IRON MAN #20 (1969)

Remember that from X-Men, Lucifer?  He was an alien who was taken out by Professor X, when he was a kid, and dropped a rock on X’s legs—crippling him.  Don’t remember?  Don’t worry.  For the story that established the most famous wheelchair-bound comic book character of all time, it was pretty bad.

Anyway, he returns in this issue.  But that’s not what makes this an above-average comic.  If anything, it distracts from what is otherwise an interesting and, I think, novel approach to the comic book story. 

It starts with a Stark security guard seeing Iron Man and thinking jealous thoughts to himself.  And then Stark cruises by in a convertible and he gets even more bitter.  Next, we seem come home and scream at his kids.  This guy is having a breakdown, and that’s when Lucifer shows up to tempt him and give him the power to beat the snot out of Iron Man.

I don’t recall a story focused on a civilian before—and certainly not one that is told entirely from the point of view of a Joe Nobody, embittered and angry.  It’s a nice change of pace.

Creators: Archie Goodwin and George Tuska

Grade: B-.  Above average, interesting tale.

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