Friday, June 17, 2011

Didjutal Comiks: IRON MAN #134

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, exciting, weirdly specific and slightly iconoclastic feature.

Iron Man #134
May 1980

"The Challenge"

Writers: David Michelenie & Bob Layton
Artists: Jerry Bingham (Pencils) Bob Layton (inks)

We open with Iron Man flying through a wall of fire and into a room full of laser guns and about three pages in we learn what this is all about--around about the time of "Demon in a Bottle," Iron Man's armour was remote-controlled and used to kill a guy, he's made a raft of improvements to be able to resist that method of control in the future. Oh, and also so we'd have an action sequence this issue.

Stark decides to call Bethany Cabe and unbeknownst to him, is being spied on when he goes to see her and various plot complications prevent him from confessing his feelings for her, cheif among them, the Titanium Man's back, he's ranting, and holy cow he's mightily pissed.

Sorry for not going into my usual level of detail with this issue, but frankly it's so slight there's not really that much to talk about in terms of it--it's another one of those "pendulum in the middle" stories that Layton and Michelenie do that ties up some plots, advances others, and kicks off new ones. The Titanium Man thing is part of a very complicated plot involving The Unicorn that happened before Layton and Michelenie took over and, well, really the resolution of it is more ticking off boxes than actual resolution of anything. It's not bad, and the pace of this issue is redolent of how things were paced for the newsstand--give 'em some kind of action sequence somewhere, set up an irresistible cliffhanger for next issue, lather, rinse, repeat.

Naturally, in our more enlightened age, this would take six issues, three of them involving Iron Man, Spider-Man, and Wolverine hanging around eating eggs and bitching about how tough it is to be a superhero. What an age of wonders we live in.

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