Iron Man #189-190
Issue(s): Iron Man #189, Iron Man #190
He's even got a humanizing characteristic: he's a sculptor.
He's also a mutant, so when Iron Man can't seem to defeat him (at one point he stupidly assumes that the Termite's powers are in his gloves, and then leaves him alone in a locked room while he gets the police, only to find that the villain has burrowed away), the Vision sends his wife the Scarlet Witch into town. And she's got the Neutralizer that was used to rob Storm of her powers, and she gives it to Tony Stark to use on Termite.
She got it from the Vision, who got it from Henry Gyrich.
It's surprising that's the Scarlet Witch is even willing to allow such a device to be used. She says she's uncomfortable with it, but then why even use it?
Surely two Avengers could handle Termite. Or why not call in the West Coast team. Resorting to the Neutralizer seems unnecessary.
But it's important to remember that the Neutralizer has several power settings, so it's likely that she's not using the maximum setting and permanently robbing Termite of his powers. On the other hand, Termite pretty much will never appear again, except for one more appearance in Iron Man #75 (vol 3), years from now, where he's still in prison and seemingly powerless.
Termite was working for Obadiah Stane, who we haven't seen for a long time. Stane wants a minor technology company's equipment sabotaged. Iron Man gets involved because Circuits Maximus had a contract from the company, and the contract was in danger of cancellation because of the sabotage.
You'd think that it would be beneath Stane, who has already taken over Stark Industries, to use super-villains to undermine minor competitors, but apparently not. He's also hanging out with an obscured-by-shadows Madame Masque.
Meanwhile, the Rhodey/Stark relationship continues to deteriorate. It's bordering on parody at this point.
That third panel, with Rhodey standing there so goony and proud of himself, is hilarious.
Tony hears about Iron Man being a member of the Avengers again, but he reacts worse than he did last time.
Oh, i almost forgot. At the beginning of this arc, Iron Man rescues a woman from a hostage situation, and she offers him a date. He shows up in his civilian identity, but to protect his secret ID, he... wears a hat.
And it gets better. The date doesn't go well, and it ends with the following exchange:
Rhodey: Guess this wasn't the best time you ever had, huh?
No wonder he's acting so crazy if he can't even "relax" with a ladyfriend anymore.
I'm not sure if it's the new status quo or increased editorial interference with the influx of cheesy super-villains or something else, but i definitely feel like the quality of this book has declined.
Quality Rating: C+
Chronological Placement Considerations: Takes place after Avengers #250. Regarding the Neutralizer used in this issue, in ROM #61, it's said that there is only one prototype Neutralizer, and Forge has it, and won't turn it over to the government. Obviously there used to be two, because there was one in this issue that gets destroyed by Iron Man. Nice work, Rhodey, you just doomed the Earth to a Dire Wraith invasion! Anyway, while there was obviously a mix-up between this issue and ROM, it works if you assume there were two and this arc comes before ROM #61 (which, for what it's worth, was published the same month as issue #190).
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (3): showClytemnestra Erwin, Iron Man, Madame Masque Bio-Duplicate, Morley Erwin, Obadiah Stane, Scarlet Witch, Termite, Vision, War Machine
Hmm. So Tony Stark is left-handed?
Posted by: LuisDantas | April 9, 2013 11:41 PM
So, the Scarlet Witch depowers a mutant, eh...? ;)
Posted by: Harry | July 30, 2015 11:13 AM
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