IRON MAN #18-20 (1999): Machinery of War

There’s been a bubbling Sunset Bain story, and these issues bring it to a close. After the Fin Fang Foom fight, Bain’s company wins the contract to deal with the sleeping (dead?) dragon’s body, which is near Stark International property.

Given the proximity, she infiltrates Stark’s area and steals the body of Jocasta.

Iron Man finds out, frees the bride of Ultron, and also gets the new War Machine to quit working for Bain. In the end, Jocasta destroys her own robot head rather than be reprogrammed for evil–and decides to live inside Tony’s mainframe.

Throughout, recovering alcoholic Tony Stark tries to help Carol “Warbird” Danvers stay sober. I wish there was more of this storyline. The Bain stuff is good, but the sobriety stuff is much more interesting and novel.

The epilogue to this story has the body of what appears to be Madame Mask being found on an abandoned oil rig in New Jersey, leading to the question whether she’s the real one, since Masque has died at least twice in Marvel history.

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