Iron Man #30
Issue(s): Iron Man #30
By the rules of my Godzilla drinking game, the scene above is worth two drinks/head smacks; one for a giant monster sneaking up on you, and one for someone immediately knowing its name.
The Godzilla reference is explicit, by the way.
The monster is actually a vehicle controlled by a dude in a really cool looking samurai outfit.
Earlier Tony Stark worried that whatever the plot of this issue is (and it really doesn't matter), Chinese communists were behind it. Fujiko, the daughter of the Professor Watanabe that Stark was visiting, scoffed at the idea, but that actually does turn out to be the case. Except the samurai guy is actually her brother Toru.
The surviving Watanabes have another appearance but it's about as significant as this one.
Quality Rating: C-
Chronological Placement Considerations: Squeezing in a bunch of Iron Man issues after Avengers #82.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: Marvel Masterworks: Invincible Iron Man vol. 7
I find the depiction of Japan in Marvel comics before the late seventies to be very interesting. Lots of old WWII style cliches about wanting revenge on the Yankees, and that's about it. In the sixties and early seventies, Japan was best known for making cheap radios and other items. By the end of the decade Japanese electronics and economic competition would create a whole new set of stereotypes, and then the ninja boom would happen in the eighties. But right now, it's obvious nobody in the industry understood what Japan was like.
Posted by: Chris | February 8, 2013 9:00 PM
Reruns of Godzilla and other Japanese monster movies were very popular on late night TV in 1970, usually shown on weekends after 10:30. In the mid to late '60s, after-school TV was showing 1/2-hour black & white live-action English-dubbed Ultraman episodes 5 days a week, in which the giant superhero Ultraman fought guys dressed in leftover Japanese monster costumes from the movies, plus revised and reformatted-for-English-speaking-audiences versions of early anime-like cartoons, particularly 8th Man (Japanese "8 Man"), and Speed Racer, at least in the St. Louis area. 8th Man in particular had striking similarities to late '60s Marvel super-hero comics.
This and the previous Iron Man issue remind me of a Stan Lee interview, which I can't readily seem to find again right now on youtube, in which Lee claimed that his anti-communist, pro-war-industrialist Iron Man stories were intended to be provocative to the anti-war readership in a tongue-in-cheek sort of way. I hadn't read IM #29-30 contemporaneously, but now I wonder if these might have been among the ones he was remembering. I had previously assumed he was talking about the early '60s Tales of Suspense Iron Man stories, but that might likely have been yet another wrong assumption on my part.
Posted by: Holt | October 7, 2017 3:26 PM
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