Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Didjutal Comiks: IRON MAN #145

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 #145

April 1981

"Raiders' Rampage!"

Writer: David Michelinie & Bob Layton

Artists: John Rominta Jr. (pencils) Bob Layton (inks)

Stark and Rhodey go to a convention in Dallas so Stark can hold a press conference. Rhodes uses the trip as an excuse to pull some tail, as was his role in the book at the time. Stark runs into Edwin Cord, late of a very bizarre issue in Frank Miller's early Daredevil run wherein Daredevil fought the Mauler and was pretty much revealed to be an asshole and/or crook.

Soon after, Stark runs into a SHIELD agent who's following Cord around--apparently he compromised security on a project recently and they're after him. We also touch on a few subplots that have been drifting through the book--recent conflicts with the Maggia and Roxxon Oil--as our slow burn to the meat of the plot finally ends.

We're soon introduced to the Raiders--three armoured mooks each with their own unique weapons, who end up blitzing the convention and picking a fight with Iron Man, and get the upper hand on him. It turns out, of course, that the Raider attack was just a demo--Cord's shopping around the Raiders and wants footage of them trouncing Iron Man as the best possible advertisement.

In Subplot Corner, Stark pays a call to Bethany Cabe, who freezes him out again. This will all be addressed later in the first story with the Stealth Armour a

Round Two with the Raiders goes far better for Iron Man, by which I mean he kicks their asses up and down the woodpile, even with Howard Cosell providing commentary for it at one time, in a rather . . .well, let's say gently dated bit of business. Do people even know Cosell anymore?

All of this gets wrapped up in the final page--the SHIELD Agent Stark spoke to turns out to be the guy Cord wanted footage to sell him on the Raiders. Cord gets his ass hauled away for reckless endangerment, not to be seen again until the Armour Wars.

This is the tail end of the first Layton/Michelinie run, and this is just plucking at a loose plot thread for a rumble for the month. The Raiders were reliable mooks to beat up (most recently showing up as robots made by the Chinese in Invincible Iron Man, which didn't make sense, but that ship sailed a long time ago) Some of this is horribly dated, and frankly, it's not all that substantial until their second run when Cord returns to plague Stark for a few issues, but taken on its own, it's kinda just there.

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