Iron Man #44-46
Issue(s): Iron Man #44, Iron Man #45, Iron Man #46
He attacks while Tony Stark is recovering from his injuries from the fight with Soulfather.
Regarding the Mr. Kline storyline, i originally wrote the following:
In theory i should be more interested in this Mr. Kline story. After all, with the story being so dispersed, with parts in Daredevil, Iron Man, and Sub-Mariner, it is a poster child for the sort of line-wide chronological reading that i'm advocating for on this site. But the characters seems so bland and the plot seems so muddled, i can't bring myself to really figure out what's going on, and i haven't hunted down the issues i'm missing.
I've subsequently picked up the remaining issues in this saga, and having read the whole thing it's certainly a little less muddled, but it's still a big mish-mosh, with the stories in each title being unrelated and the treatment of Kline in Daredevil and Iron Man feeling more than a little inconsistent. Iron Man learns that the Night Phantom is working for a Mr. Kline this issue but he'll never follow-up on that, so this part of the crossover ends with a shrug.
The second story deals with the Guardsman. Kevin O'Brien has been wearing Stark's experimental new armor, and it has been causing problems with his mind, causing him to become jealous of Stark's latest girlfriend (Marianne Rodgers, who happens to have ESP, and who Tuska doesn't mind portraying sitting around the house in her underwear, mooning over pictures over Tony).
Before the Guardsman starts to go crazy, however, we have an awfully written misunderstanding fight between Guardsman and Captain America where Cap wildly jumps to the wrong conclusion about why the Guardsman would be carrying an injured Iron Man.
later, Guardsman is easily manipulated by some ambitious members of Stark Industries board of directors who were looking to replace Stark.
In an overt parallel to the Kent State Massacre, the Guardsman opens fire on a crowd of young hippies protesting Stark's weapons manufacturing.
The kids are reported killed, but Marvel backtracks in the next issue saying that they were only injured.
In a subsequent battle, Iron Man accidentally kills the Guardsman.
Issue #44 also contains an Ant-Man backup called "Armageddon on Avenue 'A'" by Roy Thomas, Ross Andru, and Mike Esposito. The poor guy has to face one of the real stinkers from his rogue's gallery, the Scarlet Beetle.
And he really doesn't win the fight, he's just very lucky that an out of luck storekeeper decides to burn down his store for the insurance money while the insect-sized opponents fight each other, giving Pym a break. Actually, the storekeeper accidentally drops his can of kerosene on the Beetle and kills him, which is a good indication of his threat level.
Quality Rating: C
Chronological Placement Considerations: Iron Man was injured at the end of last arc and is seen being carried home by the Guardsman at the beginning of this arc, so no other Iron Man appearances should appear in between. The beginning of this issue takes place before Mr. Kline is defeated in Daredevil #84. Captain America's appearance is reference free. As for the Ant-Man back-up, Henry Pym switches back to his Ant-Man persona during the Kree/Skrull War, so this should take place after that.
Cross-over: Mr. Kline
Continuity Implant? N
Reprinted In: N/A
Inbound References (9): show
This is Robert Kanigher's only Marvel effort, and one of his few non-DC stories(the others being some things for Skywald). Kanigher wrote way too many utterly bizarre Silver Age stories for DC to list here.
Mike Friedrich also came from DC, and two years later would start his own underground comics company, Star*Reach Productions.
I don't care what anybody says. The Scarlet Beetle is an intriguing idea.
Check it out: Thor has Asgard. Captain America has all those WWII flashbacks. Iron Man has all the Stark Industries jibber-jabber. But Ant-Man doesn't have anything like that... except the Scarlet Beetle.
But when you think about it, Ant-Man could have his own little insect world, with wacky bugs like Korr ("Tales to Astonish 44," I think) and the politics of their hive. Like, a Silver Age version of Sectaurs or something. I grant that this would require a lot of imagination to pull off, but I think Kirby & Co. could have done so.
(I am not sure why the Scarlet Beetle has human-style eyes.)
Don't worry, the Scarlet Beetle isn't really dead. Rascally Roy brings him back in a classic issue of Fantastic Four Unlimited in the 1990s. With Herb Trimpe providing art in the style of Rob Liefeld imitating Herb Trimpe.
Fie! My knowledge of FF Unlimited is not so good after all, but the Scarlet Beetle does have some further adventures as described by the Appendix here, http://www.marvunapp.com/Appendix/scarbeet.htm
And that ASM Annual appearance is drawn by Ditko!
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