Iron Man #59
Issue(s): Iron Man #59
Tony doesn't take the news very well...
...but this issue isn't actually about her. Tony is going on a business trip to Detroit, and he's bringing the newly re-hired Pepper Potts along with him. It turns out Happy isn't very pleased about Pepper leaving, to the point where he's protesting by wearing the most horrible combination of colors available.
Happy doesn't like Pepper's "women's lib malarkey" and while he used to like her "college fancy words", he's not so sure anymore.
This is going to turn into a really tedious subplot, but right now i guess it's a good set-up. My first thought was "But Pepper was an executive secretary when he met her!", but at the same time i think it's realistic to depict some men, especially at this time, as expecting that once a woman gets married she settles down and stops working.
Also in Detroit is a Roxanne Gilbert, who is the sister of Firebrand.
Firebrand kidnaps Tony and Pepper, but he really wants vengeance on Iron Man, so he lets Tony go so that Tony can go get him. Doesn't anyone wonder why Tony Stark's bodyguard never seems to be around when Tony actually needs protecting?
Anyway, when Iron Man returns, Firebrand makes him lay in a grave, which he then covers up, with the expectation that Iron Man will suffocate and die. But Iron Man escapes by secretly tunneling out and surprise-attacking Firebrand (and no one heard that? Gives new meaning to "silent as a grave").
The fight doesn't last long after that.
As you can tell by the fact that she runs a health food store, Roxanne is a hippie and pacifist. Friedrich uses that as a contrast to Firebrand's radicalism.
It's an interesting contrast; both are leftists but diametrically opposed in tactics. The problem is that in this appearance Firebrand is simply focused on revenge rather than anything political. If he was going after Tony Stark because he's a capitalist, i could see it. But he actually lets Stark go so that he can fight Iron Man.
Firebrand is not very nice to his sister.
But in the end, even after she gets hit by one of Firebrand's blasts, she's scolding Iron Man for using violence.
There continues to be a use of Iron Man's older technology. We saw the freon bomb a few issues back, and in this issue it's the image duplicator.
In the lettercols it's confirmed that this is a deliberate thing.
Friedrich's scripting sometimes gets out of control. Do we really need an airplane arriving in Detroit described with "a gleaming silver bird glides in toward its steel nest... disgorging without thought the fleshed passengers it carries"? Or a cabbie saying he'll go "anywhere 'er eight cylinders'll take ya!".
In the panels depicting Firebrand's escape from his seeming death in his last appearance, a footnote says, "Our hat's tipped to Garnet Barcelo -- see letters page for details." But there's nothing on this issue's letters page. Possibly something got cut since half the page was devoted to an ad for Dracula Lives. See the comments for more details on that.
Quality Rating: C-
Chronological Placement Considerations: N/A
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Iron Man was lucky he didn't bash into a coffin or two while tunneling.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | March 24, 2013 7:43 PM
This is where we continue to see Firebrand turned from an interesting, compelling villain into just a dime-a-dozen vengance seeking bad guy.
This is why I think certain villains should be left alone after their first apperance(s) (eg Galactus, Lizard). Bringing them back turns them into caracatures.
Posted by: Kveto from Prague | March 25, 2013 4:58 AM
starting to realize that reading these in B&W essential format is cheating me of the "brilliant" colouring jobs here on Happy's outfit and Steele's armour next issue.
Posted by: Kveto from Prague | March 25, 2013 5:11 AM
I just stumbled across this webpage today, and see that I was referred to in it:
'In the panels depicting Firebrand's escape from his seeming death in his last appearance, a footnote says, "Our hat's tipped to Garnet Barcelo -- see letters page for details." But there's nothing on the letters page. Possibly something got cut since half the page was devoted to an ad for Dracula Lives. I also checked the next few issues, but there's no belated explanation.'
Unfortunately, far too many years have passed since the previous relevant issue #48 came out (July 1972) where Firebrand must have seemingly died -- I now remember absolutely nothing of it.
It sure would have been a kick to have explained the mystery of that reference to me!
Posted by: Garnet Barcelo | September 6, 2013 10:39 PM
Thanks for almost shedding some light on this, Garnet! ;-)
Posted by: fnord12 | September 7, 2013 10:33 AM
In "Sock it to Shell-head" of Iron-Man #63 it's explained that Garnet had suggested how Firebrand managed to escape from the cops in a previous LP, and that Marvel followed the tip.
Posted by: JTI88 | July 28, 2016 5:32 AM
Letters Page maybe?
Posted by: AF | July 28, 2016 6:38 AM
Is it just me, or is there a lot of fan co-plotting in the late 60s and early 70s?
Posted by: Omar Karindu | July 28, 2016 7:20 AM
Guess you're right :P
Posted by: JTI88 | July 28, 2016 8:56 AM
Thanks JTI88. I wonder if Garnet will ever come back to see the explanation.
Posted by: fnord12 | July 28, 2016 12:11 PM
Comments are now closed.
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