March 1986: Iron Man 207 – Or, wait the country is called Hot Mouth?

Synopsis: Heat was written by Denny O’Neil with art by Mark Bright, Atkin and Garvey and opens with Tony ‘Iron Man’ Stark (in full Silver Centurion armour) finishing construction of an orbiting space station, pleased with his handiwork. Also pleased is an un-named general from the Caribbean nation of Boca Caliente (you read that right, the nation is called Hot Mouth) who is meeting an un-named businessman on his yacht. The unsuspecting general is shot by the businessman who having financed the overthrow of the local government, wants to enjoy the fruits of that labour.

Elsewere, near the Artic Circle,, a member of the scientific terror group Advanced Idea Mechanics (or AIM) is imprisoned by his brothers in science. It’s not made explicit why the scientist supreme has imprisoned Yorgen Tykkio, but it’s most likely due to his megolamana as well as his designing of an orbital lens weapon marking him as a threat. The scientist supreme tells Yorgen of his plan to conquer Boca Caliente, which Yorgen dismisses as a waste of a weapon that can level cities. He’s left in the cell, but with his next meal comes a hidden means of escape.

Subplot time as we see Bethany Cabe searching Berlin for her ex Alex and finds him an apparent victim of an overdose in a skid row motel.

Back in California, Tony is back on earth and meets with James Rhodes about their contract to transport the cargo for a Targo corp. Tony tries to get Rhodey back into the Iron Man armour, but Rhodey’s having none of it. He’s happy enough to be a pilot helping get the cargo into space and his job helping on the business side with his partners Tony and Clymenestra Morely, who just shows up to quit to get another job tracking Halley’s comet. Later Rhodey flies the company shuttle into space and he and Iron Man help put Targo corp’s satellite into it’s orbit. Little did they pair know, but Targo is a front for AIM and it’s Tykkio’s orbital lens weapon that they positioned, once they have done it, AIM activate it and it fires on Boca Caliente.

The weapon reflects light from the sun and bounces a beam down to the surface which torches huge swathes of Boca Caliente as well as the business man who helped finance the recent coup. All Iron Man can do is watch as satellite he installed into orbit vaporises scores of innocent people.

Back with AIM, Yorgen escapes and starts fighting his way towards command of AIM, just as AIM vehicles seize control of the devastated nation of Boca Caliente. Iron Man however sees the danger the weapon represents to the whole world and battles with the satellite’s automatic defence systems and eventually destroys the whole thing. He’s now determined to bring AIM to justice as they become the government of Boca Caliene.

Notes: Lets just get this out of the way, a Caribbean island named the spanish for Hot Mouth? WTF?? There is a very bronze age feel to this sort of tale, almost silver age actually, with a fictional country and mad scientist villains. The prose gets a little purple, but feels very much like a classic Iron Man story.

Clymenestra is written out in a very clumsy way and the Bethany subplot didn’t make it very clear whether Alex was alive or not, but other than that this is a very well written story. The highlight though is the art, Bright has something of a cartoony style, which matches the maniacal Yorgen Tyykio very well and his armour scenes are rendered well enough that you can get some emotion from just the eye-slits and it all looks great. Sadly it does really do anything exceptional and it’s inevitably quite forgettable.

Next Time: I’ll have a P please Bob

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