Iron Man #238
Issue(s): Iron Man #238
I don't really love Butch Guice's face for the Rhino (or the overall look of the character, but i blame that on the bands).
The Rhino is also extra dumb in this story. I mean, i know he's dumb, but he's really dumb here. He uses the escape vehicle provided by Hammer to smash the police's Ram Tank.
That actually seems out of character for the Rhino. Wouldn't he just charge at the Ram Tank?
Tony Stark, meanwhile, is busy playing rich people games, specifically driving his own race car in a charity race, and, naturally, winning. His stalker girlfriend Kathy Dare makes a scene at the award ceremony.
After smoothing things over for the charity as best he can, Tony moves on to do what he enjoys best: stand around in various states of undress with other men.
Tony ought to stick with the thigh high leggings look. He's got the thighs for it, and it would deflect some of the criticism directed at female super-hero costumes.
Also note James Rhodes saying that he'd like some of the Iron Man material for his work clothes. You had a whole suit once, Rhodey! But we're a ways away from Rhodey becoming War Machine, so i guess he really does just want a jumpsuit.
As Iron Man, Tony is next required to go to the filming of a commercial for Stark International. Since he's still pretending to be a new guy in the suit, he has to bite his tongue when he's chewed out by PR director Marcy Pearson for being late. He also has to stay for the filming when news of the Rhino and Blizzard's breakout hits the news.
Next, Tony's got to take some meetings. The first is with the government agents that contracted him to deal with the satellite problem last issue. Tony has a new lawyer, Felix Alvarez, and he's much more cutthroat than Bert Hindel was.
Alvarez is also spearheading a new acquisition for Stark International.
That's a set up for the next arc's Ghost appearance.
Tony's second appointment is not business related. It's with Steve Rogers; it's the discussion they promised to have after Armor Wars was over.
As Tony says, the conversation doesn't settle anything, but it does mean that Cap (and likely, therefore, the other Avengers, although John Byrne will have a say on that for the West Coast branch) will work with the "new" Iron Man. There's no doubt Cap is letting Tony off easy here, but it's worth noting that in his own book, Steve Rogers had been berating himself for not fighting back against the government when they forced him out of the Captain America role. It's far from the same thing, but you can see why Steve might therefore have some sympathy for what Tony did, especially since he doesn't know all of the details.
Thanks to all of these events, it's a while before Iron Man is finally able to catch up with the Rhino.
Iron Man finds that the Rhino's armor can withstand all the punishment Iron Man can dish out, but after an explosion Iron Man realizes that the Rhino's uncovered face is his vulnerability. So Iron Man gets a gas tanker and creates a fire around the Rhino...
...and then, safe due to his own facemask, enters the fire and holds the Rhino in a chokehold until he passes out from the smoke.
It's an innovative resolution to the fight instead of just pitting Iron Man's brute power against the Rhino's.
The Blizzard (who remains out of costume this issue) escapes on one of Justin Hammer's private jets, though.
Also in this issue, someone kills Madame Masque and claims the mask for herself.
This is a case where having references like the Marvel Chronology Project available helps ensure that i can be relatively accurate while i'm working on these entries and not have to come back and revise too much when i get to the issues where these things are settled and (in this case) retconned. You'll see from the Characters Appearing that what's happening here is Madame Masque Bio-Duplicate II is killing Madame Masque Bio-Duplicate I. It's not until Kurt Busiek's Avengers run that the Bio-Duplicate stuff comes out.
Quality Rating: B
Chronological Placement Considerations: A footnote says that this takes place after Captain America #350, and presumably it really takes place after Captain America #351 when the transfer of the Captain America role back to Steve Rogers officially happens. Aside from that footnote there's nothing specific in this issue that says that it has to take place when Steve is Captain America as opposed to the Captain, but there's no reason not to honor the footnote (and follow the MCP).
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (3): showBlizzard II, Captain America, Felix Alvarez, Ghost, Iron Man, Kathleen Dare, Madame Masque Bio-Duplicate, Madame Masque Bio-Duplicate II, Marcy Pearson, Mrs. Arbogast, Rhino, War Machine
The way Stark defeats Rhino reminds me of how Spidey beat Rhino the first time in the Spectacular Spider-Man cartoon, it was more with steam and overheating the guy in a tunnel.
God I miss that cartoon. The hell is with all the stupid overly childish Marvel cartoons now?
Posted by: david banes | September 9, 2014 1:57 PM
I hate the "bio-duplicates" stuff, but Micheleinie/Layton's idea wasn't much better. (25-year-old cancelled plotline spoiler alert: it's Rae Lacoste.) Whitney Frost deserves to stick around, even if she hasn't been put to good use in many years.
Posted by: Walter Lawson | September 9, 2014 4:10 PM
Hammer will eventually create the Rhino's armor but that's not until he gets the original suit off in Deadly Foes of Spider-Man, which is after this issue, right?
Posted by: MikeCheyne | September 9, 2014 7:36 PM
Deadly Foes was definitely published after this. 1991.
Posted by: fnord12 | September 9, 2014 9:18 PM
Walter, I don't see how Rae-as-Madame-Masque would have been that bad. The clues are obvious in retrospect. The problem is that Dave and Bob tried to do THREE Tony's love-interest tries to kill him stories in less than 3 years (Cly, Kathy, Rae). It looks ridiculous. (Not as idiotic as Micheline's Spider-Man story where 2 unrelated people that have been stalking MJ at the same time wind up in the same room but...)
Posted by: Michael | September 9, 2014 10:59 PM
Thanks, Michael, that actually exactly what I had in mind: Kathy, Cly, and now Rae, next thing you'd know Bethany Cabe would turn out to be Dr. Doom. There are clues in Rae's dialogue, but her affection for Tony seems genuine. Which means it would be something of a replay of older Madam Masque/Iron Man affairs. It's a retread in too many ways.
Posted by: Walter Lawson | September 9, 2014 11:32 PM
Oh c'mon being a playboy it wouldn't be that weird to have a bunch of former romances out for Tony's blood.
Posted by: david banes | September 10, 2014 1:37 AM
David, have you ever met a man that had THREE of his girlfriends try to kill him in the space of a couple of years? It's just not plausible unless the guy is a rapist, which Tony clearly isn't intended to be.
Posted by: Michael | September 10, 2014 7:39 AM
Alternatively, Tony's subconscious self-destructive tendencies kept leading him to mentally unbalanced girlfriends.
Posted by: Thanos6 | September 10, 2014 9:56 AM
That might work for Kathy, who everyone tried to warn Tony about, but everyone liked Cly and Rae. And besides, Cly wasn't unstable when they first met- there's no way Tony's subconscious could have known that Cly's brother would die and she would go nuts.
Posted by: Michael | September 10, 2014 7:54 PM
Well, by my own admission, I'm not really an Iron Man, I'm just spitballing here. :)
Posted by: Thanos6 | September 10, 2014 8:44 PM
I was joking and didn't mean to imply Tony was a rapist or something.
Still...maybe all of his unbalanced or two-faced girlfriends should team up and make their own Sinister Six or something.
Posted by: david banes | September 11, 2014 1:55 AM
It almost looks like editorial looked at these Iron Man issues and thought "Hey, grabbing villains to fight against a different foe than normal. That's our next crossover!"
Posted by: Erik Beck | August 22, 2015 1:44 PM
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