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Iron Man #3: Review

Nov 2020
Christopher Cantwell, Cafu

Story Name:

The land wherein thou art a stranger

Review & Comments

4 stars

Iron Man #3 Review by (November 14, 2020)
The cover looks like it more properly belongs to what's promised in next issue when Korvac The God takes New York.

Korvac says Iron Man found him once before, and an editorial comment points is to Avengers #176. This isn't strictly true. The Avengers located him in that issue but it was Moondragon collating info from various heroes not including Iron Man.

It's old home week for old Iron Man villains this issue. I don't know whether they're all supposed to be working for Korvac.

The robot looks like the 1-issue Demolisher in #2 of the 1st Iron Man series. It's reappearance does add weight to my theory in #1 that Korvac is plucking villains out of time.

The original Gladiator was a minor villain débuting in Daredevil #18, but his work for the Maggia did take him into IM#7-8. Last seen he was blind and in a psychiatric hospital. So maybe this is another villain-out-of-time?

Night Phantom was also a 1-off villain in IM#14 but then he cropped up again in All-New All-Different Avengers #7, and #6 of the villainous Illuminati's series.

Madame Masque is a quintessential Shellhead foe. 1st app as Whitney Frost in Tales Of Suspense #97, and as Big M the leader of the Maggia in the next issue. She became the iconic Madame Masque in IM#17. She featured heavily in IM(2015)#1-5 and her last app was in Dr Strange (2020) #5-6. In both of theses she was involved in the theft of magical items.

Melter was an IM foe since TOS#47 but he died in Avengers #263 and has never been resurrected. I'd say this is another time-displaced villain but Iron Man doesn't seem surprised to see him. So maybe this is just another accidental resurrection c/o Franklin Richards and Molecule Man when they recreated the universe at the end of Secret Wars III.

This is the 2nd Blizzard from IM#223. The 1st 1 was originally called Jack Frost in TOS#45 and died in Amazing Spider-Man Annual #20. His replacement was last seen in the villainous Illuminati's #7.

Controller was introduced in Iron Man #12-13 and keeps coming back, lastly in many issues of 2018's Tony Stark: Iron Man series.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Iron Man #3 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
In #1 Iron Man fought Unicorn, amongst other things, and the villain claimed to be serving a god. Last issue ended with Tony Stark in hospital after fighting some more villains. Unicorn was in the same hospital and his god sent him after Stark again.

But this issue opens with Unicorn in costume (as opposed to a hospital gown) in the rain in Oklahoman countryside. He calls to his god and gets hit by lightning.

We then get a lot of scenes with a voiceover. We see Iron Man hovering over New York. Breaking a robot opponent in half. Getting hassled as Tony Stark because his AI rights stance (the Iron Man 2020 event) is causing parts of the Internet to refuse to work. Then IM fights Gladiator (not the Shi'ar 1) followed by Night Phantom and then Madame Masque. He drops in on a junior school in costume at break time but gets told off by teachers for disrupting their routine. Then he finds Melter who's melted his car. He casually KO's the villain and carries him up into the sky and drops him. (This is possibly where he was in the 1st scene, and the others are flashbacks.) He jets down and saves him at the last second.

The next thing we know he's at a Burger Hut, unshaven and dishevelled and wearing bunny slippers. The voiceover was apparently him talking to himself at the counter saying he doesn't know what people want him to be and do. No-one ever gives him any thanks, and he doesn't know why he doesn't just stop worrying about everyone else and just do whatever he wants. Then the burger-guy brings him back to reality and he orders something. But he has to make it takeout as he realises it's 3:45 in the morning and he's supposed to be catching a plane.

Next he's on the plane with Patsy Walker. He's travelling coach to see how ordinary people live. (He's still rich and probably still has his own plane but he's not using it.) Their conversation lets us know that the Melter incident was 2 days ago. And Unicorn wasn't after Tony last issue (I misread the scene). He just escaped from hospital, dived into the East River and hasn't been seen since. Stark is going to see Fuller Teilhard (#1) who wants to use lightning as a clean energy source, and he invited Patsy to accompany him. Tony's financed him because he thinks it might work, but in his current mood he still thinks the public will find a way to question his motives. Patsy wonders why he cares about public opinion and Tony says it's because he's much more famous than she is.

Patsy Walker blows up at him. (She's famous for being the inspiration for a load of teen comics, and later for being Hellcat.) She says since coming back from the dead she's more concerned about things that really matter to her. Tony tries to steer the conversation back to himself by reminding her he's been dead too. But she points out *he* didn't commit suicide (Hellstrom: Prince Of Lies #14). Now he actually listens as she says you don't recover from something like that, and she is constantly aware of a dark side of herself in her head. Then she puts on her headphones to ignore him until they get to Oklahoma.

Some hours later Iron Man descends to meet Teilhard in 10,000 acres of high-tech lightning rods. And Fuller tells him there are 57 other sites around the globe (and it's months since #1). After a technical explanation of how it works, IM remarks that the Stark label has been taken off all the equipment. Fuller says he didn't want anyone to trace the ownership of the sites. And a very large lightning strike incapacitates the armoured hero.

Now we see Teilhard backed by old IM-foes Blizzard and Controller as well as Unicorn. the master-villain says he's going to use the lightning sites to gain the power of a demigod. But this is only a step towards becoming *the* God. And Iron Man found him once before (original Avengers #176) so he won't let that happen again.

But then Hellcat slams into the villains with a truck. She helps Shellhead up and they start fighting the 3 disciples, who spout about having been chosen by their god. However Teilhard ends the battle with a lightning blast from his hand, and names himself Korvac as he leaves the 2 heroes dying on the ground.

Tony's armour restarts his heart with its built-in defibrillator. But it seems Patsy may not be so lucky.

Frank D'Armata
Alex Ross (Cover Penciler)
Alex Ross (Cover Inker)
Alex Ross (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Joe Caramagna.
Editor: Tom Brevoort. Editor-in-chief: C. B. Cebulski.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.


(Patsy Walker)
Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)

Plus: Blizzard, Controller (Basil Sandhurst), Gladiator (Melvin Potter), Korvac, Melter (Bruno Horgan), Night Phantom, Unicorn.

> Iron Man: Book info and issue index

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