Iron Man annual #7
Issue(s): Iron Man annual #7
Goliath relishes in the fact that he's taking a name that was previously used by a super-hero, in light of the fact that Luke Cage beat him up over the use of his previous name, Power Man.
Josten's powers are restored by a Dr. Karl Malus, a super-scientist who previously appeared in Spider-Woman's comic.
He even continued to mess around in Spider-Woman's turf after the series ended. He restored Daddy Longlegs to normalcy, and in the process learned how to manipulate Pym Particles.
So Josten gets his Power Man powers restored and also gets the ability to grow to Giant-Man size. That should in theory make him more powerful than either Wonder Man or Giant-Man, and that seems to play out in this issue, but i think over time he'll just be treated as a giant guy and not necessarily an ionically powered super-strung invulnerable guy.
Goliath turns on Malus after he's created. Surprisingly, Malus doesn't have a contingency plan in place for that, despite the fact that when Josten first entered his lab, he indicated that he had a laser defense system set-up. You'd think he'd be somewhat prepared for a villain to turn on him and set up a dependency on his treatments or something.
Hawkeye and Wonder Man both help Iron Man fight Goliath this issue (and they learn a very special lesson about teamwork) making this essentially a West Coast Avengers story.
Another oil rig is destroyed in this issue (unrelated to any super-villain attack). The coast must be a big oily mess.
So big, so fast alert: Iron Man of Goliath: "...how did he move his hand up so fast? No one that big can -- *urrrrr*"
Josten is already a character with a lot of history, but it's as Goliath that he joins Baron Zemo's Masters of Evil for the raid on Avengers' Mansion, and later joins the Thunderbolts, so it's nice to see his origin here. Adding Pym Particles on top of Zemo's ionic treatment is a nice twist, and while Josten has always been shown to be a very loyal character, the rough treatment he's had recently, especially at the hands of Count Nefaria, are enough to justify his selfish streak.
It's announced on the television that Iron Man will be joining the West Coast Avengers. The announcer says the following:
It was announced today in New York that the official roster of the West Coast Avengers will include one of the team's founding members, Iron Man, along with Hawkeye the archer, Wonder Man, the mysterious cat-woman...
Tony Stark sees it and wonders how he feels about it.
Harras' story is a fine standalone issue. Nothing great, but nothing terrible. McDonnell's art is Marvel house style and it's just fine.
Quality Rating: C+
Chronological Placement Considerations: Iron Man has been away from (already named) Circuits Maximus for a week, so this takes place after Iron Man #188, when the company is named. The MCP places this before West Coast Avengers #2, but that week away from Circuits Maximus makes me want to put it after WCA #2 instead. And everything before West Coast Avengers #3 needs to take place before the Casket of Ancient Winters saga, so this is pushed back in publication time (the Vision's brief appearance on a view-screen in this issue takes place prior to Avengers #249, according to the MCP).
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (7): show
Josten's ionic powers become a plot device in the Thunderbolts series (around issue 44) when Count Nefaria gains control of him and Wonder Man because of his control of ionic beings (or something). But yeah, it's never clear why Josten isn't nearly as powerful as Wonder Man.
Posted by: Andrew | January 5, 2015 7:32 PM
This was one of my favorite annuals when it came out. I had just started buying superhero comics. It was great fun.
From the earliest stories of Goliath (this annual, early IM and WCA stories, the Assault on Avengers Mansion), it was obvious Goliath was very powerful. I would say the combination of ionic energy plus the Pym Particle made him more powerful than Wonder Man, and a great threat to an entire team of Avengers with only a few other villains. He was simply mishandled in later appearances.
At one point, after the Living Laser got a powerful upgrade, I wanted to see him and Goliath in a revised Lethal Legion that really challenged the Avengers. Combined with say Klaw and the Radioactive Man, they'd be a very difficult team to defeat.
Posted by: Chris | January 5, 2015 9:08 PM
I like this use of Malus and the way they would start to use the Tinkerer, as the middle men who provide resources to criminals rather than commit the crimes directly. Malus, as I recall, would continue to do this for a while.
Posted by: Erik Beck | May 20, 2015 11:39 AM
Avengers #164 has Wonder Man suggest that Josten is less powerful because Zemo's machine was calibrated for Simon Williams, which the Marvel Handbooks have run with. I suppose it makes sense that an Asgardian sorceress wouldn't fully know how to run a mad science device.
Posted by: Omar Karindu | October 4, 2015 8:24 PM
IIRC, Josten knocked out Thor in Avengers #9, so he had to be around Hulk class strength. Post-Malus, he should have been at least 100+.
Posted by: Vin the Comics Guy | April 6, 2016 12:09 PM
Avengers #9 was Wonder Man knocking Thor out, though (and he never shuts up about it).
Posted by: AF | April 6, 2016 2:06 PM
Right...those ions are just messing everything up!
Posted by: Vin the Comics Guy | April 7, 2016 9:49 PM
All the Avengers trades (and there's loads), place this between WCA #1 and WCA #2. And the recent Iron Man trade with it in places it between IM #188 and #189.
Posted by: AF | June 14, 2016 4:15 PM
The annual opens with the team still setting up shop and getting equipment put in, whereas WCA #2, one would assume, they wouldn't be doing training exercises and what not until the HQ was set up. I think that is why it's "meant" to go before WCA #2.
I don't think placement hurts either way. I think Iron Man reads better with WCA #2 following this (Iron Man having learnt the benefits of teamwork in the annual, agrees that Wonder Man going solo against Blank is a bad idea in WCA #2) whereas the reverse is true of Wonder Man (Wonder Man argues in favour of teamwork in the annual, but then wants to go solo in #2).
Posted by: AF | June 15, 2016 6:40 AM
Thanks for the thoughts, AF. As you say, there's arguments to be made for either placement, so i think i will leave it as-is.
Posted by: fnord12 | June 20, 2016 1:24 PM
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