Saturday, January 18, 2014

Iron Man Is Not Happy (Or Chord)

Gosh, remember how much fun it used to be when Iron Man had a secret identity? When people couldn't put two and two together and figure out that Tony Stark's "bodyguard" was never doing any actual guarding, and would only appear when Stark wasn't around?

So from time to time, we'd be treated to this nail-biting cliffhanger:

And either a villain or someone else would finally be on the cusp of learning what they should have already figured out--that Stark and Iron Man were one and the same.

Time was, though, when that darned helmet wasn't so easy to remove, even by a resourceful agent of SHIELD:

Jasper Sitwell, of course, wasn't one to give up, even when faced with the skeptical and wry observations of New York's finest:

The trouble with this plan is that Stark never explained to SHIELD the catch-22 of this device--that, if you channel an explosion away from its target, it's not going to do much good against its target. But, as others have learned to their dismay, there's no stopping Jasper Sitwell when his mind is set:

Annnnnnnnnd: fail.

The Mandarin, though, isn't really worried about the man inside the armor, so he's capable of being more successful at de-helmeting Iron Man:

Yet, the Iron Man the Mandarin has snared with a teleportation device is not Stark, but Happy Hogan, who doesn't last long against the Mandarin's assault and is promptly thrown in the dungeon:

Fortunately, the real Iron Man shows up and rescues Happy. But, in another scheme, the Mandarin is sure that he's discovered Iron Man's true identity--and when he has the golden Avenger helpless, he doesn't waste any time with the unmasking:

Wait a minute--the blond Avenger? The Mandarin wanted Stark at his mercy, not Chord Overstreet. But if the Mandarin hadn't lost interest and gone off to attend to his scheme, he might have found that he'd been duped by plastic:

Now that everyone knows Stark is Iron Man and vice versa, the jig is up. Unmasking Iron Man was never as dramatic a development as, say, the unmasking of Spider-Man--but it's understandable that Stark wanted to keep his identity a secret. Not simply because it would be easy to take out Iron Man if you instead targeted Stark--but, if your enemies know you have a heart condition, they're going to adjust their tactics against you accordingly. As it stands now, though, the only question remaining is: how does Stark keep shares in his company from falling every time Iron Man is captured?

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