Iron Man #54
Issue(s): Iron Man #54
This issue introduces... well, it's Moondragon, but right now she's calling herself Madame MacEvil.
Frankly, if later writers didn't decide to re-use and develop Moondragon into one of Marvel's most complex and interesting characters, this issue would be a compete joke (with one redeeming element, which i'll get to in a minute). You have this incredibly awfully named character whose only purpose is to engineer a Misunderstanding Fight, and the entire issue is basically a slugfest.
Everyone loves a superhero fight, and this issue isn't terrible, but the name Madame MacEvil is so bad it just keeps you from taking anything seriously. If she had never appeared again i think this issue would be remembered in the Mr. Fish category.
As it is though, other writers took an interest in developing the Madame (and changing her name!) and over the years she became a conflicted character, so it's interesting to see her first appearance here. Later stories will claim that her actions here are to see how well Iron Man and the Sub-Mariner would stack up against Thanos, and that her chosen name was "in mockery" of the fact that her fellow Titans suspected her virtue. There's absolutely no evidence of either of those things in this issue, though.
She is shown to be a scientist, however, which is kind of cool. She wants to capture Namor to study him.
On to the one redeeming quality: Moondragon has a pet robot in this story, and the contrast is made between MacEvil's cold, calculating nature and the robot's empathy and feeling. Irony! Basic stuff, but it's nice to see something going on besides the Iron Man/Sub-Mariner fight.
OK story, interesting in retrospect... terrible name!
Quality Rating: C-
Chronological Placement Considerations: This issue begins with Iron Man returning home from his battle with the Black Lama last issue, so no Iron Man appearance should take place between that issue and this one. For Namor, i've got this in the same gap as a number of Defenders appearances, between Sub-Mariner #51-52.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Madame MacEvil...that's just as genius a comic name as Paste-Pot Pete...but only Pete can get away with that I guess.
Posted by: Ataru320 | September 9, 2012 8:31 PM
Looks like Everett either pencilled or inked all of the Submariner figures, making this a "Jam" piece.
Posted by: Vincent Valenti | July 14, 2014 2:59 PM
Huh, and all these years I thought Moondragon was created by Jim Starlin. But, yep, thinking it over, those arched eyebrows of here are definitely a signature flourish of Bill Everett.
Posted by: Ben Herman | November 29, 2015 10:35 PM
Iron man and Namor seem to duke it out more often than any other heroes.
Posted by: kveto | August 27, 2016 5:22 AM
Makes sense, as "Iron Man" is an anagram on "In-Namor", i.e. the anti-Namor.
Posted by: Tuomas | August 29, 2016 7:25 AM
Hey, just thought I'd dump this here, Englehart on the creation of Moondragon (from Marvel Classic Figurine Collection #157):
"I'm pretty sure Moondragon was Starlin's character. She may have been introduced by Mike Friedrich but I believe that was Friedrich working with Starlin [they worked together on the following issue]. I'm pretty sure that anytime Moondragon showed up Starlin was kind of a driving force, I always think of Moondragon as being Starlin's character. I know that her name was Jim's idea; he was dating a girl called Heather at the time."
Posted by: AF | December 15, 2016 9:12 AM
I'm not a fan of Mike Friedrich's dialogue, but the art for this book is quite good. Madame MacEvil's crazy bad guy facial contortions -- especially funny to see on Moondragon's face -- are worth the read.
Posted by: FF3 | January 5, 2018 3:59 PM
'The credits say "Story idea & helping hand from: Bill Everett". The UHBMCC adds him to the credits for both writer and penciler.'
Contrarily, GCD gives Everett no credit at all for pencils. For inks, Everett gets a co-credit with Colletta, but only for "Sub-Mariner heads." Writing credits give Friedrich the "Script" credit and Everett a "story idea" credit.
To my eye, the art credits at least appear to be correct. In the scans here, Moondragon's face in particular matches Tuska's style in every detail, and shows no hint at all of Everett's style IMO.
Posted by: Holt | January 20, 2018 6:26 PM
Can I have one MacEvilburger with fries, please?
Posted by: The Small Lebowski | February 24, 2018 6:31 PM
Interesting to see Moondragon in the red-and-orange color scheme, but the MacEvil name suggests she should've worn tartan. Come to think of it, that name could have been used for a GLOW pro wrestler or the valet to pro wrestling superstar "Rowdy" Roddy Piper (cue up "Scotland the Brave").
Posted by: Brian Coffey | February 24, 2018 9:35 PM
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