Okay, so this is the first truly GREAT issue of this comic since the Iron Man origin story way back in ToS #39.

First off, we get an extra-long Iron Man story illustrated by the great Steve Ditko.  It’s fun to see him draw Iron Man, but Stan Lee figures out an even better way to cross-promote, so we see Ditko renderings of all the Marvel stars of the day (above). 

The other reason it’s a fun issue is because we learn more stuff about Iron Man’s armor…

…and best of all, it’s another “let’s have good guys fight” story, this time with Angel vs. Iron Man.

Angel gets caught in an atomic explosion that soups up his powers and makes him evil.  Angel even quits the X-Men to go sign up with the Evil Mutants.

The X-Men don’t dare try to stop him alone because if he joins them, the Brotherhood will be unstoppable!

That Professor X got a big ego on him.  Just because he trained him, Angel will make the Brotherhood too powerful.  Angel is the Hawkeye of the X-Men: Easily their least powerful member.  Although he is the only one who can fly.  So, the X-Men seek out help (in the picture at the top of this post), and only Iron Man is available.

And so we get the big fight.

And Iron Man wins without the X-Men’s assistance.  Angel snaps out of it when he actually defeats Iron Man (which is ridiculous), but can’t watch him die.

Iron Man, interestingly enough, seems okay with dying in the panel above.

This is not a great way to end the story.  It makes it seem like Angel had an actual character transformation rather than a temporary mind-mutation from radiation.  I’m going to think of this issue, in my own mind, as showing that Angel is easily corruptible.  It makes sense given his future Archangel personality.

Also in this issue: Tales of the Watcher*

*By “special arrangement” with the Fantastic Four.  I love Stan Lee.  He’s such a cornball.

Uatu just provides a framing sequence for a thinly veiled anti-armament story.  Owning a short feature makes him more relevant, and you can see how Stan Lee is interested in developing the character.

Fun fact: This is the first Marvel comic I’ve seen where Larry Lieber did the art, and he would continue for the whole Tales of the Watcher series!

Creators: Stan and Steve (Iron Man story), Stan and his brother Larry (Watcher story).
Grade: A- for Iron Man, B for The Watcher.

Leave a Comment