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The Order #1: Review

Jul 2007
Matt Fraction, Barry Kitson

Story Name:

1: Henry --or-- the next right thing

Review & Comments

4 stars

The Order #1 Review by (June 1, 2015)
This series will feature Pepper Potts in a central role. It's her 1st appearance since the death of husband Happy Hogan during Civil War in Iron Man #14 (but there will be many flashbacks for her in this series that the Marvel Chronology Project put between IM#14 and here). I must say that she appears to have got over the grieving widow stage, though she does mention it at 1 point this issue. It's unclear whether Henry Hellrung is being interviewed for the job of leading the Order or giving a press interview about getting it. Personally I favour the latter. It doesn't sound like he's speaking to either Tony Stark or Pepper Potts, and the Marvel Chronology Project doesn't put either of them behind the scenes in that part of the story. The flashback where Henry introduces Tony at Stark's 1st AA meeting obviously takes place after TS's 2nd bout of alcoholism ending in (original series) Iron Man #182. (The 1st bout ending in #128 didn't seem to lead to the AA). A statement that he's 5 days sober probably ties in with the week he spent in hospital at the end of #182. His slightly tousled look could be equivalent to the dishevelled appearance Tony sported for many issues after #182. However the statement here that he's in LA on business doesn't quite fit. Stark has lost his company, but he and his friends do move to Silicon Valley and set up a small company over #184-186. In that flashback Hellrung says it's his 5th soberversary. That puts is TV career before IM#128 (in real world time and well before it in Marvel time). Which fits with the flashback of Tony's careless drinking. MCP estimate it to be between IM#67 and Power Man #17. There is a problem with the whole Hellrung backstory here. It suggests he played both Iron Man *and* Tony Stark in the TV series. But this should mean that their dual identity was publicly known, which won't happen until many years after IM#182.

This comic says that the (original) Order members have been training for a year, which has to be an exaggeration. The Order were 1 of the 1st Initiative teams created during Civil War, then known as the Champions and with characters using Greek gods as codenames. They featured in CW#6-7 featuring all of the members that begin this issue. Calamity, Maul and Pierce were in #6 (as shown in the background image for the opening text page of this issue), with Heavy mentioned. Calamity missed out in #7, but the other 3 were joined by Avona, Corona and the Bannermen. There is another figure who may be supposed to be Anthem but doesn't look like him. (But then there are differences in some of the other characters, the worst being Avona's skin colour.) (Both issues also have a Hercules figure who isn't seen again, and #6 mentions Aphrodite who never shows up.) The Unofficial Appendix suggests that Bannerman Brown and Green were previously seen in Marvel Boy (2000) #2. There were 3 Bannermen there but only Bannerman White was named, and he died. But the description of what the Bannermen are isn't consistent. #9 will suggest that Mulholland Black's power mallet is the same as Maul's energy mallet. Infernal Man will reappear in #8-10 as part of the ongoing plot involving the 'man in black'. Pierce and the Bannermen won't be seen again. Avona will turn up dead next issue and her body will hang around through to #4. Corona will also return to die in #5. But Maul will play a more significant role later in this series.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

The Order #1 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
Henry Hellrung gives an interview. He talks about his long-running role as Tony Stark/Iron Man on TV. How he and the real Tony were drinking/womanising buddies until alcohol dependence ended his acting career. After rehab he became a spokesman for Alcoholics Anonymous. We also see he was there when Tony joined AA.

Now The Order are in Los Angeles tackling an unknown fiery villain they dub Infernal Man. Henry is Anthem, and like the others he can fly. Pepper Potts coordinates them with telepresence enhancements via satellite link under the codename Hera. Calamity is superfast. Strongman Heavy is also trainer and tactician. Bannerman Brown and Green are androids provided by Tony Stark. Pierce is an archer and Avona is a swordswoman. Maul has an energy mallet and is an engineer. Corona channels solar power. They also use the names of Greek gods to indicate the their roles.

The fire-villain melts Bannerman Brown and then Bannerman Green, and no-one can stop him until Corona risks death in a combined 'nova'. Afterwards the others have to restrain Avona's anger, until Calamity removes her sword. It turns out Corona is OK but his equipment is trashed.

Suddenly armoured government troops take charge, led by a man in black who refers to the villain as Project 717. They cart Infernal Man away. Tony Stark smooths this over in a later press conference with Pepper and Henry by claiming that the team willingly handed the villain over to the military.

Someone asks if Ares minds the names of his family/pantheon being used. We see him being content with the royalties. They also question the use of celebrities as California's Initiative team, but Pepper says they've been training for a year. They also wonder if Hellrung is the right man for the job, but Stark vouches for him.

Maul wants to go celebrate their victory but Calamity reminds them that they're not supposed to get drunk in public. Avona, Corona, Maul and Pierce go partying while Calamity and Heavy stay home. Now-teetotal leader Anthem isn't asked.

Henry, Pepper and Tony wake the next morning to a slew of news reports on the gang out clubbing. Pepper and Tony agree they have to be fired because they violated their signed contracts. They are exactly the kind of irresponsible superheroes that the Civil War and the 50-State Initiative were/are against.

Henry does the firing, backed by Pepper. Avona, Corona, Maul and Pierce are sent to the Stark Center for decommissioning. 4 others are picked out of a pool of recruits in training:- Mulholland Black, Milo Fields, Rebecca Ryan and Magdalena Marie. They are sent to the Center to get evolved.

The superpowers The Order have are artificially induced by a genetic upgrade that will only last a year (and presumably can be cancelled anytime). The newbies have had input into the specific powers they are going to get. Now those powers are implemented.

Later Anthem introduces the new team to the press. The speedster Calamity (James Wa) and the muscle Heavy (Dennis Murray) are joined by the new lot. Veda (Magdalena Marie) can create a humanoid army out of surrounding organic material. Supernaut (wheelchair-bound army vet Milo Fields) pilots a heavily-armed battle-suit. Mulholland Black opts not to have a codename, wields a power mallet and has a psychokinetic link with the city. Henry doesn't get a chance to describe Aralune (Becky Ryan)'s abilities (except we see her with wings) before Hera calls with a situation to be addressed.

Something has appeared off the coast of California, and a bunch of old Soviet supercharacters are heading this way.

Barry Kitson
Mark Morales
Dean White
Barry Kitson (Cover Penciler)
Barry Kitson (Cover Inker)
Dean White (Cover Colorist)


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)

> The Order: Book info and issue index

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