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I am Iron Man #3: Review

May 2023
Murewa Ayodele, Dotun Okande

Story Name:

Chapter 3: Best friend

Review & Comments

4 stars

I am Iron Man #3 Review by (May 13, 2023)
This issue claims to be set in the 90's. Iron Man's armour places it in the Heroes Return era. But unfortunately Rhodey had retired from being War Machine in that period and for a long time after.

However if we ignore the armour and just try to pair IM with WM earlier in the decade it still won't be easy. The previous few years were spent in The Crossing, Teen Tony and Heroes Reborn stories and in that period Rhodes lost the WM armour in time and temporarily moved on to some alien armour. And before that Jim and Tony weren't friends ever since he got the WM armour while Tony pretended (even to him) to be dead.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

I am Iron Man #3 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
This issue opens with a character called Iron Shogun in a video game being directed by a controlling voice which tells him he senses danger and to unsheathe his 2 burning swords and cut down (literally) the hordes of Oni who are stalking him. But he's too late to save his burning village which the voice defines as his 'inciting incident'. He comes across his friend War Monger who is strung up and apologises for not protecting the village. IS cuts him down and he asks for water, and a bowl of liquid appears beside him.

James Rhodes, for it is he, refuses to drink something that appeared out of nowhere. Tony Stark, for that's who the Iron Shogun is, tells Rhodey to stick to the script or he'll get them killed. He drinks what turns out to be soda then puts his War Monger mask on to get back into character. He says that something powerful came out of the mist and took the Shogun's mother. IS asks WM who it was and is told that it was the Oni Queen.

Now we see what may be reality where a teenage boy with 2 wooden swords is with his mother who is sitting on the floor very loosely tied up. There is also a rag doll on a chair with 2 small swords. Mom is supposed to be acting in a game with the boy but can't keep the hero's name straight - Iron Samurai, Iron Ronin, no Iron Shogun. The boy accuses her of not taking it seriously and reading 1 of the 'steamy comic books' she shares with Aunt Annalise. Mom relents and says "Save me, Iron Shogun." He rushes forward shouting "Fear not, mother. I'm here to save you from the grasp of these foul creatures." But she throws a box of toys at him saying "The Oni Queen's minions want to eat your face."

In the other realm Iron Shogun repeats the boy's words as more Oni attack him and he slices them up too. Then he dashes towards to Oni Queen, sitting on a throne with 2 swords, and the bound woman at her side. In reality it is his mother who leaps on the boy, laughingly claiming to be in the Oni Queen's control as she tickles him. In the video game the bound woman has leapt on Iron Shogun and the Oni Queen is looking on puzzled. IS introduces himself as Iron Man and says he's here to rescue her. He compliments her on knowing the right moment to break out of the script.

And then we see that the X-Men foe Mojo is behind all this. It seems (I think) that the 'reality' part was in the past and then Mojo kidnapped the mom to have her take part in 1 of the TV shows he produces in the Mojoverse (and in this case presumably using the plot that the boy has made up). He'll then keep her to reuse in other shows, maybe based on her steamy comic books. I think the apartment got burned down during the kidnap and the boy. whose name we at last learn is Bobby, was recovering in an ambulance when Iron Man and War Machine promised to rescue his mom. But they said they needed his help.

Now Iron Shogun contacts Bobby to say his script worked and his mom is safe. War Monger flies up changed into his War Machine armour. Tony asks him to keep Mojo's robots busy while he changes to Iron Man. It seems that they were wearing their real armour under the Japanese stuff, which Mojo protests doesn't make sense. The attacking Oni spout "No-one poaches talent from Mojo." But Tony Stark 'creates' a 'rocket' to contain the mom and she jets away with the 2 heroes.

But Mojo has been recording it all and loves the ending. It's been broadcast live and the audience love it too. He plans a couple of sequels with Iron Man and then he'll add more heroes to the mix. His right-hand man Major Domo is worried about overdoing it but Mojo thinks the audience will never get tired of stories about heroes. And our heroes deliver his mom to Bobby.

Later Tony Stark visits the grave of *his* mother Maria. He remembers her being his best friend while his father was always busy or away. But there was nothing he could do to save her when she died in his late teens. Now he wishes her Happy Mother's Day.

Dotun Okande
Dotun Okande
Dotun Okande
Dotun Okande (Cover Penciler)
Dotun Okande (Cover Inker)
Dotun Okande (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Joe Caramagna.
Editor: Tom Brevoort. Editor-in-chief: C. B. Cebulski.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)
War Machine
War Machine

(James Rhodes)

Plus: Major Domo, Mojo.

> I am Iron Man: Book info and issue index

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