Iron Man annual #3
Issue(s): Iron Man annual #3
Tony Stark is interested in reviving the solar powered geodesic domed city of Omegaville that was built in the Everglades but destroyed by the Entropists and the Glob in Giant-Size Man-Thing #1.
Meanwhile, some kids from nearby Citrusville are playing in the swamp with the wand of the Molecule Man. You know when the Thing gave the wand to a kid in Marvel Two-In-One #1 it wasn't a good idea, and here's where we see the result.
We can partially thank the Hulk for this transformation. While the wand had been harmless, it's said that the radioactive materials in the swamp, which also created the Glob, are what re-activate the wand. And the Hulk's the one who threw that radioactive waste into the swamp.
The girl's name is Cynthia, and as you can see, she was an Iron Man fan.
Iron Man starts noticing strange things about town...
...and as Tony Stark he talks to Richard Rory (who is in jail) and then contacts the Vision, who then connects him with Mr. Fantastic to confirm that the Molecule Man was supposed to have died in the area.
Eventually Iron Man comes face to face with Cynthia/Molecule Man
Note in her dialogue she's conflicted and resisting the Molecule Man's influence. Eventually she drops the wand and it passes owners a few more times. First to a snake...
...(i'm pretty sure i had a He-Man figure that looked like that), then to Iron Man, and then finally to the Man-Thing. Since the Man-Thing is mindless, the Molecule Man is said to be sent to oblivion.
As we saw in Marvel-Two-In-One #1, the Molecule Man was able to affect organic molecules in that issue.
The MCP gives Klaw a "behind-the-scenes" appearance for this issue; see Michael's comment and the flashback scene in Fantastic Four #187 for why.
At one point Iron Man gets into a "fight" with the Man-Thing, but his normal attacks are completely ineffective.
He solves the problem with a "cryogen-bomb".
Here's the opening splash panel for this issue. It says that it's the "most misleading frontispiece of 1976". I think that's a bit harsh. Aside from the Molecule Man's body not actually appearing in this issue, it's fine.
It's interesting how the Molecule Man evolved. I first encountered him in Secret Wars and in that series and the sequel he's a wimpy nerd who can't affect organic molecules (at first) and isn't at all interested in conflict. But in most of his early appearances, he's a bloodthirsty villain, able to affect organics, and then there's the whole thing with the wand and possessing whoever touches it.
This issue doesn't answer my burning question, which is when do we find out that the "son" of the Molecule Man seen in Two-In-One #1 was really a cloned body of Owen Reece or something (the issue is sort-of resolved in Avengers #215, but not to my satisfaction). But it was an interesting issue. I like the tie in with the Man-Thing story from Giant-Size #1. Stark Industries is divesting into things like alternative energy, so Omegaville would potentially be something that he was interested in. In the end, i don't think anything comes of it, however.
Quality Rating: C+
Chronological Placement Considerations: Iron Man's appearance here is context free except for the idea that Stark is trying to expand his company into alternative energy sources, which has been happening for a while. Iron Man doesn't have a nose in this story, placing it after Iron Man #84-85. Iron Man doesn't appear in the Avengers between issues #146 and #150, and the Man-Thing's series is currently canceled. Richard Rory is in jail, placing this before Omega the Unknown #8.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (2): showIron Man, Jude the Entropic Man (Yagzan), Man-Thing, Molecule Man, Mr. Fantastic, Paul Benton, Professor Marshall, Richard Rory, Sanford, Vision
Did they explain why Yagzan's skeleton was no longer covered with that mud or whatever?
Posted by: Mark Drummond | December 18, 2011 2:39 AM
The reason why Klaw is behind the scenes is because in Fantastic Four 187, it's explained that after returning home from his battle with Ka-Zar in Ka-Zar 20, he wound up in the Everglades. There he saw Man-Thing carrying the wand. After the Man-Thing dropped the wand, he retrieved it and struck a bargain with the Molecule Man.
Posted by: Michael | December 18, 2011 9:16 AM
Michael - thanks for the info.
Mark - nothing is specifically mentioned, but i assume that after time the Glob's goo dried off, leaving only the petrified skeleton behind.
Posted by: fnord12 | December 18, 2011 4:07 PM
I don't remember if this was addressed before, but you have this placed after Omega 1-10, where Richard Rory is out of prison.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | June 21, 2015 11:35 AM
Thanks Mark. I've adjusted the placement of this.
Posted by: fnord12 | June 21, 2015 1:11 PM
The issue starts out with one kid admitting that he's the one that the Thing gave the wand to in MTIO#1, so he should probably be tagged.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | May 29, 2016 11:59 AM
Added "Sanford". Thanks.
Posted by: fnord12 | May 30, 2016 11:03 AM
The mud coating Yagzan's skeleton probably eroded away, or washed, or something along those lines...
As to why Omegaville was never rebuilt, I don't think anybody would be crazy enough to try to rebuild it, at least so close to where Man-Thing's home is after what keeps happening to it.
Posted by: D09 | July 30, 2016 9:47 PM
Since we will see in Hulk #197-198 that the Glob is back in its ideal human/clay lump form, maybe it managed to pull itself off of Yagzan and back together before the Collector got ahold of it in those stories.
It's kind of crazy how often later writers cam back to the story from Giant-Size Man-Thing #1.
Posted by: Omar Karindu | July 31, 2016 2:01 PM
Cynthia's last name is never revealed in the story. The Molecule Man entry in OHOTMU Deluxe #9 reveals it as McClellan.
Posted by: Rick | February 28, 2017 11:31 PM
Anyone else spot the mistake where Shellhead is blasting Manny with his repulsor rays (hence the SPLOOG!) and they're sharing the thought bubble?
Posted by: Brian Coffey | May 23, 2017 11:52 PM
Was the "SPLOOG!" sound effect when Shellhead zapped Man-Thing a winking reference to one-time M-T artist Mike Ploog?
Posted by: Brian Coffey | July 1, 2017 12:10 AM
Iron Man's mask has no nose in this annual, yet the story is sequenced chronologically before Iron Man #84-85, in which Stark redesigns the armor and eliminates the nose.
Posted by: Holt | February 23, 2018 9:06 AM
Posted by: clyde | February 23, 2018 10:27 AM
He got himself a "No Nose Job."
Posted by: Holt | February 23, 2018 10:54 AM
Thanks Holt. As much as i appreciate Clyde's Nose-Prize attempt, i've adjusted the placement. It's affected a few other titles, too, due to Richard Rory's next appearance in Omega The Unknown.
Posted by: fnord12 | February 24, 2018 3:55 PM
Being around Man-Thing this issue, it's likely for the best that Stark kept his sniffer blocked!:-)
Posted by: Brian Coffey | February 24, 2018 9:27 PM
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