Iron Man #233
Issue(s): Iron Man #233
When i first opened this up, i thought Michelinie & Layton were doing away with the space station introduced with much fanfare at the end of Denny O'Neil's run once and for all (after they first rendered it inoperable and then had Iron Man use it briefly during Armor Wars), but it turns out that this is a Stane satellite. This issue is actually being published the same month as Nick Fury vs. SHIELD #3, where we learned that SHIELD had an Obadiah Stane LMD created so that Stane's company could keep supplying them with weapons,. We see here that Iron Man is aware that a "mysterious cartel" has been running Stane.
Stopping the satellite is part of a PR campaign by Marcy Pearson to get public opinion in favor of the "new" Iron Man. In terms of other repercussions of Armor Wars, Stark is feeling a little self pity over not being able to tell the public (his version of) the truth...
...and he's also blaming his lawyer for not acting fast enough.
He's also got a big press conference coming up, and he's hired Scott Lang to make sure the video system will work ok.
However, Edwin Cord has bribed a Stark employee into causing a problem at the conference. I love the incredibly low stakes of this plot. I meant that sincerely. It's just a corporate intrigue/sabotage plot; perfect for an Iron Man comic after the big Armor Wars event.
Finally, Stark is playing some polo (which probably is less ingratiating with the general public) and even unhorses Prince Charles...
...before meeting a Kathleen Dare.
Stark is still seeing Rae LaCoste at this point, though, so no polo groupies for him. Speaking of relationships, James Rhodes and Marcy Pearson were still on the outs after he shut her out while Iron Man and Stark were going crazy during Armor Wars, but Jim explains his loyalty to Tony and they patch things up.
For the press conference, Stark uses technology to make Jim look like him so that he can also appear as Iron Man.
The attack on the press conference is actually more deadly than i let on, but luckily Ant-Man is on the scene to stop it.
Iron Man is therefore able to continue with his little press demo, lining up monorail lines and other tricks, without a hitch. When it's over, Stark's security chief Garrison Quint tells Stark that they found unconscious armed men in a nearby warehouse, but they don't know what it's about (and Stark doesn't know that Lang is Ant-Man).
It's interesting to see Tony almost in a state of denial post Armor Wars. Wishing that he could just tell the public that he was trying to get stolen technology back ignores his attacks on multiple government agents and facilities as well as his killing of the Gremlin. And blaming his lawyer is pretty rich. Not sure if Michelinie & Layton are intentionally doing this or if they are expecting us to side with Tony at this point, but if they were playing a more subtle long game it gets lost, in part because Iron Man is separated from the Avengers at this point and they're the ones that know that the Iron Man that did those things is really Tony and not someone that died fighting Firepower, so there's no one to confront him. In that way, Tony's self-deception can also become the audiences'; since no one is going to challenge Tony on that stuff, it's just not going to come up and we're basically going to forget about it.
Quality Rating: B-
Chronological Placement Considerations: The MCP don't have Tony Stark appearing in Nick Fury vs. SHIELD until after Iron Man #234, but i'm wondering if it doesn't work better if this issue takes place after that story, since the destruction of the Obadiah Stane LMD may contribute to the neglect that causes the satellite to fail in this issue.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (2): showAnt-Man (Scott Lang), Bertram Hindel, Edwin Cord, Garrison Quint, Iron Man, Kathleen Dare, Marcy Pearson, Mrs. Arbogast, Rae LaCoste, Stature (Cassie Lang), War Machine
The satellite falling was no accident. As we'll see next issue, it was part of a scheme by the Radioactive Man. I don't know if you want to give him a behind-the-scenes listing.
Posted by: Michael | June 29, 2014 9:10 PM
Keep an eye on IM's shoulder pads. Guice tends to draw them as squares that are elevated at a right angle to the arm-- like more discreet versions of the a Silver Centurion's big should pads-- but Layton's model seems to call for rounded shoulders sculpted directly to the arms. The Layton version looks a lot better, IMHO, and is the one we saw when the new armor debuted (penciled by MD Bright). You'll see there are even covers that alternate between the variations. It's odd that nobody intervened to get Guice to stick to model. Other artists almost invariably use the rounded shoulders, though it's amazing how many other elements of this design the artists screw up: JR JR makes IM's forearm and shin units look like soup cans, and Paul Ryan draws IM with teeth.
Posted by: Walter Lawson | June 29, 2014 11:09 PM
Every issue of Iron Man with Scott Lang in it as Ant-Man easily made Stark read like a supporting character for the issue's duration.
Kathy Dare will continue Marvel's history of lousy approaches when the subject of mental illnesses is at hand. (See Hank Pym and Heather Glenn.)
Posted by: Clutch | July 11, 2014 10:24 AM
According to Amazing Heroes #133, the shoulder pads were deliberately shrunk to make the armor look less Transformer-ish. Michelinie and Layton also considered making the new armor red and black, but other Marvel people said that would look too villainous.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | November 3, 2014 11:25 AM
In regards to the comment on Tony not being able to tell his side of the story, I'm surprised at some point "Randall Pierce" didn't make a video (in silver armor of course) explaining why he attacked the villains and was "pushed" into attacking the government's armored agents. He also could have said he regretted the death of the Titanium Man, and that is why he sought "death" against Firepower rather than simply slipping away.
It would have allowed Stark his moment of explanation, apology for a needless death, and be a final attempt to redeem the "original" Iron Man's reputation.
Furthermore, if Stark was really concerned about Iron Man's reputation, he could have mentioned (truthfully) that multiple men had worn the armor (Eddie March and Jim Rhodes off the top of my head, maybe more) and implied "Randall Pierce" was not the original Iron Man. Perhaps just the guy who wore the Silver Centurion armor.
Posted by: Chris | May 19, 2017 9:00 PM
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