Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Didjutal Comiks: IRON MAN #235

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 #235
October 1988

"Epitaph In Grey"

Writers: David Michelenie & Bob Layton
Artists: Jackson Guice (pencils) Bob Layton (inks)

We join the action in the midst of an exhibit by a sculptor named Paul St. Pierre. Jim Rhodes and Marcy Pearson are trying to get through another date with all the agony that entails (seriously, they're having a rough time) as they take the frightened-looking stone figures of the St. Pierre exhibit. And yes, if you're up on your Marvel Handbook, I'd say you have a great idea of where this is going.

Meanwhile, let's keep our plates spinning in Subplots Corner, as Stark gets picked up and runs into Kathy Dare who pops in for a couple pages to act really psycho and generally mess everything up. Rhodes has a feeling this isn't going to end well (precognition is a somewhat underdeveloped power of his) and oh yeah, Stark got one of those Paul St. Pierre statues delivered to him and well, it's of its style--a very frightened woman frozen in stone.

Back with Marcy Pearson, she's angsting over the fact that one of St. Pierre's statues looked awfully familiar, and looks into finding out what happened to her. I should add that she does some of her investigating by lounging around in a teddy which is . . .well, I think that's just where Jackson Guice's head was at at the time.

Cut back to Star Enterprises, where Iron Man is attacking so they can test out their new security gizmos and give Iron Man something to do. Iron Man declares them to be highly effective (I should add that Stark Enterprises will be attacked twice again in this way and neither time these things will be a blind bit of good) and he goes to hang out with Rhodes, who tells him that Marcy Pearson has gone off on personal leave.

Pearson is looking into her best friend's disappearance, and wouldn't you know it, it seems to coincide with an investigation into Paul St. Pierre. This all culminates in a party for Paul St. Pierre--which is good, because it's page 27 and not much has happened. While sneaking around, Pearson discovers that the room where St. Pierre works, and discovers it's empty. St. Pierre finds her there and reveals himself: Yes kids, he's the Grey Gargoyle. We close with a pun ("Will Marcy be taken for granite?") and it's all to be continued next month.

Uhm . . .wow, you know, looking back, I suppose these issues are awful thin in terms of plot momentum, but there's some fun to be had with them. The notion that the Grey Gargoyle has found a way to make money off his superpowers in a way that doesn't involve robbing banks or pestering Thor is rather clever, and it's good of Michelenie and Layton to give Marcy Pearson something to do, because she's been so dangerously one-note up to this point and would be again. It's a good enough issue, sure, but really, it's a vehicle to ramp up the tension for the next issue and little else.

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