Wednesday, September 23, 2015

The Armor And The Ant-Man!

Iron Man has finally beaten the Hulk. But at what cost?

When Iron Man delivered his Sunday punch to knock out the Hulk, he went through practically every other day of the week in the process--because when the dust settled, not only was the Hulk out for the count, but Iron Man tipped over and hit the ground like a paperweight. That's not usually how the victor leaves the scene of a battle, is it?

And in the aftermath, things seem even worse to Tony Stark's close friend, James Rhodes. Iron Man remains nonresponsive, while the question of the Hulk's custody is being discussed by Bruce Banner's doctor, surgeon Erica Sondheim, and law enforcement authorities. What no one at the scene knows is that Stark is Iron Man--and so no one is available to settle either the matter regarding the Hulk's disposition or emergency procedures for Iron Man.

Fortunately, Rhodey thinks on his feet--and since Iron Man's armor has sealed itself completely, preventing any contact from without or within, he focuses on finding another method to probe for any signs of life.

Scott Lang, a specialist in electronics and one of Stark's most loyal employees, is also at the scene, and rushes to make preparations to lend his unique talents to the situation. Like Iron Man, Lang also has a secret identity, as a hero well-suited to getting inside a suit of armor that's virtually impregnable:

With Iron Man's mask slits sealed, Lang decides to gain entry to the armor by forcing the iris openings of the duct shields to its boot jets--and just as Lang's predecessor, Henry Pym, once journeyed inside the Vision as Ant-Man, Lang now finds himself making his way through a complicated and now dangerously unstable piece of man-sized machinery to search for a way to depolarize Iron Man's armor before the man inside suffocates.

Lang has two important things going for him--his electronics expertise that allows him both to communicate with Iron Man and to comprehend the information he receives on the armor's systems, and the full-sized strength of a normal man he retains as Ant-Man, which helps him escape from and deal with the malfunctions he encounters. Before you know it, he's reached the necessary wires to shut down the armor--and, with Iron Man's air supply having run out, just in time.

As for Bruce Banner, Dr. Sondheim has managed to shut down the chest implant that was elevating his heartbeat and keeping him in his Hulk state--but law enforcement officers are still waiting in force outside to take him into custody. And they might do just that, if Stark's janitorial staff had a problem with modesty.

"Ollie" then offers his services to "Stan" to pilot him to a destination of his choice--while we can assume that Stark has turned Mrs. Arbogast loose on the impatient gentlemen still holding position outside, who may likely consider leaving the premises to be a better course of action.


Anonymous said...

So this was dated April 1980 ? That was a big month for me because April 1980 was when I started buying imported U.S. Marvel comics every month without fail rather than just now and again as I had been doing since 1976. I'd always thought Iron Man was rather "meh" until this late '70s/early '80s period when he became one of Marvel's must-read characters. Talking of Iron Man, CF, I'm always drawn to that figure of Iron Man on your masthead - his left leg has no musculature and looks like it's made of rubber :)

Comicsfan said...

The explanation is simple, Colin--the polarization in Iron Man's left leg coupling had inexplicably failed, leaving it in its flexible state. (A save which could have snagged you a no-prize, bub!)