Iron Man #294-295
Issue(s): Iron Man #294, Iron Man #295
As we saw at the end of last issue, something's gone terribly wrong (again!) on Tony Stark's former space satellite, and this issue has Iron Man investigating. On his way there, though, he's contacted by the Goddess, who tries to recruit him.
Iron Man's comment about sensing "another of those massive logistical nightmares" is certainly on the nose since this encounter itself doesn't fit into the larger crossover very well. I mean that both in terms of this being the only known case of the Goddess trying to recruit someone definitely not suited to her and in terms of the actual logistics (i.e. why doesn't Iron Man tell anyone that he met a Goddess who told him that she's spirited away Wonder Man, Doctor Strange, etc. when the heroes are trying to figure out who is responsible for the missing heroes in Infinity Crusade #1?).
Anyway, on to the space station. Iron Man doesn't know exactly what he's walking into. A flashback shows that they got a message from the satellite saying that, er, two Supreme Court Justices were killed there.
Ok, those are really just employees of Cauwfield Multichemical, the company that is leasing space on the station. I don't know why those names were chosen. The message does say that they were experimenting with nanotechnology, which Tony thinks was "insane": "Outside a handful of rigidly controlled applications, even I'm not equipped to work with nanotech safely". Winston Cauwfield, the company's owner (who is not on the satellite), denies knowing anything.
When Iron Man gets on the satellite, he finds the Borg-like creatures that we saw last issue.
It continues to morph and evolve and eventually becomes this:
The "Technovore" is not malevolent so much as unaware of the implications of assimilating everything it comes across in its quest for understanding. The story is therefore very similar to Iron Man #237 except that the creature is technological rather than biological in nature. The fight is also immensely long, pages and pages of Iron Man fighting blobs of metal.
Iron Man - who remember is just a remote controlled shell at this point - has his arm stripped down to the endoskeleton during the fight
He also uses resources on the station to build himself a giant gun...
...but it ultimately doesn't help.
Iron Man instead lures the thing into deep space. The plan is to sacrifice the Iron Man suit and cut the neural link once it's safely away, and then cause it to self-destruct. But he doesn't get out in time and winds up getting infected with the nanotech virus. The self-destruct sequence goes off anyway, and it should have killed Tony if not for the intervention of the Goddess. Despite this being the crisis of faith in technology that she predicted, Tony still refuses to join her.
Tony wakes up in his crippled body, and takes his mind off things by letting his physical therapist Veronica Benning strongly motivate him to wake up his dormant sex drive.
Meanwhile, something suspicious is going on with Mrs. Arbogast.
The thing that Felix Alvarez is worried about in both of those scenes above is that he's learned that when James Rhodes ordered the Stark board to divest itself of Stane's nuclear holdings, they went and sold everything to AIM. Tony is told about it at the end, and he's not happy.
Also interested in AIM is Omega Red, who is searching for a former Soviet (presumably) named Barankova, who defected to AIM.
These issues lost me at "Technovore". The fact that it's basically a repeat of an earlier story at twice the length with some incongruous Goddess appearances tacked on makes it all the worse.
Quality Rating: D+
Chronological Placement Considerations: This presumably takes place during Infinity Crusade #1 while the Goddess is going around recruiting her contingent of heroes. Of course Iron Man doesn't see fit to relay the information that he's already met the Goddess when the rest of the heroes are trying to figure out what's going on in that issue. In issue #294 there are footnotes for both Infinity Crusade #1 & #2, but the actual events referenced all occurred in issue #1. Iron Man's narration about the "logistical nightmares" seems to confirm that it takes place before the heroes gather in issue #1.
The MCP has the last few pages of issue #295, with Tony's sexy bath scene and Felix Alvarez's briefing on AIM, taking place after Infinity Crusade. But Tony could also have intended to jump right into the AIM thing before getting pulled into Infinity Crusade (especially since the Goddess' actions put the world into a kind of stasis). It's kind of moot from the perspective of my character listings except for the appearance of Omega Red, and i've decided to list him.
Note that i've labeled this as part of the Infinity Crusade crossover despite the lack of official trade dress.
Crossover: Infinity Crusade
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (1): showAbe Zimmer, Felix Alvarez, Goddess, Iron Man, Mrs. Arbogast, Omega Red, Technovore, Veronica Benning
now I see where capcom got the inspiration for Iron-man super move the Proton Canon for their fighting games
Posted by: FRANCISCO ARBOLEDA | November 30, 2016 2:49 PM
One would expect the personification of Warlock's good side to have better insight than the Goddess displays here. She acts as if she had no clue of what belief and atheism are like - particularly surprising given her self-appointed role.
Posted by: Luis Dantas | November 30, 2016 7:38 PM
Wow, that panel's definitely the basis for the proton cannon in Capcom's fighting games. Looking at the issue, I see the weapon fires acid instead of energy. I've noticed a weapon called a proton gun in Iron Man stories starting with Tales of Suspense 60, so maybe the devs combined that concept with the visual design from Iron Man 294. Of course, it's also possible the name's just a coincidence.
Posted by: Mortificator | November 30, 2016 8:23 PM
I agree that this panel is pretty obviously where the design for Iron Man's Proton Cannon super came from. It also makes sense because these issues would have been coming out around when Capcom was developing the Marvel Super Heroes game (it would come to arcades a couple years later in 1995).
Posted by: Red Comet | December 1, 2016 10:58 AM
It's uncanny how much the art looks like Luke McDonnel's 80's run, also inked by Steve Mitchell.
Posted by: DW | February 7, 2018 6:09 PM
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