Wednesday, March 19, 2014

IRON MAN #151

"G.A.R.D.'S GAUNTLET"
Plot/Writer: David Michelinie | Plot/Finished Art: Bob Layton
Guest Penciler: Luke McDonnell | Letters: Joe Rosen
Colors: Bob Sharen & Don Warfield | Editor: Jim Salicrup
Editor-in-Chief: Jim Shooter

The Plot: While Tony goes shopping for a new wardrobe with Ling McPherson, Scott Lang, examining the damaged Stark International lab complex, comes under assault by Stark's malfunctioning internal security system, G.A.R.D. (the Graduated Radical Automated Defense system). Scott changes to Ant-Man and eventually defeats the computer. Iron Man arrives to help, only to find Scott, back in civilian attire, waiting casually for him.

Returning to his temporary living quarters, Tony opens the newspaper to find that Bethany has been captured and branded a spy by the Soviet Union.

Continuity Notes: The Stark International complex is still undergoing repairs following Blacklash's rampage in issues 146 and 147. A footnote on the second page reminds readers of Iron Man's duel with Doctor Doom in the distant past as seen last issue. The following page presents a succinct recap of Tony's relationship with Bethany, as Tony reminisces about her yet again.


Mrs Arbogast and Tony discuss the fact that Cordco is being sold following Edwin Cord's arrest in issue #145. Tony plans to purchase the company.

My Thoughts: Ant-Man becoming tiny and crawling around inside things doesn't really do it for me. I wasn't terribly impressed when Hank Pym voyaged to the center of the Vision during the Kree-Skrull war, I didn't think much of it when Scott Lang traveled around inside Iron Man's armor several issues ago, and I'm not impressed with him wandering around inside Stark's computer here, either.

I like Lang well enough, due mainly to Michelinie's scripting -- so I root for the guy. I'm just terribly bored by his "adventures". Probably because they all involve him outwitting an inanimate object. It's like writers found one thing for Ant-Man to do, and kept rehashing that same scenario.

Overall, this is a "catch your breath" issue following the Dr. Doom story. Unfortunately, Michelinie and Layton don't have many sub-plots brewing at the moment, so there's not a lot of ground for the story to cover. Tony misses Bethany and needs some new clothes, and that's about it. And as noted, the Ant-Man story just isn't enough to carry the issue on its own.


I will say, however, that I continue to love the Michelinie/Layton depiction of Tony's "conspicuous consumption" lifestyle. I enjoy watching rich characters being flagrantly rich, so seeing Tony drive a different exotic sports car every time he goes out, and purchase an entire catalogue worth of suits, are fun little bits.

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