Iron Man #159
Issue(s): Iron Man #159
The story brings in Diablo, an unusual foe for Iron Man. In order to achieve that, the story provides an addendum to the end of Diablo's last appearance in Fantastic Four #232. That issue ended with the FF having captured Diablo with Dr. Strange's help, and the FF were flying off with Diablo in their custody. This issue shows that right after the FF flew away, Dr. Strange cast a spell that got triggered when Diablo tried to escape.
While we're looking at the flashback, here's a Mr. Fantastic neck stretch.
Strange's spell caused Diablo's appearance to change and removed his memories, and he wound up working as a janitor at Stark International. When his references didn't check out, Tony Stark investigated and had him sent to a company doctor (named "Dr. Huff"). And that's when his memories returned.
From there we just get into a nice battle.
Among many nice things, i think Smith does a nice job of depicting Iron Man's attacking suits of armor as really looking like empty suits, not just additional Iron Mans.
Despite an introductory panel touting "modern technology vs. arcane alchemy", there's nothing specific in the story that delves into the differences. It's fair to say that the fight speaks for itself. But there's no substantial interaction between Iron Man or Diablo, no thoughts about how the things Diablo are doing aren't possible based on our understanding of modern science, or anything like that. This issue is a vehicle for Paul Smith to deliver some nice fight sequences. Which i'm totally fine with.
In an epilogue, the Fantastic Four show up to pick up Diablo, and you can kind of read Sue and Ben's comments as winking about Tony Stark's ID.
Quality Rating: B+
Chronological Placement Considerations: Has to take place after the Thing's rocky form is restored in Fantastic Four #245.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (1): showDiablo, Human Torch, Invisible Woman, Iron Man, Mr. Fantastic, Mrs. Arbogast, Thing, Vic Martinelli
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