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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: 2012-04-01 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.

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