Iron Man #49-51
Issue(s): Iron Man #49, Iron Man #50, Iron Man #51
After hearing about Marianne's precognition...
...Iron Man decides to pay a visit to Avengers mansion, where the Super-Adaptoid was waiting, actually in hope of finding Captain America.
The Adaptoid talks like this is his first appearance since he lost his powers fighting the Mimic, but see the References.
While Iron Man is fighting the Super-Adaptoid (and getting crushed by him pretty badly) Marianne is debating going to help him despite her vision that she'll be responsible for his death. Then a wild-eyed Pepper Hogan shows up...
...and after a strange sequence showing Tony Stark holding a giant fish...
...Pepper encourages Marianne to go after Tony.
At this point, Iron Man has used the last of his energy reserves to defeat the Adaptoid (and notice that something "grasps" the Adaptoid and is causing him to evolve)...
...and Tony is desperately in need of a power charge. But Marianne has "a real heavy trip!".
And so she leaves him to die on the floor to avoid killing him.
Next issue, Iron Man manages to crawl to a wall outlet by himself, and manages to get things together with just enough time for Jarvis to find him pulling up his pants while the Iron Man costume is scattered all over the floor.
Jarvis seems to actually believe Tony's cockamamie explanation.
If i were Jarvis and i couldn't bring myself to believe that Tony Stark was Iron Man, i think this scene would convince me that they at least had some kind of sexual relationship.
When Tony leaves the Mansion, he's spotted by Princess Python, who is on the run from the law.
Continuing the Circus of Crime's incredible boldness when it comes to punching above their weight class, she decides to attack the Avengers' butler to force him to tell her where Stark is going (as if the answer could have been anything besides Stark's factory anyway).
Meanwhile, the Adaptoid continues to change...
...and here's where we find out that it's all thanks to the involvement of a Jarr and Tyrr from the sub-microscopic world of Bast.
When Stark gets back to his factory, he calls a press conference to announce that he's no longer going to be involved in weapons manufacturing. But he's attacked by Princess Python during the televised event.
Stark manages to get away by causing his chestplate to discharge electricity, repelling the Princess' snake, and then he changes into Iron Man. After playing some games to protect his secret ID...
...he makes short work of the "specially bred" python.
The snake winds up falling into the vat of acid that Marianne saw in her dreams. And the sight of the snake dying causes Princess Python to try to kill herself.
I dunno. Maybe it's just me. But Tony holding the giant fish. Tony with his pants down in the Avengers hallway. And now Princess Python talking about how her snake was "warm... and close... and touching!". I feel like there's a lot of weird sexual innuendo going on in this arc.
But the arc isn't over yet. Our sub-microscopic friends have caused the Super-Adaptoid to transform into the thing from Marianne's dreams.
Tyrr is actually not happy about Jarr's plans, which... i don't know what they are you, guys, i'm sorry. Something about getting the Super-Adaptoid to do something to give their micro-world energy to power their law-enforcement machinery. I do like the little atom illustrations decorating their narration panels, though.
Whatever it's about, the Super-Adaptoid, now the Cyborg-Sinister, is wreaking havoc on Earth.
But Tony Stark doesn't have time to deal with that right away. First he has to dump Marianne for leaving him to die earlier. He's not very sympathetic about her precognitions.
"Leave the ring with my secretary!" Classy!
Then he goes to deal with Super-Adaptoid-Cyborg-Sinister.
And the ace-in-the-hole is his roller skates.
Iron Man fails to fulfill Marianne's prophecy and fall into the vat of acid...
...while on the world of Bast, Tyrr rebels against Jarr.
And that ends the threat of the robot.
The issue ends "weeks later" with Iron Man supervising the launch of a weather satellite and Iron Man having turned over a new leaf.
Kind of a mess! Definitely a bit of a sweep in terms of crudely getting rid of Marianne and the pretty significant change to Stark Industries' business. But the story with the Adaptoid and the micro-world of Bast is just bizarre.
Quality Rating: C-
Chronological Placement Considerations: A little bit of time actually passes between issue #50-51, but i've kept it together as a single arc.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (5): showIron Man, Jarvis, Marianne Rodgers, Pepper Potts, Princess Python, Super-Adaptoid 1972 / Box 7 / EiC: Roy Thomas
1972 / Box 7 / EiC: Roy Thomas
I don't blame Tony for his reaction- okay, so Marianne was worried that Tony would be in danger if she was in close proximity but she should have SENT someone (Pepper.a cop, etc.) to help as soon as she got to a phone.
Posted by: Michael | December 21, 2014 6:33 PM
these issues are a trip, but not in a good way.
Theres something i just love about Princess python taking on Iron man with just her big snake. I always enjoyed seeing villains try to take on foes too big for their power set.
Posted by: kveto | December 22, 2014 6:29 PM
When Tony breaks up with Marianne he tells her, "There are plenty of other fish I the sea!"
Like the giant one he caught?
Posted by: Walter Lawson | December 23, 2014 4:14 AM
It almost sounds like Princess Python became a prostitute, with her "strung-out working girl" thought bubble.
I wonder if she brings the snake along?
Posted by: Mortificator | February 22, 2015 10:46 PM
Oh, and sorry for the double-comment, but the Cyborg-Sinister somehow reminds me of the goofy Flying Dutchman that Mephisto sent after the Silver Surfer in the Surfer's first series.
Posted by: Mortificator | February 22, 2015 10:52 PM
Hey, fnord, you forgot to mention one crazy thing about the story: the PP's snake gets out of the acid and develops superpowers! :)
Anyway, I remember that when I first read these issues, I had the exact same reaction as you to PP's committing suicide because of her snake. It *is* a scene that, implies something, ekhm, weird going on there... ;)
Posted by: Piotr W | June 3, 2015 3:26 PM
Glad to see Tuska draw the python without the two protruding fangs, which are found on smaller venomous snakes as opposed to larger constrictors. However, normal constrictors generally have a mouthful of razor-sharp (though not poisonous) teeth, and while the pudgier-than-normal Jarvis should definitely fear being smothered, from the looks of things his only other fear would be being gummed to death.
Posted by: Brian Coffey | November 2, 2017 8:50 PM
"A continuity insert, Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes #1-8, also features the Super-Adaptoid and takes place prior to this issue, but i don't have that story. It's also worth noting that Iron Man talks like he's never met the Adaptoid in person before; not sure if Earth's Mightiest Heroes contradicts that."
It does contradict it. I've read the first 4 issues and would question whether it's suitable for this project. It reads like a children's cartoon show which wouldn't be very well suited for children. The writer mined some ideas from early Marvel comics, haphazardly, and with little regard for continuity, then updated the character designs in an effort to make them more modern and accessible for a 21st century audience. The costume designs have been modified to a point of being obviously out of continuity. The stories are juvenile but at the same time probably too complicated for most young minds to understand clearly. I couldn't even find the series on GCD, and marvel.com only references #1-4.
The Super-adaptoid, for example, appears in the first issue, and morphs from his original adaptoid form, into his super form, out on the streets of the city, and in full view of the Avengers, including Iron Man. Hawkeye and Black Panther are both team members, but there's no indication that Hulk ever quit the team, or that Scarlet Witch or Quicksilver ever joined. I'd suggest taking it out of scope once you get around to year 2010. It just doesn't seem to fit in anywhere.
Posted by: Holt | January 17, 2018 1:52 AM
You're thinking of a different series, that one was based on the cartoon. :p
The one fnord is talking about predated that and was a retcon series and, no, it doesn't quite contradict things in that Iron Man doesn't appear in the scenes with Adaptoid.
Posted by: AF | January 17, 2018 7:06 AM
A nitpick: That's Earth's Mightiest Heroes Vol. 2. I liked Vol. 1, but agree that Vol. 2 just didn't work. The biggest concept in the series, that the Avengers recognized Pym in his Yellowjacket costume immediately, is interesting, but the retcon, that they just went along with it because they thought he'd have an even bigger breakdown if they didn't, isn't an improvement.
The twins are mentioned in passing in the first issue. It might be possible to squeeze this into the timeline, just as an exercise if nothing else. It would fit better than Illuminati anyway.
Posted by: Andrew | January 17, 2018 7:37 AM
Earth's Mightiest Heroes Vol. 2 was intended to solve the problems with Avengers 60- (a) why didn't T'Challa realize Hank was Yellowjacket and (b) why wasn't anyone angry at Jan for marrying Hank when he wasn't in his right mind?
Posted by: Michael | January 17, 2018 8:03 AM
I guess it was a popular title since they seem to have several series using that title. https://www.comics.org/publisher/78/?page=7
I guess the title you mean is probably this one by Joe Casey: https://www.comics.org/issue/625880/
Stay out of the comic store a few years and Marvel retcons everything on you while you aren't looking.:P
Posted by: Holt | January 17, 2018 10:22 AM
Pretty sure I was wrong again, & it must be this "Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes #1-8" series: https://www.comics.org/series/33298/
Posted by: Holt | January 18, 2018 9:25 PM
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