Iron Man #197
Issue(s): Iron Man #197
In Secret Wars II, Thundersword was described as looking like a "cartoon character", which makes sense, because he's basically a parody of the characters Steve Gerber worked on.
So he's not really credible as an actual super-villain, and indeed, this is his last appearance.
At first Iron Man (James Rhodes) goes up against him alone, and he's unable to make much headway. This issue makes clear that Thundersword actually has wish-fulfillment powers (he escapes from jail by figuring out that the only reason he lost his powers when he dropped his sword was because it was a limitation he placed on himself), and so i guess it's only the limited imagination of Steve Gerber/Stewart Cadwall that doesn't make him Beyonder Jr. But he's still very powerful. Also, Tony Stark is initially unavailable because Bethany Cabe called him up while kicking some armored goons in the balls...
...and he wanted in on that action. However, since he's still using his makeshift armor, he's unable to catch up with the goons.
Having failed at that, he returns to lend his brains to the fight against Thundersword. But they actually wind up using the same strategy that Rhodey used against Graviton - hook the Iron Man armor up to a power generator and blast away.
Thundersword's body isn't found, and Iron Man concludes "that means he's alive -- and that we'll probably hear from him again", but that actually won't be the case.
It's generally a well written issue, but i'm still not happy with the way Cly Erwin reacts to discussion about Bethany Cabe.
I do really like the John Byrne cover, generic though it may be.
Here's a teaser of Tony Stark's new armor, although it's either got a coloring error or Stark was initially thinking of going with a more traditional color scheme.
Quality Rating: B-
Chronological Placement Considerations: This issue opens with Iron Man at the police headquarters, ensuring that Thundersword is put in jail. It therefore probably takes place concurrently with Captain America #308, since Captain America and IM parted ways at the end of Secret Wars II #1, and we know from Cap's incredibly detailed accounting of his whereabouts in Cap #308 that he spent about two hours looking for clues about the Beyonder before heading to the West Coast Avengers compound.
Crossover: Secret Wars II
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (1): showBethany Cabe, Clytemnestra Erwin, Iron Man, Morley Erwin, Thundersword, War Machine
I remember seeing ads for West Coast Avengers in either Marvels of the time, or Marvel Age or maybe even Amazing Heroes- and those ads had the grey armored Iron Man as Tony appears in these issues which makes me think possibly a plan was to keep him in that armor for a little while..? Has anyone else ever seen that ad?
Posted by: George Gordon | October 5, 2014 3:10 PM
George, your memory is not playing tricks on you. The cover of Marvel Age #29 by Richard Howell & Joe Sinnott from August 1985 does indeed show Tony Stark as a member of the West Coast Avengers in his grey armor...
Posted by: Ben Herman | December 28, 2015 10:15 AM
Thundersword finally returned during the CIVIL WAR II issues of CAPTAIN MARVEL. He was older and had a family and still had the trophy thing that gave him his powers. Ulysses predicted the trophy would explode and cause serious damage, so Captain Marvel went to arrest him. They discovered he still had the trophy and its energies had built up so much power that it was going to explode. So the guy was arrested, but Carol paid his bail so he could be with his family. The Master of the World stole the trophy from the evidence locker at the police station and used the Thundersword powers against Carol and Alpha Flight.
Posted by: Andrew Burke | October 9, 2017 9:15 AM
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