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[personal profile] icon_uk posting in [community profile] scans_daily
From the dim and distant shores of 1986 comes a tale of corporate vengeance, bad hair, dodgy moral outrage and short-shorts....



It also features an appearance by one of my favourite c-list heroes...


Now the idea of the plotline called "Armor Wars" was a good one, after fighting Force Iron Man discovers that a lot of his tech looks like his own, and finds that villain-financier and powerbroker Justin Hammer had, at some point in the past, used the criminal Spymaster to steal specs of some of Tony Starks technology, particularly his Iron Man technology, and had, as a result, been using Tony's tech to commit crimes, for years. Tony is both appalled and stricken with guilt by this. He feels it's his lack of precautions which has led to massive crime and destruction, and so sets out to rectify matters.

I'd always sort of liked Iron Man, not for Iron Man, and certainly not for Tony Stark, but for the villains (The first Iron Man comic I ever bought featured the Dreadnaughts... and well, armoured villains are cool, I didn't need any more justification than that at the time.

Cue a long list of armoured characters in short cameos, getting their Starktech derived systems permanently scrambled to dysfunction by a special "Negator Pack" module Tony has created. Simply placing it in contact with Iron Man derived tech sends the tech into irreversible inoperability (Handy that); The Controller, the Stilt-Man, Crimson Dynamo, the Raiders, Mandroids and the Titanium Man all find this out the hard way. But iIn the course of the fight with the Controller, an innocent kid was killed, which more or less pushs Tony over the edge, a child died because of HIS tech...

So far, so good (Well, not for the kid, but you know what I mean), it's a proper challenge to Iron Man, has plenty of opportunities for cameos by armoured villains past and present and fun and action.

Then things get even messier, as now the obvious suspects are off the table, Tony has to look further...





This paranoid rant is interrupted by a call from the West Coast Avengers, who want a word with Tony about his actions...



Oh god,the drama of the moment is always ruined by that perm... that ghastly, ghastly perm... Look, I know the mulletwing is bad, but it's nothing compared toTony's do, and Wonder Man's... whatever you call THAT thing isn't too great either)

Tony decides to take a couple of hours downtime, which sort of cuts into the drama, but we do get this priceless exchange in return as his ladyfriend du jour explains why she might not be as into him as he might have thought...



I had to include that bit for the shorts... I regret nothing.

Meanwhile, back at the A-plot, Tony has Rhodey fly him by chopper to meet with Walter Newell, Stingray's secret identity. He assures Rhodey that he plans to ask Stingray politely if he can examine his armor, assuming that his one of the good guys, but admits he's taken the Iron Man armour "just in case".

Now, note that not only is Walter a hero in good standing as far as anyone knows, he's the custodian of the East Coast Avengers then-current base of operations.

I've always had a soft spot for Stingray, he's not a major hero, he's a scientist and explorer, a naturalist who uses the Stingray suit to study the ocean depths. He DOES fight crime from time to time, but it's not his day job. Plus I LOVE the costume, I've always been a sucker for manta rays, they just look so damn cool and his design is a nice take on that....



Ummm... Tony, what the hell happened to "ask politely"? You've just asked the guy to, essentially, strip off and hand him his clothes.







Well, don't YOU feel like an asshole now Tony?

Late addition - Actually reading this it's worse than I thought, Iron Man actually says to himself "He wasn't lying..." Tony you asswipe you didn't wait long enough to even ASK him a question, never mind listen to a reply, so "lying" doesn't remotely enter into the equation.



"...this afternoon"

And Tony's oh-so sincere action to remedy things? He publicly berates Iron Man "My colleague and friend" for pursuing a personal vendetta against Tony's orders and fires him....

Yup, he fires HIMSELF for his actions... and it was at this point I realised I could never look at Iron Man the same way again... even if he DID get a hair cut.

(Oh, and there will another appearance by Stingray in the near future, as I explore the origins of the Serpent Society)

Date: 2012-03-31 11:43 pm (UTC)
freezer: (Default)
From: [personal profile] freezer
Didn't Tony do the exact same thing a few years later, pretty much trashing The Vault in the process?

Kinda..

Date: 2012-04-01 12:30 am (UTC)
steverodgers5: (Default)
From: [personal profile] steverodgers5
If you mean by two ISSUES later, then yeah he absolutely did. Great crossover too with Captain America.

Always considered it neatly ironic that Armours Wars (my favourite Iron Man story,) and the Captain America No more storyline (my favourite Cap Tale) not only came out at the same time, but actually crossed over with each other.

But then the late 80es era was probably Marvel's highest benchmark of quality. Micheline on Iron Man, Gruenwald on Cap, Simonson on Thor, Brynes Fantastic Four, Claremonts X-Men, Sterns Spiderman and then the Avengers. So many great runs. I don't think Marvel's ever been as good since

Re: Kinda..

Date: 2012-04-01 12:40 am (UTC)
freezer: (PWNED!)
From: [personal profile] freezer
Would've sworn there was an "Armor Wars II" in which he disabled every guard in the place and much of the security system.

There was an armour wars II.

Date: 2012-04-01 12:50 am (UTC)
steverodgers5: (Default)
From: [personal profile] steverodgers5
But from what i read of it, it wasn't very good.

No the take down of the Guardsmen and the subsequent prison breakout from the vault, definitely happend in the first, as Steve Rogers in his 'Captain' identity, along with Falcon, Nomad and D-Man had to clear up Tony's mess.

Which as I recall had two of my favourite moments in the Captain America title. Cap's brutal take down of Mr Hyde (remembering what he'd did to Jarvis in the Siege at the mansion Avengers storyline) and a rather hilarious moment where D-Man takes on Titania, stating.."I warn you Ma'am I'm quite strong. The last time I was tested, I bench pressed 15 tons"
She promptly replies, "Really? The last time I was tested I lifted 85!" and promptly throws him off a cliff!

Re: There was an armour wars II.

Date: 2012-04-01 11:42 pm (UTC)
steverodgers5: (Default)
From: [personal profile] steverodgers5
Me too.

Man, I haven't seen Volcana in sooo long. Think she's been pretty much forgotton about by the powers that be..

Date: 2012-03-31 11:52 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] darkknightjrk
Funny bit of irony--I was watching some episodes of the Avengers: EMH, got to the beginning of the Wonder Man episode, thinking, "God, Tony's an asshole," and then I got an e-mail for this entry.

But yeah, while one could argue that Stingray wasn't a perfect ray of sunshine there either (what, he never thought to ask why Tony wanted the armor?), but that definitely wasn't Tony's finest hour.

And while I can't say that I little thing like the occasional dick move would make me stop liking a character (I'm a Batman fan, FFS), I can definitely see how that could be the case here.

Date: 2012-04-01 12:20 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] darkknightjrk
When Tony attacked, certainly, it wasn't on Stingray, but it seemed like Stingray didn't even let Tony explain. He was all, "It's government property, piss off." Plus, aren't the two peers and sort-of members of the same team? I would think that would have Stingray at least ask why Tony wants the suit in the first place. I don't think I'm trying to blame the victim, I just think it's one of the more poorer examples of the idea that two heroes can't meet up without a fight ensuing.

Date: 2012-04-01 03:23 pm (UTC)
gamerguy: (Default)
From: [personal profile] gamerguy
Eh, he also knows the official route will be useless. The gov't will stonewall him while it uses that time to really understand the tech they've stolen/been sold, and then Tony is screwed.

Tony thinks he's using stolen tech, though. Doesn't matter who's property the suit is, it's (he believes) using tech stolen from him so he does have some authority here - he's recovering property stolen from him.

Date: 2012-04-02 12:23 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] spacebetween
That is the key thing, he only thinks they have his technology. Just because he assumed that they have his technology doesn't give him the right to go right up to Stingray and take his armor and only return it if he see fit to do so.

As it is alot of the previous armored of various characters were originally made by someone else's tech to begin with. Tony has assumed that because they have armor they have his stolen technology. Heck what would have Tony done if a group of government engineers made something identical to what he made? It does not give him the right to go 'I made it first and I decide if you can keep it'.

Well as I recall, he did get called on it..

Date: 2012-04-01 12:35 am (UTC)
steverodgers5: (Default)
From: [personal profile] steverodgers5
Didn't he get chucked out of The West Coast Avengers for this? Since it would be a bit difficult to blame his alter ego when his team mates knew it was him.

Hah!

Date: 2012-04-01 12:57 am (UTC)
steverodgers5: (Default)
From: [personal profile] steverodgers5
Yeah, it's funny how that never got brought up when his identity was revealed to the world. You'd have thought somebody would have went.."Hey, wait a minute.."

Re: Well as I recall, he did get called on it..

Date: 2012-05-17 11:13 pm (UTC)
crinos: (Default)
From: [personal profile] crinos
Actually, he didn't get kicked out of the Avengers until later in the Arc, and he had done much, much worse.

Between the Stingray fight and the Avengers canning him, Tony:

*Lured the Mandroids (who work for SHIELD) into an ambush to disable them by pretending to be helping SHIELD track down Iron man.

*Knocked out the Vault guards and Captain America to destroy their armor, allowing Hyde and Titana to escape.

*Went into the USSR to disable the Crimson Dynamo and Titanium Man, actually killing the Titanium Man's pilot (Minor Hulk foe the Gremlin) in the process.

And not only did they not kick him out until after he straight up MURDERED A DUDE. But he didn't even explain his situation until right before the Russia mission.

Yeah, the Armor Wars is up on Marvel digital, so I read up to the Russia issue so far. I just gotta say The Avengers must have the most lenient code of conduct. I figured Tony would be out after the Stingray thing, but apparently short of killing in cold blood you can do whatever you want and still be a member.

Date: 2012-04-01 12:20 am (UTC)
michael_ellis_day: (Default)
From: [personal profile] michael_ellis_day
Unfortunately, the whole fight thing doesn't happen if Dr. Newell does what any rational person would do under those circumstances: "Of course you know those procedures are in place because we live in a world where shape-changers can impersonate heroes and hypnotists an mind control them with radioactive clay. We don't want some bad guy stealing this armor tech by posing as you, right?" ("How ironic!" thinks Tony.) "So, convince me you're you and not acting under any compulsion and give me a quick briefing why you need me to skip proper protocol, and I'll walk away from here in my skivvies if need be." Instead, he acts like a six year old and runs away screaming. He has to act like an idiot or the rest of the story doesn't happen. That takes me right out of my willing suspension of disbelief.

P.S.: like you, I really dug Stingray and the whole "actual working scientist, not crimefighter" angle. I wish he'd been used better!

Date: 2012-04-01 12:23 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] darkknightjrk
You said it better than I did--Tony was definitely in the wrong by the end, but Stingray could have at least asked, "Why do you want my armor?"

Date: 2012-04-01 12:48 am (UTC)
freezer: (Objection!)
From: [personal profile] freezer
But, again, the burden was on Tony to explain why, rather than barge in and demand it. Stingray had all the right in the world to say "No. Fuck off." Not to mention his first words when he meets up with Iron Man indicate he knows what Iron Man is about here. And as he says, the suit belongs to the government. It's not his to give, period.

The main thing that bothers me about this..

Date: 2012-04-01 12:41 am (UTC)
steverodgers5: (Default)
From: [personal profile] steverodgers5
Is that since then Tony has taken the totally opposing stance during Civil War. That to me is what destroyed Tony's character.

I was later very glad indeed that Christos Gage actually had Cap call him on this hypocritical about turn, during the Casualties of War oneshot.

Re: The main thing that bothers me about this..

Date: 2012-04-01 12:55 am (UTC)
steverodgers5: (Default)
From: [personal profile] steverodgers5
Bendis & Millar. (Sigh!) Gotta love how they can take one issue, use it like that and ignore everything else that came afterwards!

Date: 2012-04-01 01:06 am (UTC)
michael_ellis_day: (Default)
From: [personal profile] michael_ellis_day
It's not so much the action Dr. Newell takes, but the way it's presented that takes me out of it. If we had Newell saying or thinking "Okay...you're being really pushy here, and there's the whole shape-changer or mind control issue to worry about, so I'm taking this suit and leaving now. I'm reporting this to the authorities, and if you don't like it you can file a complaint" then he sounds like a grown-up and it would work a lot better. The more rational Stingray comes across, the more it helps reinforce the message that Tony has behaved badly. Just abruptly darting away doesn't do it.

I think you're exactly right about how this scene is meant to come across; I'm just explaining why it didn't entirely work for me.

Date: 2012-04-01 12:36 am (UTC)
dr_archeville: Doctor Arkeville (Default)
From: [personal profile] dr_archeville
Stingray's a fave of mine, too!

In the 1994 Iron Man,/i> cartoon, they did a two-part ep base on the "Armor Wars" storyline. Even had Stingray in it, voiced by R. Lee Ermey!

Date: 2012-04-01 12:50 am (UTC)
goggle_kid: (Default)
From: [personal profile] goggle_kid
Does anyone else thing Stingray would make a sweet Marvel Legends figure?

Date: 2012-04-01 04:22 am (UTC)
blake_reitz: (Default)
From: [personal profile] blake_reitz
I too, have always liked Stingray. I actually don't know a thing about him, but his costume is just so striking.

Date: 2012-04-01 05:31 pm (UTC)
sir_mikael: (Default)
From: [personal profile] sir_mikael
Ditto.

Date: 2012-04-01 06:35 am (UTC)
biod: Cute Galactus (Default)
From: [personal profile] biod
I think I may be alone in my love of bad hero hair.

Date: 2012-04-01 09:48 am (UTC)
espanolbot: (Default)
From: [personal profile] espanolbot
Stingray? Does he have this as his theme song?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E06cNv55jTs

Date: 2012-04-01 10:43 pm (UTC)
glprime: (Default)
From: [personal profile] glprime
My god, man, you can't just drop something so awesome on the unprepared!

"Standby for action! .... *BOOM*" That's classic narration you can count on.

Date: 2012-04-01 02:46 pm (UTC)
brooms: (witch week)
From: [personal profile] brooms
here for the martina nav shout out.

Date: 2012-04-01 07:14 pm (UTC)
randyripoff: (Barry Ween)
From: [personal profile] randyripoff
In the 40-odd years I've been reading comics, one thing has proven to be true over and over again:

"Sometimes, in order to advance the plot, a normally sensible and rational character must act like a complete lunatic."

And yes, IMO, that is poor writing.

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