Friday, 23 February 2018

Iron Man #208 - Marvel Comics

IRON MAN No. 208, July 1986
Arguably providing more of a sharp critique as to the illogical bureaucracy of the American State Department than an actual super-hero story, Denny O’Neil’s script for “Firefang!” still delivers plenty of punch with its enthralling mix of West German/South American political intrigue, Tony Stark’s guilt-laden quest for vindication and Advanced Idea Mechanics’ nuclear potential to cause “the death of a nation!” Indeed, despite this twenty-two page periodical’s storyline being a somewhat self-contained episode, the Missouri-born writer’s narrative engagingly extends well beyond the confines of a single publication, and hints at potential future adventures to come involving both the “organized group of international science-terrorists” and their occupation of the South American nation, Boca Caliente, as well as the establishment of the titular character’s own space station…

Undoubtedly the highlight of Issue Two Hundred And Eight of “Iron Man” though, is the Shazam Award-winner’s inclusion of Shell-head’s Silver Centurion Armour. This “new armour” is really put through its paces with its owner utilising both the suit’s Radar Reflector and Chameleon Mode in order to negate “announcing my visit” to the Caribbean. However, rather than simply have the former 'golden avenger' perfectly blend in with his surroundings, as many less inventive authors’ would have done, O’Neil rather impressively actually takes the time to have its wearer explain that the hero’s “outline will [still] be visible, but you’d have to be looking for it to see it!”

Equally as enjoyable is this comic’s rather realistic exploration of Iron Man’s ‘latest’ abilities when facing the threat of three separate explosive devices which are attempting to reduce “a couple of cities… [into] smoking craters” and artist Mark Bright’s extraordinarily clean-lined pencilling of the entire pulse-pounding sequence. Debatably it would have been so easy to simply pen the “genius-level intellect” easily outpacing the missiles and conveniently ‘zapping’ them into harmless metallic pieces using his famous Repulsor Rays. Yet instead, Denny impressively has Stark carefully consider his options due to him not being “familiar with their guidance mechanisms”, and resultantly just “nudge” one of the nuclear weapons “out of its flight path and head it down into the sea”, where “with any luck the impact with the ocean floor won’t set off its warhead.”

‘First published on the "Dawn of Comics" website.'
Writer: Denny O'Neil, Penciler: Mark Bright, and Inker: Akin & Garvey

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