Digital comics are the future of comics, so says everyone on the Internet and everyone trying to justify their purchase of an iPad and leveraging that into a desperate attempt to generate content for their blogs and stuff. It is in this spirit that the management at Witless Prattle continues the following new, exciting, weirdly specific and slightly iconoclastic feature.
Iron Man #186
"Though This Fault Be Mine . . ."
Writer: Denny O'Neil
Artists: Luke McDonnell (pencils) Steve Mitchell (inks)
Man, that title. Hoo boy.
So Stark, Rhodes, and the Erwin siblings have finally made it cross-country to get their startup tech company started . . .literally. As in they go to vacant lot, dig a foundation, and pop up a pre-fab dome, which uhm . . .I'm sure isn't as simple as it sounds. What about water and power hookups and all that? Then again, that isn't the least of the dodgy science this issue, so we will gloss over it for now.
Meanwhile, in sunny Palmadale, Fortney, a ruthless capitalist who looks for all the world like the gun-slinging Texan from the Simpsons sends Dr. Vibreaux down the San Andreas Fault on some sort of machine that makes science happen somehow, and yet requires Vibreaux to wear those stupid sunglasses everyone was wearing in the 80s that made people like like Cyclops and stuff. Naturally, things go utterly wrong and Vibreaux tumbles down the fault only to pop up again as Vibro, who has flame powers. No he doesn't--he makes earthquakes and shit. Name as destiny in comics strikes again! Understandably pissed at Fortney, as the whole thing is his fault (*snicker*) Vibro wanders the streets ready to unleash vengeance on such a level that everyone will tremble, even quake, with fear.
Meanwhile in Subplot Corner, Stark suggests Rhodes find out a little more about the oil rig hijack that he's going to zoom off and solve and Rhodes tells him to mind his own fucking business. Rhodes feels a little bad about it (the blame for these little outbursts initially falls on the fact that Stark was too brain-pickled to recalibrate the armour's cybernetics, but it's something more than that) and everyone does the usual "what the hell is his problem?"/"Oh, it'll work itself out." thing they do before we settle all this in #192.
Meanwhile, Iron Man succeeds in stopping the terrorists, but Vibro shows up and destroys the whole oil rig. Rhodes is able to save Fortney and gets him to fly him ashore for another grand (Iron Man has been working as a hero for hire around this period to get startup capital for their business) Vibro sees Fortney with Iron Man and loses his shit and there's a fight which Iron Man wins by punching Vibro out.
Back in Subplot Corner, Rhodes gets Stark to fix his repulsors (having been lost during the first Secret War) and continues to act like an asshole to everyone. Rhodes says he doesn't like Stark messing with the armour, just in case we missed it. Meanwhile Vibro plots his revenge from prison.
Yes, well, this is all backdrop for Subplot Corner, really, as we have to build the the tension between Rhodes and Stark for their big fight 6 issues from now. Vibro is not what one would call a great villain (really, any of the villains created during O'Neil's run, except Obadiah Stane) but he's just an external driver for the Rhodes/Stark conflict.
It's an OK issue, really, but really exists just as a vehicle to get us to the next big moment in the larger story.