IRON MAN #8-10 (1998): Revenge of the Mandarin

Issue #8 isn’t labeled as part of the two-story arc, “Revenge of the Mandarin,” but it is. Tony is attacked by Whiplash while on business in Europe. I am assuming his attack is to clear up that he’s not named Blacklash…

Or to show off his new S and M gear. (Why did Sean Chen make him look like that??)

Iron Man wins, and back in his hotel room, Tony talks with Pepper and Happy before realizing that Mandarin has bugged the room–and now knows that Tony and Iron Man are the same person.

He then gets attacked by the Fantastic Four…

…No, sorry. I mean the “Espionage Elite,” who work for Spymaster (who planted the spy-bugs on behalf of Mandarin). Black Widow intervenes on armorless Tony’s behalf, but it’s too late–Tony has been critically injured.

Widow revives tony by using her widow’s sting as a defribillator.

Despite being severely wounded, he goes after Mandarin himself. It turns out, Mandarin is invading Russia–so we get the new Soviet Super Soldier lineup (now called Winter Guard) defending against Mandarin’s attack, and Iron Man helping.

Some Avengers join in, too.

Iron Man gets captured.

Of course he escapes by being super-smart, and blows up Mandarin’s base–seeming to kill his foe (but we all know better of course).

Subplot alert! Someone kills Madame Masque and steals her identity!

I don’t really understand what’s going on here. Whitney Frost is a major character and her death seems to be a footnote in this issue.

Apparently, they’re all Frost-dupes. But I’m tagging them as the original anyway because what’s the real difference? If you like Madame Masque, this is basically her.

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