Marvel Super Heroes #12 (Iron Man)
Issue(s): Marvel Super Heroes #12 (Iron Man)
Iron Man finds that his new company Stark Enterprises is beset with bugs. He's even had to fly into space to get them out of a satellite.
Meanwhile, we see a kid hacker with a handle of Glitch hacking into Project Pegasus.
He's visited by the Spymaster, who wants to recruit him. Glitch is enticed by the challenge of hacking into Stark Enterprises and the promise of high tech hardware.
The hardware of course comes in the form of a super-villain costume.
Meanwhile, Iron Man and James Rhodes work with a new employee, Miss Lewis, to ensure that Iron Man's armor is free of bugs. Miss Lewis was surely originally meant to be Clytemnestra Erwin. Not only does she look like Cly with a bleach job, but we'll see that Tony and Rhodey are pretty casual about Tony's relationship with Iron Man in front of her.
For their final test, Tony gets a SHIELD LMD out of storage. The dialogue notes that since the LMDs are SHIELD property, Stane didn't get them. The implication is that it was just mothballed in a closet somewhere, but that implies that Stark is in a building that he's owned before. See the Considerations for some related thoughts. At least Nick Fury appears in this story at the end, so we can say Stark got the LMD from him.
Glitch has an opportunity to take control of Iron Man's armor, but he waits until Iron Man is done helping put out a fire, showing that Glitch isn't a true villain.
Then he attacks.
But because there's really a specially designed LMD inside the armor, Glitch's consciousness winds up getting stuck inside.
This is the scene i was talking about with Miss Lewis and Tony's secret ID. There's nothing actually wrong here, especially the way it's scripted. But if you just look at the art, this is obviously the "Aha! I'm not in the armor!" moment, and it's weird for Miss Lewis to be standing there for that.
And then Tony scrambles to get the armor on. Again, a little iffy in front of Miss Lewis but nothing that would definitively give away his secret ID.
Kind of a goofy shot of Glitch floating away after the LMD is destroyed.
Tony puts on the rest of the Iron Man suit (in front of Miss Lewis) and then flies off to track Glitch. who has gone back to the Spymaster. In the background there is Spymaster's Espionage Elite, not seen since 1971. Gotta love Kurt Busiek.
Glitch takes possession of Iron Man again...
...but then has second thoughts.
Spymaster flees, sacrificing his Espionage Elite to buy him time (and they are wrapped up in a matter of unimpressive panels).
Glitch surrenders and also volunteers Spymaster's likely location, allowing Iron Man to capture him too (without a fight). In return, Tony sets up Glitch with SHIELD.
I am surprised that Kurt Busiek never showed Glitch as a background character during his Avengers or Iron Man runs, but i guess the character is pretty obscure even for him. The character never appears again.
The whole "kid hacker in for the thrill of it" trope is a tired one to me today, although i guess in 1992 or 1986 or whenever this was written it would have seemed a lot fresher.
Quality Rating: C
Chronological Placement Considerations: A footnote says that this story takes place before Iron Man #215. What's interesting about that is that Iron Man #215 is when the new Stark Enterprises facility is unveiled, and it's the first time the name was revealed to us readers. It's also the story where Cly Erwin went crazy with grief, allied herself with AIM, and then died. So you'd think the change of Cly to Miss Lewis was meant to clear the way for this to appear after Iron Man #215, but the footnote says it happens before, which makes the introduction of Miss Lewis odd, as well as the use of the name Stark Enterprises. Of course they would have been calling themselves Stark Enterprises before unveiling the building, so it's not a problem. The issue also doesn't have any establishing shots showing where Stark and company are working from, but a narration caption does say "At Stark Enterprises" as if there's only one location, so it's probably the main building even though it hasn't been unveiled or fully completed yet. The MCP place this between Iron Man #213-214 and also before Avengers annual #15, which introduces the Vault. In this issue we see that Project Pegasus is still being used as a super-villain prison, with Blackout, Rhino, and Whiplash being held there (not that the villains couldn't still be held at Project Pegasus after Avengers annual #15; it's not like they would have transferred everyone immediately).
Continuity Insert? Y
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (2): showBlackout, Iron Man, Nick Fury, Rhino, Spymaster, War Machine, Whiplash (Blacklash)
Wasn't there a line of dialogue in Avengers 273 suggesting that Zemo had Blackout freed from prison? And didn't the end of the Dazzler story imply Blackout was captured?
Posted by: Michael | March 4, 2015 9:07 PM
Ha, i was defeated by my own idle speculation in the Dazzler #32 entry. I should have known better than to doubt Kurt Busiek. Thanks, Michael; i've removed the line about Blackout.
Posted by: fnord12 | March 5, 2015 9:40 AM
Should Michael O'Brien be listed as a character appearing? There's SOMEONE in the Guardsman armor appearing.
Posted by: Michael | March 5, 2015 11:32 PM
I considered it when i saw that panel but i saw that the MCP didn't list him and that narration panel talks about super-powered guards, plural. So i thought since we are so close the the unveiling of the Vault that it was reasonable to think that by this point there were multiples.
Posted by: fnord12 | March 6, 2015 7:38 AM
"Cordwainder Fury" is presumably based on the pseudonym "Cordwainer Bird" that Harlan Ellison used when he didn't want his name on a story. "Cordwainer" from the great sf writer Cordwainer Smith, but also literally a shoemaker, i.e. a journeyman, not a real artist, and "Bird" as in giving the editor the bird. Not sure why you'd need an alias for "plot", since that's not something that's normally credited anyway.
Posted by: Andrew | April 11, 2017 11:56 AM
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