The Small Lebowski:
Characters Appearing: Iron Man
Marvel Comics Presents #132 (Iron Man)
Issue(s): Marvel Comics Presents #132 (Iron Man story only)
The Techno-Killer escapes and Iron Man decides that he needs some answers "right now" so he goes to an author named James Spencer who recently wrote a best-selling book called Techno-Killer. It seems that the book described technology suspiciously similar to top-secret projects that Tony Stark has been working on. But Spencer doesn't know anything about the guy that attacked Iron Man, who suddenly shows up. Techno-Killer takes Spencer hostage and says that he'll kill him if Iron Man won't agree to fight him.
So they fight, and Iron Man is getting the worst of it. Spencer takes a chance that the Techno-Killer armor will have the same weakness as the version in his book, and tells Iron Man to target the neck. And that is where the control circuitry is, so Techno-Killer is frozen. Iron Man unmasks him, revealing he's Spencer's research assistant, Harold Marks. Marks used to work at Stane, and he's got some sort of insane "nobody appreciates me" revenge scheme going on.
How often do heroes have to listen to these disturbed villains rant about their bizarre motivations and suppress the urge to laugh at them. "You're doing what because of what, and you thought what would be a good way to do that??!" I guess since Stark is operating this suit remotely, he can just turn off his mic.
Iron Man leaves with Marks, and Spencer starts working on his new novel, Armor Wars.
The art has a weird dichotomy to it. Iron Man is extremely on-model...
...but Techno-Killer looks like he was drawn with a blunt crayon.
I also don't know why the editors (i assume) decided to place this during Iron Man #294. I guess it was to hedge their bets since Stark is using this suit for a relatively short period? It seems like it could have fit just as well between Iron Man #293 to #294, and that would have been better than having him take a break from that more important mission to go chasing after a random guy.
Quality Rating: D
Chronological Placement Considerations: This happens "as Iron Man heads to Stark Enterprises' space lab to investigate the strange disturbances that have occurred there of late" in Iron Man #294. Which also means it happens during Infinity Crusade.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
This is the first published story by Glenn Greenberg. I enjoyed this one, since it was one of the best 8-page stand-alone tales to run in the book in a while. I was a regular MCP letterhack at this time, so when I wrote in about #132 I said some very nice things about Greenberg's story. Since this was the very beginning of his professional writing career my comments must have stood out to him, and a couple of decades later, when I friended him on Facebook, he thanked me for the kind words.
Posted by: Ben Herman | April 7, 2017 6:10 PM
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