounting that his battle with Titanium Man "ed[ed] in the wine-dark sea." "The wine-dark sea" is the usual English translation of a famous phrase from The Iliad and The Odyssey whose precise meaning is still debated by scholars.
The Mercenary is vaguely interesting as a kind of very rough prototype of the sort of character Spymaster eventually becomes, but...man is there a lot of distance between the Mercenary and Spymaster. For one thing, Spymaster's Michelinie/Layton-era quippy patter is a lot better than the Mercenary's ":high villain" speak, and for another, the Mercenary's clients are pretty ridiculously low-rent compared to the evil tycoons and Mafia dons who hire Spymaster.(Maybe I'm only seeing a loose connection here because of the shared color scheme of the two villains' costumes.
Coincidentally, the Mercenary's origin here -- raised from young orphanhood by a criminal syndicate to be a master assassin -- is basically the same idea Rick Remender uses for the especially psychopathic version of the Jack O'Lantern introduced in the Flash Thompson Venom series decades later.
Posted by: Omar Karindu | June 9, 2018 2:22 PM
Comments are now closed.
|SuperMegaMonkey home | Comics Chronology home|