The Small Lebowski:
Characters Appearing: Col. Edward Harrison, Happy Hogan, Hugh Jones, Iron Man, J. Jonah Jameson, Jonas Hale, Pepper Potts, Simon Kreiger, Spider-Man, Spymaster
Iron Man: The Iron Age #2
Issue(s): Iron Man: The Iron Age #2
Review/plot: This issue is a far cry worse than the previous - possibly due to the fact that for whatever reason Kurt Busiek was not writing it alone. Whereas the previous issue added a new layer of depth for Pepper Potts, this issue, while focusing on Happy Hogan and his relationship with / faith in Iron Man, is really just an adventure story. Iron Man is bribed to look the other way when Simon Kreiger...
...leading a group of bad guys working for the soon-to-be Roxxon corporation, pretends to be Tony Stark to get onto the under-construction SHIELD heli-carrier.
But since Iron Man is Tony Stark, he is really just playing along and he defeats the bad guys and everyone still loves Iron Man. Roxxon decides that they should stop trying to take over Stark Industries. It's not a terrible story, certainly it's a step above the Standard Silver age in terms of sophistication, but it's not fantastic. The art is still nice.
A lot of this is building up to the formation of SHIELD... the helicarrier, the flying cars...
...and the mission statement. It's said that this is a "new international peacekeeping agency".
One panel cameo by J. Jonah Jameson giving a televised editorial, and another by Peter Parker watching Iron Man unmask the fake Tony Stark on TV. Also lays the groundwork for stories that will happen much later by establishing the presence of Roxxon and certain characters like Jonas Hale, Hugh Jones and the Spymaster (who assassinates Kreiger at the end of this issue).
Also manages to dredge up a colonel who was basically a background character appearing in one issue of Thor's Journey Into Mystery #87 (something i never would have noticed so thanks to the Marvel Chronology Project).
I thought this picture of a cover of J. Jonah Jameson's NOW magazine was pretty neat.
Quality Rating: C+
Chronological Placement Considerations: The SHIELD Helicarrier is under construction. This should take place before its appearance in Strange Tales #135.
Iron Man switches to his new armor over the course of this story. As with all these types of continuity implants, i've placed this approximately based on its endpoint.
The following villains are shown on a television program: Jack Frost, Crimson Dynamo, the Melter, the Eel, the 'evil' Dr. Strange, the Sub-Mariner, the Radioactive Man, and the Sandman.
Continuity Insert? Y
My Reprint: N/A
Edward Harrison also turns up in the Conspiracy mini, which has some pretty big revelations about the origin of the Marvel Silver Age!
Posted by: Berend | December 28, 2013 11:45 AM
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