Iron Man #314-318
Issue(s): Iron Man #314, Iron Man #315, Iron Man #316, Iron Man #317, Iron Man #318
This starts with Stark-as-Iron-Man giving a virtual tour of Stark Enterprises to the United Nations as part of a bid to become the main contractor for Starcore. It goes well, except that he has to disavow the recent actions of War Machine. After the sales pitch, Stark meets with Peter Corbeau. We learn that Stark is opening a facility in Russia. One person who doesn't like that - and in general how quickly things are changing in Russia - is Titanium Man.
But before we get to that, Stark joins Henry Pym and Erica Sondheim in trying to help Captain America with the paralysis that has come after the degradation of his super-serum. They are installing a biochip that will allow Cap to interface with new armor that they gave him. The technology is based on Stark's own bought with paralysis.
This time, though, the insertion of the chip requires a Fantastic Voyage.
Afterwards, Cap is in need of some cheering up.
The next day, Stark is preparing for his trip to Russia when he gets a call from a Ted Slaght, a former teacher of his who is now working at a Poly-Tech company in California. It seems there's a little problem.
He heads there as Iron Man and deals with it. But the cause of the problem was Slaght's negligence, which Stark suspects is due to Alzheimer's. He tells Poly-Tech's board, angering his old teacher.
He then heads to Russia with Black Widow. On the plane ride over he admits to being very horny in the 60s.
Back to Titanium Man now. He's kind of right about all of this. It's pretty prescient for 1995.
But Stark doesn't get it.
"The war is over and now my business gets to extract your resources. Why are you mad?"
To help Iron Man and Black Widow fight Titanium Man...
...the Russians send in the Crimson Dynamo.
And he's wearing the version of the costume that was made into an action figure for the Iron Man cartoon line.
I was always a little annoyed about that because it was like no version of the Crimson Dynamo that i'd ever seen. But it was still early enough days that Marvel toys seemed like a novelty that wouldn't last, so i bought it. Nowadays, looks like you can definitely get more classic looking versions. At least now i've finally found where this version came from.
Dynamo gets a light tap during the fight...
...and it results in a broken leg.
Dynamo appeals to Stark, saying that it would be a humiliation for Iron Man to defeat Titanium Man since he is kind of like Russia's super-soldier. So Stark agrees to go after Titanium Man in the Crimson Dynamo armor.
The tactical system is still programmed for Shatalov's brain waves, though, so he stays connected remotely. Shatalov is also able to talk through the armor, and sometimes Black Widow tries to talk to Titanium Man as well. It's a team effort! Stark chases Titanium Man to Kazakhstan.
No amount of talking convinces Titanium Man to stop. Eventually, reluctantly, Shatalov activates the "Fusioncaster".
Stark is pissed that he was used to kill Titanium Man, and Shatalov is demoted and stripped of his armor by the Russian military.
The Black Widow later raises Stark's spirits with some cosplay. Still horny after all these years (and he finally gets Stan Lee's Boris & Natasha joke).
I'm surprised to see it, but i think the idea that these two might engage in some casual sex is realistic and true to the characters (definitely Tony). I wouldn't be surprised if Marvel had second thoughts about this and it was explained away via The Crossing, though.
While the above is happening, Professor Slaght, still mad about what Tony said about him, becomes Slag. Iron Man heads home and fights him.
The fight is interspersed with a lot of flashbacks showing how important this never-before-seen-or-mentioned professor was to Tony. The fight ends when Iron Man uses magnetism to kill the guy.
Meanwhile, in LA, some crazy stuff is going down. Roxxon is hiring some real whackadoodles to go after Stark.
The guy with the tubes connecting his head to his chair is Mycroft. I believe that at 3:17 Collette returns to flip the switch that sucks this creep's brain through the tubes, because he's never heard from again. (Len Kaminski leaves the title after this arc, and then we get The Crossing and Teen Tony, and then Heroes Reborn, so this is plot is left in a permanent dangle.)
The arc ends with Iron Man going to a base in the Arctic, which he accesses with the password "Mallory". He gets there in a new suit of armor.
This also seems to be a dropped plot. And i guess that's true of the Starcore plot as well.
Statement of Ownership Total Paid Circulation: Average of Past 12 months = 111,133. Single issue closest to filing date = 103,900.
Quality Rating: C
Chronological Placement Considerations: Takes place betweeb Captain America #437-438, after Henry Pym rescues Cap and brings him to Stark Enterprises. Takes place before Force Works #13 (see References); the MCP have it before #11-12 as well. If needed, #318 could be placed in a separate entry with other Iron Man appearances in between. #317 ends with Professor Slaght becoming Slag and #318 begins with Iron Man fighting Slag, but Iron Man is still in Russia with Black Widow at the end of #317 and he could potentially return to the US and do other things before finding out about Slag. But there doesn't seem to be a need to do that and i'd rather keep the Slag subplot (and Kaminski's final run) together.
Issue #317 is a flip book with a continuation of the War Machine/Force Works crossover "Brothers in Arms: Vicious Circle " on the other side. I cover that in a separate entry.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Characters Appearing: Abe Zimmer, Bethany Cabe, Black Widow, Captain America, Crimson Dynamo VI, Erica Sondheim, Happy Hogan, Henry Pym, Iron Man, Peter Corbeau, Scarlet Witch, Spider-Woman (Julia Carpenter), Titanium Man, USAgent
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