Iron Man Annual #1: Review

Nov 2007
Christos N. Gage, Harvey Tolibao

Story Name:

Regime change

Review & Comments

4 stars

Iron Man Annual #1 Review by (December 15, 2015)
This is the 1st comic to actually have Iron Man: Director Of SHIELD in the indicia as well as the cover. The regular series won't change its indicia for 6 months. This issue uses multiple elements from the lore of SHIELD and Wolverine. Madame Hydra was co-invented by Jim Steranko in Captain America #110. She soon quit Hydra and became a freelance terrorist leader as Viper, but still dressing the same. It was in this period that she tried to crash the helicarrier onto the Congress building in Marvel Team-Up #82-85. But note that this didn't involve Hydra. She continued to switch frequently between the roles of Viper and Madame Hydra. But it is only here that her real name is revealed to be Ophelia Sarkissian. Gaffer (Sidney E. Levine) was also a Steranko creation in the SHIELD strip in Strange Tales #159. He recently resurfaced after a long gap in She-Hulk (2005) #17. Steranko introduced the SHIELD gliding suits known as HAWK harnesses in ST#166. The dialogue this issue suggests that the freon capsule button was used before as well, but I don't remember it. Tamara Jones has not been seen before, but we've met the other 2 Agents. Tia Senyaka was in Daredevil #377-379. Nails/Joan Eaton was 1 of the Elite Agents of SHIELD in the 2000 Cap Annual and Thunderbolts #69&71. They haven't been seen again since this issue.

Madripoor was introduced in New Mutants #32 but it became a major part of Wolverine's mythos in his strip in Marvel Comics Presents and his 1st ongoing series. Here he took on the alias Patch and helped crimelord Tyger Tiger gain control of the island from its corrupt ruler. Roughhouse and Bloodscream worked for a rival crime boss. Madame Hydra took over Madripoor in Wo#128 in a plot that involved her marrying Logan. She gave him a divorce in Wo#169. During that visit to Madripoor (#167-169) he visited the Foxy Den Strip Bar, which used to be the Princess Bar back when Patch part-owned it. Huang says Tyger Tiger owns the bar now but never visits because it has bad memories. Now that Gaffer has been brought back into the fold he'll be reused in #26,31-32 of the current series, but then will return to comic limbo. Tyger Tiger will continue to appear mainly in stories involving Wolverine. Madame Hydra will make many more apps, including sharing some with Tyger Tiger. Bloodscream and Roughhouse will still be working for Hydra (but not Madame) in Initiative #23-24, and will be some of the many villains in Wolverine (2010) #304. In between Bloodscream will feature in digital comic Wo: Carni-Brawl.

Iron Man makes several appearances before the next issue in this title #21. In Wolverine (2003) #57-58 Logan saves Tony Stark from assassination, but is killed. (This is not the recent Death of Wolverine.) The Official Index has the Penance: Relentless limited series next, but I've moved it to before Mighty Avengers #11 as explained in my comments there. Tony Stark does what he can moneywise to help Peter Parker's dying Aunt May in Amazing Spider-Man #544. And in a flashback in ASM#640-641 we learn how he helps Dr Strange and Mr Fantastic restore Spider-Man's secret identity (now secret even from themselves). In Captain America (2005) #28-33 Iron Man gets involved in the continuation of Red Skull's plot that had Sharon Carter killing Cap. He offers Winter Soldier the job as Cap replacement. In New Warriors (2007) #12-13 Tony Stark sets up the New Warriors Task Force to hunt down the team. Then it's back to CA #34-37 as the Red Skull plot continues with the new Cap. Finally in She-Hulk (2005) #27 Iron Man shows up in court to testify about alien invasions.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Iron Man Annual #1 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
Tony Stark Director of SHIELD briefs Deputy Director Maria Hill and top SHIELD agents on Madame Hydra, with sample video from when she tried to crash the helicarrier onto Congress. Although it's open knowledge that she's the leader of Hydra she can't be arrested because she's also the ruler of Madripoor Island. They'd never get UN approval to depose her because most countries have secrets hidden in the island's secure vaults. But Stark proposes regime change from within.

Their undercover Agent Huang reports that the populace are extremely unhappy with her high taxes. Stark proposes to go there in his playboy persona (despite it being publicly known that he's Iron Man and SHIELD Director) to arrange a local insurrection. Against the protests of his staff.

Tony will go without his armour, which will be cloaked in orbit over the island. Tech-whizz Gaffer gives him some James Bond devices.

Tony arrives in his yacht accompanied by 3 bikini-clad Agents - Eaton, Jones & Senyaka. His yacht and person are thoroughly searched. He is greeted personally at his hotel by Madame Hydra, who has arranged the best suite for him. With his permission she injects him with something to jam his Extremis from affecting external devices. But in turn his last act with those abilities is to disable the GPS tracker she included in the mix. So she feels it only fair to warn him that she won't be able to send help if he wanders into the less savoury areas of town. And on the way out she gives instructions for his assassination.

He also previously used Extremis to shut down all bugs in the suite. Now his 3 assistants fix them so they report a pre-programmed scenario. And the armour in space will respond to a simple cell-phone message. Senyaka stays in the hotel room to coordinate while the others leave for a certain Lowtown bar.

Joanie Eaton (who prefers the codename Nails) deals efficiently with a thug who tries to take her away from Tony. This triggers a general brawl during which Stark pretends to fight Agent Huang who they came here to meet. Huang informs him there are 2 possible figures the people might follow. The man called Patch hasn't been around for a while, but the female crimelord Tyger Tiger is still here.

The brawl is taken over by 2 superhuman assassins Asgardian Troll Roughhouse and vampiric Bloodscream who've actually been sent to kill Stark. Nails takes on Bloodscream but he drains some of her life essence. He then turns his attentions on Tony who extrudes his armour's undersheath from inside his body. As the vampire attempts to bit his head off Tony throws a shirt button freon capsule into his mouth. In revenge Roughhouse literally brings the house down.

Tony and the 2 ladies survive, as does Huang. But Madame Hydra turns up with the police to arrest Huang - several onlookers (including the guy who had a falling-out with Nails) are willing (for money) to testify that it was Huang who tried to kill Stark. Hydra executes him on the spot by beheading. (Stark calls down his armour but it doesn't arrive on time so he sends it back.)

They return to the hotel where Tia Senyaka alerts them that 30 Hydra goons are approaching. The 4 change into SHIELD gliding suits and escape through their penthouse-floor window. A bomb takes out the Hydra agents who break into their suite.

They land in the jungle where they magically get another change of clothes and Tamara Jones does some minimal disguise work. They need to find Tyger Tiger, who miraculously appears with a band of guerillas. Stark tells her the US wants her to replace Madame Hydra as ruler of Madripoor. He promises she won't be a puppet ruler - they just want to get rid of Hydra's power base. If she officially asks for help then he can call on SHIELD.

Tiger says she'll think about it. But Stark takes her to see a hidden Hydra site (that SHIELD had presumably detected) where they have a huge cannon that is part organic and possibly sentient. This makes Tyger's mind up and she agrees to the revolution.

Tony Stark brazenly enters the Royal Palace and gets taken to see the 'Princess'. He challenges her to single combat. As she attacks he activates the undersheath again. He's also called down the Iron Man armour but it doesn't arrive. Madame Hydra had set up a field between here and the armour to disrupt his cell-phone signal (after he used it earlier?). So he has to rely on the martial skills taught him by Captain America and others. But Hydra goads him about Cap being assassinated on his watch, and then slips past his guard.

As she prepares to shoot him Madame Hydra gloats about how Hydra will continue to suck the blood of Madripoor's inhabitants. But Stark has a flying camera which broadcasts her speech to the populace, along with Tyger Tiger's call to arms. Tyger and the SHIELD girls lead the ensuing revolt.

Madame H still has plenty of time to kill Stark while her men put the rabble down. But the Iron Man armour arrives in time to deflect the bullet. Tony sent his cell-phone signal a roundabout way to get round the disruption field.

The armour engulfs Stark, and Iron Man deals with Roughhouse. Then he fries Bloodscream's brain with repulsors and stakes his heart with a short spear his armour produces. Hydra attack with their big cannon, and the Golden Avenger wrecks that.

Tyger Tiger takes control of the island, and lots of Hydra agents are captured. We don't see how Madame Hydra escapes. Then Iron Man has to rush off to deal with a problem at Mount Wundagore (which we never learn about).

Harvey Tolibao
Harvey Tolibao
Edgar Tadeo
Jim Cheung (Cover Penciler)
John Dell (Cover Inker)
Justin Ponsor (Cover Colorist)


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)
Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)

> Iron Man Annual: Book info and issue index

Share This Page