Tuesday, February 03, 2009

You've Been Warned: Iron Man #177

It's hard to believe that just a couple of years earlier, the team of David Michelinie, JR Jr. and Bob Layton were producing stellar Iron Man stories. God bless Dennis O'Neil and all of the great stories he's written, but he was just not a good fit for old Shellhead. This particular issue is a prime example of early 80s Marvel superhero tripe. Too many Marvel series rested on their laurels at the time, and I'm still surprised that DC didn't regain the sales crown, as its product was, by and large, much more innovative product. You really couldn't find a more generic super villain than the Flying Tiger. He is beyond lame - a bland mash up of various super villains (did O'Neil create the Bronze Tiger at DC?). Considering this title centred around a replacement hero filling in for an out of control drunk billionaire, it's amazing just how little drama is to be found in these pages. The art team of Luke McDonnell and Steve Mitchell don't do much to stifle the yawning.

6 comments:

Chris Bowden said...

The Flying Tiger first appeared in Spiderwoman during Chris Claremont's run I believe, I always thought he was pretty cool there - O'Neils Iron Man was terrible though, it seemed to go on forever as well...

M W Gallaher said...

That soulless, mechanical blurb bothered me. It seems like this was around the time when Marvel began eschewing traditional hand-lettering on a large scale, and it seems to have continued to this day. There's no warmth or enthusiasm to be found in any of their cover lettering, any more (I'm sure that's an overgeneralization, but it's the impression I continue to get).
And of course, as an aerospace engineer, I can't suspend disbelief long enough to avoid being disturbed by the dynamic effects of firing those boot jets in that orientation. Based on 20 years experience in jet-actuated control systems, I can assure you the result would be, well, destabilizing at the least.

Scott M said...

Chris - I didn't know about Flying Tiger's other appearances. I must admit that my Spider-Woman IQ is quite low.

Michael - that was both nerdy and geeky. I love it!

Cold Hyrkanian Steel said...

"...early 80s Marvel superhero tripe. Too many Marvel series rested on their laurels at the time"

I find this very difficult to swallow. The early 80's Marvel produced Claremont X-Men, Byrne Fantastic Four, Miller Daredevil, Simonson Thor, Stern Spider-Man & Avengers, Epic Comics, and more. I consider it the second best era for either company, the first being Marvel's mid 1960's.

Scott M said...

Lots of bad Avengers stories in the #190-220 stretch, post-Miller DD, post-Stern Cap, pre-Simonson Thor, some really lame Defenders, hot and cold MTIO and MTU stories. Lots of dreck in there at times. Sure there was lots of gold, but they were spinning their wheels at times and you can pretty much sense Shooter's smugness about it.

Sparky Ryan said...

I liked this issue. the action sequences were very poor and the James Rhodes side of the plot was sleep inducing, but the exchange between Stark and that Doctor over the effects of alcohol was worth the price of admission alone and the manner in which O'Neill captures dysphoria in the narrative is pure gold. Not a great issue over all-granted. As for Marvels output at the time I certainly wouldn't say it was much worse than what it had been during the late 70's.