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Iron Man #4: Review

Dec 2020
Christopher Cantwell, Cafu

Story Name:

The man with the golden arms

Review & Comments

4 stars

Iron Man #4 Review by (December 19, 2020)
This is (another) episode of the Tony and Patsy show, this time (despite the cover) with no sign of Iron Man or Hellcat.

The original Korvac debuted as a cyborg in Giant-Size Defenders #3, and was given an origin in Thor Annual #6 in the alternate-future of the original Guardians Of The Galaxy. Then he re-appeared on Earth-616 as a cosmic being in the Korvac Saga which ran through Avengers #167-177. #175 explained that he got his cosmic powers from Galactus' homebase Taa II (named after Galan's home planet Taa).

We don't know exactly what the relationship is between this android Korvac and the original, but he's obviously aiming to repeat history.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Iron Man #4 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
Last issue Korvac, in his new android body as Fuller Teilhard, blasted Iron Man and Hellcat with lightning and left them for dead. We saw Tony Stark's heart restarted by his armour but Patsy Walker probably not so lucky.

However the report of her death was exaggerated because we see her now sitting in a chair, but with a godly voice in her ear suggesting she pray to him. And we also see Stark outside harried by reporters asking him about his missing friend James Rhodes. This is the 1st we've heard about that, but we learn it happened after last issue when Tony joins Patsy. It turns out that they're hiding in a building opposite Tony's place, and Patsy's keeping watch for any activity by Korvac's super-minions. Tony figures the bad-guys kidnapped Rhodey to draw him out into the open, and that the usual hostage rules apply which means he can't call in anyone to help.

Next we find out that the lightning has scarred 1 side of Patsy's face with a fractal crack which stings. Tony tries to reassure her that they can get Reed Richards or someone to heal it without a pewrmanent scar when all this is over. There's tension between them and he adds that he doesn't blame her for blaming him, but she replies that she's still having trouble getting over the attack.

Tony wants to get a plan going but Patsy reminds him that Korvac killed most of the Avengers once (at the climax of the Korvac Saga in original Avengers #177). Tony reminds *her* that the Avengers aren't dead, but she counters correctly that it's only because Korvac brought them back to life (ibid). Tony counter-counters that Korvak was a cosmic being then, and now he's only an android with lightning powers. (Which Tony says he's learned from the Enclave, something else that must have happened between issues.)

Patsy also thinks Tony has an ulterior motive for not involving anyone else, besides for Rhodey's sake. Stark financed Teilhard's lightning energy project which is what charged him up. Now she asks if Tony's keeping this super-menace secret because he doesn't want people to blame *him*. He's been worried lately that the public think badly of him.

Then their argument ends with a kiss and falling onto a bed. (I told you there was some kind of tension between them.)

Now we see that Rhodey is being held captive in a New York church by Teilhard/Korvac and the Controller who has slapped 3 control discs on Jim's neck and he's still resisting. Blizzard is there too admiring the ceiling, and Unicorn pops in to announce that they've located Galactus' worldship Taa II. Korvac tells the other 2 to keep watch for Iron Man while he and Blizzard go down to the basement for his transfiguration. When his minions question his wisdom of transforming *here* he says he *wants* Tony Stark here to witness it and spread the word of his power.

Meanwhile Tony's having a post-coital chat with Patsy. She's convinced him he can't tackle Korvac without allies. But he can't go to the obvious targets like the Avengers, Fantastic Four or X-Men. At this point she confesses that she's been hearing Korvac whispering in her ear. Tony delicately brings up her previous mental problem (driven suicidally mad in the Hellstorm: Prince Of Lies series), but she's sure this is real.

Back in the church Teilhard prepares to absorb all the energy from his lightning-charged battery sites all over the world, all channelled through the NY City grid. They may black out the City, but NY is used to it. Controller has arranged for anyone who comes near the place to be 'psionically neutralised'. Korvac gets attached to a metal plate on the wall in the shape of a cross, saying it's time for the final station. (He keeps making such biblical allusions.) Blizzard throws a switch and the electricity pours in.

Tony and Patsy are going to see Halcyon, the guy who beat Tony in an illegal car race in the City streets. Apparently he's raced him again several times and never won. The man is deaf and uses sign language, so Tony devised special intelligent glasses to interpret the signs for him rather than learn sign language himself. Then Patsy gets a pain in the head and the lights go out. And she senses that Korvac wants to go to Taa II.

They find the racers and Tony asks Halcyon to use his contacts to locate people on a list. They'll all be keeping well-hidden. But then Patsy gets taken over by Korvac, firing off electric bolts and speaking with Teilhard's voice telling Stark not to interfere. But it is Halcyon who calmly defuses the situation by using a hubcap to break open a fire hydrant and dousing Patsy with water. He explains that he's a mutant whose power is that his heart rate never exceeds 70bpm. Stark tells him to add himself to the list.

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)
James Rhodes
James Rhodes


Plus: Blizzard, Controller (Basil Sandhurst), Halcyon, Korvac, Unicorn.

> Iron Man: Book info and issue index

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