Thursday, June 30, 2011

Didjutal Comiks: IRON MAN #135

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 #135
June 1980

"Return of the Hero"

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

We pick up not too long after last issue, and the Titanium Man is wrecking New York City. Stark, ever the barometer of good taste, ducks into a massage parlor and suits up as Iron Man ready to break of a foot off in Titanium Man's green-skirted ass.

The rest of the issue is exactly what is advertised on the tin--Iron Man and the Titanium Mam wrecking shit. If it can be said to have a larger role in things, it ties up something from "Demon in a Bottle," wherein Iron Man's armour had been controlled remotely and killed someone. This naturally made New Yorkers somewhat more skeptical of Iron Man than they had been previous.

This issue, then, can be said to be Iron Man's return to grace, as he fights Titanium Man from one end of NYC to the other, culminating in a fight at Rockefeller Center where Iron Man finally tears Titanium Man's helmet off and knocks him right the fuck out. Everyone's cheering, and while Iron Man still feels guilty for killing the guy, at least people still recognise him as a hero.

This is pretty much an issue-long fist fight, but really, it works well. For one thing, the Titanium Man is sold as something more than an ersatz Iron Man/Cold War relic. He's a stronger, more powerful, brutal and more cunning Iron Man, and the fight actually has a couple of very imaginative set pieces as well. It's one of my favourite issues from this era and holds up really well. Jerry Bingham, despite not being John Romita Jr., does a great job with this issue, making the NYC landmarks look very NYC-ish (I say this as someone who's been to NYC exactly once, so any natives of the city are free to write in and comment about how it's not really) and the action is very well-rendered. It's a good one.

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