Iron Man #82-83
Issue(s): Iron Man #82, Iron Man #83
The story starts with Iron Man fighting off a group of raiders who, thanks to the coloring and the tubes coming out of their foreheads, look kind of like the Unicorn. We'll learn that these guys are employed by the Red Ghost, and, considering the Ghost once worked with and tried to cure the Unicorn, i'd like to say that the Ghost based their suit design on the Unicorn's tech.
The raiders try to fight Iron Man with gas. Iron Man counteracts that by lowering his plexiglass shields, but note that he has to manually touch his brow to activate them.
He then straight up kills one of the dudes by pulling his tube out of his forehead.
Later, Stark surveys his factory...
...and thinks to himself that he needs to give Pepper a promotion.
He then runs into Abraham Klein, a former college professor who's been forcibly retired and now needs a job. Stark is happy to hire him.
Happy and Pepper remind Tony that he's got an event tonight where he's supposed to show up as both Tony Stark and Iron Man, but luckily Happy and Pepper both know his secret ID at this point, so he gets Happy to wear the Iron Man suit.
Roxanne Gilbert is also at the party. And so is Michael O'Brien, the brother of Kevin, the original Guardsman.
Michael, a police detective, blames Tony for his brother's death. Despite taking a punch to the jaw, Tony tells Michael that he is welcome to stick around and have a drink. And Michael, being Irish, happily does so.
That's about when the Super Apes show up.
Boiling blue blazes is right!
Their goal is to kidnap Tony. Happy, as Iron Man, tries to fight them off, but this latest iteration of the Iron Man armor does not seem to be magnetism resistant, and Happy winds up getting tossed off of Tony's building, to Pepper's horror.
Then Igor the baboon turns into a space-sled and the Apes fly away with Tony. And yes, sir, that is incredible.
I don't think anyone is surprised to learn that the Red Ghost is behind the Super Apes.
The Apes themselves were said to have been "liquidated" by the Soviet Union in the Red Ghost's last appearance, and that is explained in issue #87's lettercol to have been untrue. When the Ghost found out they were still alive, he went back and retrieved them. The Red Ghost has subjected himself to an experiment that trapped him in ghost form. He sent his goons to try to steal a device that he thinks would have cured him, and when that failed he had his apes kidnap Stark.
Stark agrees to help, so the group heads to Stark International, where the apes each demonstrate their unique way of getting past Stark's electrified fence.
Then Stark calibrates the device and restores the Ghost to human form.
As Stark expected, the Ghost then attacks him, so Stark triggers a smokescreen that he built into the device, and transforms into Iron Man.
He fights off the Super Apes...
...and then, when the Red Ghost tries to go intangible again, he finds that Stark's cure was a one-way only deal.
When Stark gets back to his office, Happy passes out.
I assume Wein intended to stay longer. He's introducing a couple of new characters, seemingly putting a focus on the changes at Stark International, and raising the possibility of giving Pepper more prominence as the de facto president of the company. It's off to a good start. Of course you might say that i'm biased due to the appearance of the Super Apes.
Quality Rating: C+
Chronological Placement Considerations: Because a narration panel at the beginning of issue #82 says that Iron Man is just returning from the War of the Super-Villains, the MCP has a few Iron Man appearances in other books take place after the first five pages of issue #82 (after the fight with the Unicorn-wannabes and the montage of Stark surveying his facilities) and then the rest of this story taking place after the Serpent Crown saga in Avengers. I've placed the issues after the Avengers arc. Iron Man starts issue #84 preparing to help Happy Hogan, so he shouldn't appear anywhere else between these arcs. Pushing this forward in publication time so that Iron Man #85 can take place after Daredevil #134. Issue #84 begins not soon after this arc. See also Michael's comments below regarding the Red Ghost; this has to take place after Eternals #16.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (4): showAbraham Klein, Guardsman II (Michael O'Brien), Happy Hogan, Igor (Super Ape), Iron Man, Mikhlo (Super Ape), Peator (Super Ape), Pepper Potts, Red Ghost, Roxanne Gilbert
The Red Ghost doesn't manage to put himself back together until Fantastic Four 197. Unfortunately, Fall of the Hulks: Alpha complicates matters by having the Red Ghost and the Leader work together to steal various items from the Eternals, including the Cosmic Hulkbot and give some of them to Doctor Doom before FF 200. We discussed the placement of Iron Man 83, Eternals 16 and the Fall of Hulks: Alpha insert here:
Posted by: Michael | May 12, 2013 8:20 PM
Thanks; i appreciate you pointing this out. It's easy enough to accommodate for the Red Ghost since the Eternals series doesn't have a lot of dependencies. It would actually be easy enough to move the Eternals back prior to Hulk #180 to accommodate your Theory #2 for the Leader (heck, before the FOTA: Hulks came out i had Eternals in the Hero Gap), but your Theory #3 seems to work well enough and keeps the Eternals closer to publication date.
Posted by: fnord12 | May 12, 2013 10:47 PM
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