Iron Man #211
Issue(s): Iron Man #211
Anyway, it's a decent story featuring the return of the Living Laser, who has been trapped as a burst of colored light for a while (with some unmentioned exceptions; see below), and is disoriented. He even gets in trouble for bothering the "local wino".
When Iron Man shows up he's torn between vengeance on the person responsible for trapping him and needing help.
But the real drama in this issue is around James Rhodes, who has been quite down on himself lately and doesn't think he compares to the "real" Iron Man.
But Tony convinces him that he needs help against the Living Laser, so Rhodey eventually suits up in the old red and gold...
...and the two of them trap the Laser in a disco ball.
There's a little bit of creating a problem in order to solve it regarding Rhodey, but he has been refusing to get back in the armor since Tony came back as Iron Man in Denny O'Neil's run. Tony's return as Iron Man does raise a problem. You probably don't want two Iron Mans running around. And Rhodey in the old armor is definitely going to come across as a second stringer. But it might have been better for him to exit the book or come up with a reason for not wanting to be Iron Man besides "Nah, i suck". If that's the alternative i'd rather have Rhodey back in the old armor. Rhodey will eventually carve out a separate identity for himself as War Machine, of course.
Also in this issue, Bethany Cabe's husband Alex is killed by some drug dealers.
Quality Rating: C+
Chronological Placement Considerations: The MCP places Iron Man #210 through #213 between West Coast Avengers #13-14. The key thing here is that this should appear before West Coast Avengers annual #1, because it's a struggle for Rhodey to decide if he wants to wear the red and gold Iron Man armor again here whereas he has no problem doing it in the annual. At the end of this issue, Stark says that he brought the Living Laser's ball to the West Coast Avengers compound and he and Henry Pym are going to investigate a cure, but i'm not counting that as a character appearance.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (1): showAlexander Van Tilburg, Bethany Cabe, Clytemnestra Erwin, Iron Man, Living Laser, War Machine
I always thought Living Laser was a cool villain, but he's insanely powerful. Every now and then some writer pulls him out and uses him and then has to contrive a way he's kept away until the next time he's used.
Posted by: Erik Beck | June 29, 2015 12:36 PM
Mackie confirmed in an interview in Comics Interview #92 that this was his first comics writing.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | July 14, 2015 10:26 AM
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