Iron Man #31
Issue(s): Iron Man #31
I call it a protest, but it might really be a debate club, because the audience is clearly not really on board with Ffoulkes and has all sorts of objections.
Ffoulkes counters with Smog Monsters (disclaimer: no non-hypothetical Smog Monsters appear in this story)...
...and it's hard to find a comeback to that.
Tony Stark has a response, though, and it involves his own vision of a technocratic utopia.
What's not stated here (because this is a comic book and not an issue of Mother Jones) is that Stark expects his vision to come to fruition because he believes scientists will naturally solve these problems without any prodding by government regulation. This is a perfect point of view for Stark, and i wish Ffoulkes was a little less insane so that we could have seen that sort of a distinction drawn...
...but again, it's more than i should expect, and i'm actually pretty pleased with what is here on that front.
Unfortunately, everything is wrapped up way too neatly when we find that the guy running this factory for Stark is a corrupt official and has been exploiting the protesters to hide his embezzlement.
This story also introduces Kevin O'Brian.
If you don't speak Brogue, i believe he is saying that he invented a taser so that the Stark Factory security guards wouldn't have to hurt the protestors, but his boss (the corrupt guy) didn't like it. Stark is impressed with O'Brian's initiative (or, to hear O'Brian's girlfriend tell it, his willingness to be a company man) and offers him a job back in the States.
Quality Rating: C
Chronological Placement Considerations: Squeezing in a bunch of Iron Man issues after Avengers #82.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: Marvel Masterworks: Invincible Iron Man vol. 7
yeah I liked the contrast between views on the future.
but without Archie Goodwin writing, we lose the real world neuance he brought and the bad guys are your usual "Pretending a political cause as a smokescreen to steal" (a "sons of the serpent" mainstay) thing that Goodwin was trying to take us beyond.
Without Goodwin, IM isn't going to be a good comic again for a long time.
Oh, and this also introduces the single most annoying supporting character ever, Kevin O'brian.
Posted by: Kveto from Prague | February 10, 2013 2:26 PM
Sure, an' why d'ya be sayin' that, me laddie, pray do tell?
Posted by: Kevin O'Fnord | February 10, 2013 3:23 PM
Kveto is sadly spot-on regarding Shellhead's long post-Goodwin slide. Not sure where to look, but do you at some point address the variant spellings of Kevin's last name (O'Brian vs. O'Brien)?
Posted by: Matthew Bradley | June 18, 2013 9:36 AM
I must not have noticed! Is it a one-time switch to O'Brien or does it go back and forth?
Posted by: fnord12 | June 18, 2013 10:20 AM
Wouldn't stake my life on it, but I believe it starts as O'Brian and then moves pretty permamently to O'Brien c. #45. I'll check my notes at home and see if I can give you a more specific answer. New to the site and love it!
Posted by: Matthew Bradley | June 18, 2013 12:55 PM
The first occurrence of "O'Brien" (which became standard, per the Marvel Comics Database) that I noticed was in IRON MAN #44, and I was on the lookout for it, knowing of the discrepancy.
Posted by: Matthew Bradley | June 18, 2013 11:24 PM
Thanks Matthew. I've added a little note here and in issue #44. Looks like it was O'Brian for most of Kevin's appearances, since he dies in the #44-46 arc. The appearances of his brother Michael, which used the O'Brien spelling, are probably what tipped the scales regarding the standard spelling.
Posted by: fnord12 | June 19, 2013 9:08 AM
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