Iron Man #72
Issue(s): Iron Man #72
Because of that setting, there are some fun moments and goofy jokes in this issue...
...but it's also technically part of the build-up for War of the Super-Villains so we'll be taking it "seriously".
Iron Man has rather strangely abandoned the quest for Eddie March's brother Marty, which means that he's also left Roxanne Gilbert alone in Vietnam. Instead he shows up at his San Diego facilities to deal with a supply chain issue, but it turns out the issue resolved itself. So he's got nothing to do in San Diego, and that's why he decides to go to a comic convention dressed as Iron Man.
You have to love this scene, where Tuska probably got a directive to "draw stuff representing San Diego". "Can I draw a tiger?" "Sure, draw a tiger."
Note that Stark doesn't actually go to any of these places. It's purely a symbolic representation. And you have to love Stark's "been there, done that" attitude about nightclubbing.
The sequence getting Iron Man to San Diego is a little weird. It starts with Iron Man flying around the city, and getting a laser fired at him by a mysterious trio of attackers. Then it backs up and shows Tony Stark arriving in San Diego in a plane. If you're not paying attention, it's almost like Iron Man arrives in the city first and then somehow Stark arrives behind him. I know this is really so that the issue can start off with some action, which is a very common thing, but i've never seen it done quite so awkwardly before.
One thing i really, really liked is this exchange between the mystery villains (who are spoiled on the cover: it's Whiplash, Melter, and Man-Bull). I've decided that's really all i want from a comic book: villains that don't bicker with each other.
Anyway, Iron Man winds up at the comic convention, and no one can tell that he's the real Iron Man. Same with the villains. I've commented on this type of thing before; i find it highly implausible that the real characters, especially Iron Man and the Man-Bull, could be mistaken for fan-made costumes.
The villains do make themselves known, thinking that they'll lure Iron Man to the convention, not realizing he's already there. But then the Black Lama shows up to announce his war of the super-villains...
...and drops the fact that Iron Man is right in front of them.
The Lama doesn't stick around too long, and the other villains are mopped up very quickly; i guess that's due to the remaining page count, but it's a bit of a bad showing for two classic Iron Man villains bolstered by the additional power of the Man-Bull.
At the convention, two different fans complain about Iron Man's nose...
...and in the lettercol, after two real fan complaints, we're told that the nose comes from Stan Lee so if you don't like it you'd better write in to convince him (i.e., "Don't blame us!").
Quality Rating: D+
Chronological Placement Considerations: At the comic convention, Iron Man notes a large number of people dressed like Captain America, and thinks that "his resignation must have touched off a wave of nostalgia". I'm therefore placing this before my Cap trade that runs from #177-186. I think this could actually take place a little after Cap #186 and still be ok (Iron Man doesn't say that Cap is currently resigned), but i'm going with this. Note that since that Cap run ties in to the Celestial Madonna storyline, i've got this Iron Man appearance before his appearance there as well (which differs from the MCP's placement, which has both this issue and Iron Man #73 taking place during the Celestial Madonna story).
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Neal Adams reportedly drew some heads in that 2nd panel.
The burning comic is "Star Reach",a comic published and edited by Mike Friedrich.
"Star Studded Comics" was actually a mid-1960s fanzine, and the names are actual artists.
I can't figure out how Man-Bull hid his horns in that bickering panel. Did they become retractable?
Posted by: Mark Drummond | April 26, 2013 3:04 PM
"Pacific Comics" on the first page was an actual comics store in California back then. They later became a small distributor, then an independent comics publisher in the early-mid 1980s(they did Kirby's Captain Victory & Silver Star, Gerber's Destroyer Duck, Aragones' Groo, and the heavily gross and criticized Twisted Tales), then went bankrupt and reorganized into Blackthorne and eventually disappeared.
"Saunders", named in the first panel, is Buddy Saunders, the longtime owner of Lone Star Comics/Mycomicshop.com. He's also been criticized sporadically over the past 30 years over his refusal to carry comics that he finds personally offensive(such as the previously mentioned "Twisted Tales", and most recently part of Garth Ennis' "The Boys: Herogasm").
"Orz" in the first panel is letterer Tom Orzechowski. "Jan" is Frank Brunner's wife/colorist for Marvel. I have no idea what the Bill Everett fund thing is; he was dead for a year and a half at this point. "Bjo" mentioned on the same page is Bjo Trimble, a primal Star Trek fan. Bob Foster(also on same page) started out in some underground comics and then did the weird but interesting History of Moosekind for Marvel's "Crazy". "Seymour"(also same page) is most likely the longtime TV horror movie host.
Non-Marvel costumes in the masquerade party panel are DC's Captain Marvel and(from the rear) Batman. There's also someone in a hooded robe who I assume is Death from War Is Hell/Thanos stories.
Not only are the three villains made to look like losers, but the Melter is dumb enough to write his real name on his badge and Whiplash's hair tail is so sloppily drawn he resembles Bert from Sesame Street(best noticed on the page where the Black Lama materializes).
Weirdly enough, a comic display case security device gives the Melter an electric shock, but no alarm goes off...
Posted by: Mark Drummond | May 11, 2013 4:54 PM
Embarrassing that Charles "Schultz" is misspelled.
Posted by: Matthew Bradley | June 19, 2014 11:32 AM
I believe Chuck Rozanski of Mile High Comics is portrayed in this comic. I think he's the one that says: "all my finest stock -- I can't let them burn"
Posted by: JSfan | July 23, 2014 11:04 AM
Was Rozanski big enough in retailing in late 1974 to qualify for a cameo though? That could just as easily be Phil Seuling.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | July 25, 2014 6:43 PM
A very pleasant surprise to see comic-cons satirised as far back as the mid-70s, not to mention the inherent humor of costumed fans being mistaken for actual supercharacters, and vise-versa.
Oh, and of course people assumed that Man-Bull's size and muscles were some kind of costume: no comicbook fan would really be that ripped!
Posted by: Oliver_C | April 10, 2016 1:31 PM
There is also a weird panel where Iron Man fears for his life because the Black Lama is charging him with a scimitar. Right.
Posted by: JTI88 | October 12, 2016 2:10 PM
The letter column announces Giant-Size X-Men, and implies that it'll be Friedrich writing it.
Posted by: S | November 19, 2017 9:24 PM
"Shaw," shown wearing the "Shaw" name tag in the first scan, is very likely Scott Shaw(!), who was one of the originators of the San Diego comic con, an early underground cartoonist, and co-creator of Captain Carrot for DC Comics, along with Roy Thomas, who is shown in the 2nd scan wearing the "Roy" name tag, mentioning his first wife, Jeannie Thomas. "Mike" in the 2nd scan is almost certainly Mike Friedrich, the writer of this issue of Iron Man. "Dawn," who is sitting next to "Shaw" and passing out name tags, is probably somebody from real life, too, but I don't know who-- her "Dawn" name tag is shown later on the same page, in panel 5.
According to wiki, Phil Seuling received an Inkpot award at the '74 San Diego comic con. Chuck Rozanski opened his first Boulder, Colorado store that same year, and had sold $1800 worth of comics in 3 days at the Oklahoma City Multicon in '72, so I suppose the retailer shown here could have been either one of those guys. Both wore glasses, but Rozanski had lighter colored hair, might be closer to the right age, and maybe looked a little bit more like the retailer as drawn here, but that particular face is clearly drawn by George Tuska, so it's hard to tell... it might not have been meant to represent anybody in particular, insofar as there's no name tag, and the face was not redrawn by Neil Adams.
Several other faces appear to have been redrawn, like the two faces in the second to last scan. Wish Roy or Mike was here, to comment...!
Posted by: Holt | November 20, 2017 7:06 AM
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