Iron Man #279
Issue(s): Iron Man #279
They decide to split up, with Hawkliath chasing Deathbird to force her to admit that she, not the Avengers, was behind the assassination of Hala's rulers, while Iron Man locates the Avengers. I assumed that writer Len Kaminski or whoever came up with the broader plot outline (Mark Gruenwald) chose this split due to the fact that Hawkeye is one of the few Avengers with any experience against Deathbird, having fought her in Avengers #189 (which was partially plotted by Gruenwald). But that previous encounter doesn't wind up getting referenced.
Iron Man gives Hawkeye a tracker allowing him to hone in on Shi'ar weaponry's unique energy signature. After they split up, we see an indication that Iron Man's space armor is not interacting well with the spinal problems that he has been having ("I designed and built this space armor before Kearson DeWitt's techno-organic parasite destroyed my nervous system"). He's having dizzy spells and his life support systems are not running at full efficiency due to electromagnetic interference. The consequences of this will be seen in Kaminski's post-Galactic Storm issues.
Meanwhile, the Supreme Intelligence has the brains of the assassinated Kree rulesr, Ael-dan and Dar-benn, extracted and added to the collection of minds that powers his own Intelligence. I suppose every bit helps and Ael-dan and Dar-benn did manage to manipulate events so that they briefly held power, but they really didn't do much to distinguish themselves and they hardly seem worth the effort.
Notice that Iron Man and Hawkeye both threaten death in their separate missions.
Hawkeye has the easier time of it and Deathbird agrees to work with him. Notice that she's talking about regaining control of the Shi'ar empire.
I noted when she first appeared in this story, in Avengers #345, that the scene was depicted such that it seemed like she was menacing her sister, the empress Lilandra. But i chalked that up to typical cliffhanger ending misdirection, knowing that she eventually repeats what she already said in Uncanny X-Men #276, where she renounced the Shi'ar throne. But the above scene makes me wonder if it was less misdirection than a change of course, with someone realizing that Deathbird scheming to take the throne back wouldn't make a lot of sense. Alternatively, maybe Laminski just didn't get the memo. Or maybe she's just talking trash to screw with Hawkeye.
Anyway, Iron Man is having much less of an easy time with Ronan the Accuser.
In fact, he eventually assesses the situation as hopeless and activates his armor's self-destruct countdown. But then he's rescued when Hawkeye shows up and frees the rest of the Avengers, minus Captain America (who was taken out of his cell for interrogation before the fight).
The Avengers escape into the sewers. Deathbird has slipped away. Hawkeye tells the others that Deathbird said that if she doesn't get back to the Shi'ar empire by a certain time, they're going to detonate a bomb (as we already know, it's the Nega-Bomb, and i'm not so sure Lilandra was waiting for Deathbird to get back). Iron Man decides that stopping that bomb is top priority, even though it means abandoning Captain America. Hawkeye objects to leaving Cap behind, so Iron Man tases him.
That settles that argument.
A final page epilogue shows Skrulls coming across the Nega-Bomb that the Starjammers jettisoned two chapters ago.
Even though this is an Iron Man issue, it's nice to see Hawkeye getting equal time and it's interesting to see the titular hero getting rescued by the other Avengers at the end. The fact that these Galactic Storm issues are the first ones in Len Kaminski's run makes it less obvious that anything Iron Man specific is getting pushed aside, but in fact there are plenty of moments that make this an "Iron Man" book instead of just the next chapter of Galactic Storm. His ongoing health problems are the main thing from a long term plotting perspective, but there are also character moments like Iron Man deciding to activate his self-destruct sequence, and his decision to tase Hawkeye to end the debate. Still, Kaminski is definitely not trying to develop anything else in the Iron Man book. There are no subplot scenes showing Rhodey back on Earth or anything like that. That's good and bad. If you're reading Galactic Storm as an isolated story, it's definitely good that things are streamlined. I wonder about reader retention though. If you had people that were reading Byrne's run that stuck around for this, or if you had new people picking up these issues to follow Galactic Storm, is there anything here that would keep you around after the event was over? I suppose a good action focused story should be reason enough, and this does deliver that.
Quality Rating: C+
Chronological Placement Considerations: This is part thirteen of Operation: Galactic Storm. It continues in Thor #446. I've tagged Wonder Man and the Vision as Characters Appearing since we know they are on the Nega-Bomb freighter.
Crossover: Operation Galactic Storm
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (4): showAel-dan, Black Knight (Dane Whitman), Captain America, Crystal, Dar-benn, Deathbird, Hawkeye, Hercules, Iron Man, Ronan the Accuser, Sersi, Supreme Intelligence, Vision, Wonder Man
"HEY DID WE MENTION WE'RE TEASING LOTS OF DEATH IN THIS COMIC?"
Posted by: david banes | February 1, 2016 5:56 PM
PAD has said that when he was doing X-Cutioner's Song, Marvel had a policy of limiting subplots to one page per issue at a maximum during a crossover.I wonder if a similar policy was in effect during Galactic Storm.
Posted by: Michael | February 1, 2016 8:14 PM
Not only is Shellhead a dick towards Clint in this issue despite Clint having the experience of battling Deathbird, but Clint's also the only one of this crew that has previously battled Ronan. (In Avengers 90-91; he was even Goliath at that time, too.) A little respect for the guy who ends up saving your butt would not be out of line, I think.
Instead, Tony shoots him in the back. Of course he does. Sigh.
Posted by: Dan Spector | January 18, 2018 11:54 AM
In war, when a higher-ranking officer tells you to do something, it's not open for discussion. IMO, Hawkeye was actually being insubordinate. I know he's been with the Avengers for a while. However, Iron Man is a founding member. That means he has seniority in these situations. I'll admit him shooting Hawkeye was a bit extreme. But, in his mind, there wasn't time to do anything else.
Posted by: clyde | January 18, 2018 2:04 PM
Hey! Here Iron Man is been like a suicide terrorist. Is that irony?
Posted by: Lord_Pengallan | February 20, 2018 8:07 AM
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