Thursday, January 30, 2014



“I’m just like everybody else now, Pepper. I’m just…normal. And I hate being normal.”

- Tony Stark

     For context, there was a time when I was out of the loop with comics, and I wanted to get back in. So, I remember asking someone in my college cafeteria: “What’s happening with The Avengers these days?” All I knew of The Avengers back then was from videogames, and a few appearances in cartoons. He said: “Oh, they disbanded.” I said: “What?”  Okay, so my jaw dropped. So, when I got back into comics, the first storyline I followed was “The Avengers: Secret Invasion” slightly before the first Iron Man movie came out.

Okay, that was for context. Because I believe “World’s Most Dangerous” may have been an attempt to close that Secret Invasion/Iron Man story arc, and here I have only one part of the story. But, it’s a good one! Tony Stark is on the run from Norman Osborn, who became a mayor, stole Tony’s tech and replaced SHIELD with HAMMER. Anyway, this is less an action graphic novel and more a chase across the globe…though there are battle scenes.

What bothers me the most though about this comic is the way Tony Stark is destroying knowledge of his tech by giving himself memory loss and brain damage. Surely, there must be a more efficient way…but we can tell in this respect that the Marvel movie era is in full swing, as it has him swing by Russia, and ultimately to Afghanistan, where it all began…previously his origin began in China.

Cleverly, he borrows Crimson Dynamo’s suit (an older Russian model.) as his understanding of more complex suits begins to dwindle. But, this gets him clobbered by Pepper Potts in her own suit until they recognize each other…there is some forced drama…but it’s nice to see Pepper kick butt for once.

In a way, the story is oddly prophetic…in Iron Man 3 he DOES DESTROY his suits for no good reason. I know…true love or something. But it least here he’s got brain damage as an excuse. There’s a subplot with Iron Man and Madam Masque, suggesting they had an affair…because of his brain damage? I guess when you remove Stark’s intelligence…he becomes a real jerk. But, I suppose he’s doing it for a good cause.

Lastly, at the big showdown in The Middle East…he gets shot by some terrorists, and he tells them they should just finish the job. But, they can’t, seeing that he’s not the “eternal angel of death” they make him out to be. The message is kinda mixed. It’s forgiveness and self-sacrifice, but also…he has the brain damage…which also seems to insinuate that he has a license to be a jerk.

The ending was satisfying, though. Because Stark gets the crap beat out of him by Osborn, showing the world’s media that Osborn isn’t a hero. So, he’s on the way out. It’s an all right read. Especially the little cameo reveal at the end by Thor-in-disguise! Maybe he can give him his brain back! I mean, without his brain, he is kind of a jerk. And I know it’s about empathy and self-sacrifice, but the way it’s portrayed is hardly a disability rights spin. But, maybe that’s next issue…also the art is fantastic…in spite of the sappiness! 2 out 5 stars!

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