October 01, 2007

Comicbook Quirk of the Week

Here's a new regular feature I've been toying around with for a while. My favorite comic blog, Comic Coverage, does such an awesome job dissecting various tidbits of comicbook minutae that it inspired me (especially its "Friday Night Fights"!). So, here it is -- the inaugural installment of Colossus of Rhodey's "Comicbook Quirk of the Week"! (And keep in mind -- when I say "quirk," it's usually ... almost certainly ... unintentional!)

Many of you know that my fave comicbook hero is Marvel's Iron Man. Many consider the late 1980s' "Armor Wars" to be the best-ever story the title has seen. (I even wrote the vast majority of the event's synopsis for Marvel.com's website, by the way natch!) The third-to-last issue in this multi-issue installment features the destruction of Iron Man's famous (or INfamous, depending your POV) armor, the red and silver "Silver Centurion" suit. Creators David Michelinie (a Delaware resident, by the way) and Bob Layton responded to fan advice and brought back the usual red and gold armor (after all, one of Iron Man's nicknames is the "Golden Avenger") in unforgettable style: They have the US government prepare to do battle with a supposedly "rogue" Iron Man with their own armored operative: a guy named Firepower:

Pretty impressive, eh? I think it's pretty weird how the helmet fits perfectly, but he's obviously going to have to use some sort of "virtual movement" program to operate the suit given the armor's prodigious size! (Actual size of man inside approximated in red!) Somehow, though, this guy can run, jump and fly like an agile gymnast! And wince at the [unintentional] stereotyping:

"The projects"?? Ouch.

Now, keep in mind that this whole story is based on Iron Man trying to neutralize armored villains and heroes who've managed to acquire some of his secret technology. Tony Stark (Iron Man's alter-ego) makes up a fake story that his "employee and bodyguard" Iron Man has gone "rogue" -- even Stark needs protection from the now-nutso superhero. So, if that's supposedly the case, tell me something -- how will these guys "protect" Stark from one of the most powerful super-beings on the whole friggin' planet??

A pistol?? A machine gun?? And why is that guy at left posing as he is? Why is he looking right "at the camera" holding up his "deadly" handgun?? Seems like a "Commando" moment to me!

Lastly, at issue's end, 'ol Firepower gets the better of the Armored Avenger, severely damaging his armor. FP's last act is to launch a tactical nuke at him, which apparently blows Iron Man to bits. Then someone explain to me the issue's last panel:

OK, I can buy that the helmet survived the blast, but how is there blood splattered all over it?? It was hit by a nuke! Like, it wouldn't have been instantly vaporized?? Y'see, this blood was Tony Stark's attempt to "trick" the government into believing that Iron Man was actually killed in the attack. Funny how government forensics experts didn't wonder how blood managed to survive a nuclear explosion, yet traces of bone (like a skull) and other matter did not!!

There you have it. Y'see, I can even bust on my favorite hero, one of my favorite storylines of all-time, and even one of my favorite creative teams!

Posted by Hube at October 1, 2007 06:22 PM | TrackBack

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