Monday, July 18, 2011

Didjutal Comiks: IRON MAN #206

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 #206
May 1986


Writer: Denny O'Neil
Artists: Mark Bright (Pencils) Akin & Garvey (inks)

We begin with Goliath (now Atlas of the Thunderbolts . . .or he was last I saw him) straining against the prison he was put in by the West Coast Avengers. Or maybe he's busting a massive grump. Who knows, really? Hawkeye and Mockingbird come by with gigantic plates of hamburgers (flown in by White Castle, one assumes) to feed him when Goliath's lawyer drops by to get him released from their custody.

Meanwhile, in case you forgot whose book this was, someone's sabotaging Tony Stark's space shuttle. Stark is making sure Jim Rhodes is ready to fly the space shuttle. Stark will, ideally, be tagging along as Iron Man, but as Al Swearengen says, announcing your plans is a good way to hear God laugh.

We ping around Subplots Corner for a bit as the AIM Scientist Supreme with his brother, Yorgon Tykkio (Man, Denny O'Neil and names) and explains his plan for all of us and to show what a badass he is and really this totally goes nowhere. Meanwhile Cly Erwin stops in to remind us that her brother's dead and she's very upset about it and she's thinking of taking a job looking for Halley's Comet (oh, 1986) and Stark looks appropriately bummed about it.

Stark suits up and Rhodes decides not to take his suit of Iron Man armour with him and the shuttle zooms off to blow up at a moment most convenient to the plot. While that transpires, Goliath's lawyer shows up with a court order and it takes Goliath like, three whole pages to escape. Hawkeye and Mockingbird decide to fight Goliath, because the two best things you can have when fighting giants are a bow and arrow and a pogo stick. This goes about as well as you'd expect, until Iron Man shows up and slaps Goliath around for generally being a chump-ass.

Because you can't sabotage a space shuttle in act one without having something go wrong in act two, just about this time, the space shuttle goes blooey and Iron Man is faced with a dilemma--save Rhodes or let Goliath kill Hawkeye and Mockingbird. Thankfully for Hawk and Mock, Iron Man doesn't do a cost-benefit analysis because they'd be fucking dead.

Iron Man puts Hawkeye and Mockingbird in the cage formerly housing Goliath, and flies off to save Rhodes. The theory goes something like this: The cage with prove a tempting, if indestructible target for Goliath, and draw him there while Iron Man saves the shuttle, so when he gets back Goliath will be right there. Because this is now act three, dammit, we gotta wrap this up, so Iron Man defeats Goliath in short order by blasting pulse bolts down his throat which knocks him out using the powers of "this is page 21 of a 22 page book." We then cut to Yorgon Tykkio brooding and planning (the narration says so) I think he's brooding and planning about how to be such an unengaging lame-ass villain that this entire plot line will drag, then stall, then finally be put out of its mercy by Layton and Michelenie.

Man, what an odd issue this is. Goliath had recently debuted (again, this is his third or fourth identity) in an Iron Man Annual and so, it was decided to roll him back out and do something with him and also give Iron Man a chance to cross over with West Coast Avengers while Iron Man's own subplots tick over in the background. As such, it's kind of a throwaway issue, and is just sort of there. Although it does feature Iron Man kicking the shit out of a giant, and that's not a bad thing to have in an issue, really. The AIM stuff continues to bore the hell out of me, but that's to be expected by now.

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