Synopsis: Iron Man 149 was written by David Michelinie, with art by John Romita Jnr and Bob Layton and opens with a Stark International cargo ship being attacked by pirates (the more recent helicopters and guns kind, not the pirates of the Caribbean kind) before they are sent packing by Iron Man.
Iron Man then redirects the ship back to US shores before flying home and getting changed out of his Iron Man armour and into Tony Stark’s business clothes to attend a staff meeting after moping about his missing girlfriend Bethany Cabe. During the meeting, Tony fires one of his staff (a Mr Zurrow) for selling advanced electronics to a buyer in Latveria, despite the fact that Stark International will do no business with Latveria, for it’s connection to Doctor Victor Von Doom (is he actually a doctor?)
Speaking of, Doctor Doom is in the past, bartering with a medieval sorcerer for instruction and then returns to his own time by the assistance of Hauptman, the brother of a former assistant, who Doom killed. Finding out about the redirected ship, Doom goes into a rage and vows to retrieve his goods.
They are at a wharehouse guarded by Iron Man, who is rather ineffective against Doom’s men in their flying vehicle and soon they are gone. As Stark, he flies to Latveria, where he is met by the Latverian authorites, who offer their help as long as their former ruler Doom is bothered by it. Tony declines and leaves before changing into his Iron Man armour and going to Doom’s castle. After defeating the first defense and then a group of robots, Iron Man is face to face with Doom.
After both people make their case, a fight breaks out, Doom refuses to back down and Iron Man is less than respectful, so we get some fighting. Iron Man goes toe to toe with Doom, before Hauptman uses this melee to get his final revenge on Doom, by stranding him in the past, with Doom’s own time machine.
Notes: I liked this issue, the art was better, Layton added to JR Jnr’s pencils making it look sharper. While Doom’s faceplate is occasionally off-model, his bearing and voice are exactly what you expect of Doom. The interesting thing here, is that I’m not entirely sure Doctor Doom is in the wrong here. He bought something, legally, wasn’t his fault that Zurrow wasn’t allowed to sell it. All he wanted was the materials he paid for, guy wasn’t even offered a refund. Was he wrong in taking the stuff? Yes, but compared to other things that villains would do, hardly rates as proof he’s the bad guy.
Michelinie writes the hell out of this issue, with the story moving quickly and the dialogue and thought balloons allowing the story to flow quite well. The fact that this story works so well, points out how good a villain Doom is for Iron Man. They are both reflections of one another.
Both wear armour to cover injuries, for different reasons.
Both are men of power, who wield it differently.
Both are armoured and at times overly proud.
Both are scientific and mechanical minded.
Both are often their own worst enemy.
These two are more fitting than Doom and Richards in many ways, it’s a shame that that is who Doom is so focused on.
Anyway, this was a great issue, which led to a great story afterwards and is well worth picking up.
Next Time: The revolving door of Avengers Mansion.