IRON MAN #123-124 (1979)

Tony is drinking a lot.  And often.

This story starts with Iron Man losing control of his armor again, and crashing through Marvel’s bullpen.  Nice cameo, and this plotline is being developed very gradually.  Good building of suspense.  It’s also a good parallel for Tony’s increased drinking…

His girlfriend wants him to slow down.  Pay attention, Tony.  Meanwhile, some of Iron Man’s villain roster decides to rob the casino where Tony and Bethany Cabe are vacationing.  He changes to Iron Man and we get a good battle against Blizzard and Melter, but as for Blacklash…

Bethany bops him out with her purse.  (She’s a professional bodyguard, and she’s been angling for Iron Man’s job.)  While it’s nice to see a woman doing something—not being a mere hostage—David Michelinie artfully uses this to show that Tony’s drinking is affecting his performance as Iron Man.  Which, in turn, makes the reader wonder whether his armor is actually malfunctioning, or if he’s simply drunk?

The very last page of this issue is explosive, but we’ll cover it next post.  For now, let’s just say Iron Man meets this ambassador…

Creators: Michelinie/Romita Jr./Layton
Grade: A

For the complete history of the MU, year by year, go here.
And see my Ratings of Runs on comics here.

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