Sunday, April 21, 2013

Tony Stark's REAL Bodyguard

You're no doubt familiar with this living legend:

Let me introduce you to another one:

None other than Bambi Arbogast, executive secretary to Tony Stark during the '80s-'90s run of Invincible Iron Man. "Mrs. Arbogast," as she was known to Stark and others at the company, was a lot more crusty than Stark's once-and-future E.S., Pepper Potts, yet usually kept office decorum intact while dealing with the variety of appointments and visitors who made it up to the executive suite. That doesn't mean that she was exactly shy about offering her opinion, whether it was to U.S. senators:

Or Stark's many lady friends who came calling:

Or heads of international spy agencies:

Or even her boss:

By the way, that woman Jarvis is attempting to restrain from cleaning Tony Stark's clock? Uranus Bliss, Mrs. Arbogast's sister, who has every right to be peeved. Because before she even knew who Stark was, she found herself through unfortunate coincidence to be in the path of Stark's many dashes to suit up in his Iron Man armor, making her a literal running joke in the book:

But eventually, at an office party with her sister, Uranus finally learns the identity of her nemesis, and reacts accordingly:

Of course, that can only lead to a parting shot:

Mrs. Arbogast, of course, has a less volatile relationship with her boss. She's proven indispensable to him in his office environment, and their interaction is balanced and shows their mutual respect for one another. Even taking into account the occasional surprises which are part and parcel of Tony Stark's life:

But Stark can also find himself surprised by his spunky secretary, especially when getting clarification about her job description:

In short, Stark has found himself a winner in Mrs. Arbogast. And that assessment goes double for Iron Man:



Super-Duper ToyBox said...

Wonderful- never knew about her!

Anonymous said...

Stark could've hired my mother, who has also worked as a receptionist, and probably could've fought off the Skrull invasion singlehanded. In fact, I think Thanos would have his hands full dealing with her.

Doc Savage said...

Is she still in the comics? She was when I last read Iron Man. She and James Rhodes were integral.

Comicsfan said...

I seem to recall her being rehired by Stark to manage one of his companies, though I don't know her current whereabouts. I haven't kept up with Iron Man for some time. I hope she's still keeping people in line somewhere. :)

Edo Bosnar said...

I loved Iron Man's entire supporting cast during the Michelinie/Layton run, and sometimes I think I like Mrs. Arbogast the best. Definitely agree with Matt about her and Rhodey being integral; I would only add Bethany to that list, as she was by far the best love interest for Tony Stark ever.

Comicsfan said...

The Michelinie issues were the first ones in which I really felt that Stark owned and operated a company, and the supporting cast was a large part of the reason why. In prior issues, Stark (as Iron Man) was always rushing off to fend off threats to or outright attacks on his company--but outside of Happy Hogan and Pepper, there was no one else around to give you a feel for the massive organization behind that company or the loyalty its workers might feel toward Stark. I liked Rhodey a lot--and when he took on the Iron Man and War Machine roles, I winced because that was apparently the end of the Stark/Rhodey formula that worked so well.