Iron Man #213

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IronMan213-min“Featuring the all new Dominic Fortune”, Danny Fingeroth’s narrative for Issue Two Hundred And Thirteen of “Iron Man” arguably reads more like one of Ross Macdonald’s Golden Age detective novels than a super-hero comic book, with Jerry Fortunov prolifically pounding away at the men behind his legendary father’s death and Tony Stark’s alter-ego, for the most part at least, simply idly watching the inexperienced “costumed, fortune-seeking adventurer” discover his way to Simon Steele’s palatial residence. In fact, the young man, full of remorse for “a lifetime [of] ridiculing and ignoring” his “pop” is undoubtedly the star of this twenty-two page periodical, even after his “old geezer” miraculously turns up alive as one of Wolfgang von Lunt’s prisoners.

Far less enthralling however, is the New Yorker’s handling of Clytemnestra Erwin, one of Circuits Maximus’ most valued employees if the wealthy business magnate’s eagerness to retain her services during this storyline are sincere? Clearly intelligent, sporting no less than a doctorate in electrical engineering, the bespectacled scientist seemingly does little else but annoy all those she comes into contact with throughout this tale, especially Fortune’s distraught son when she rather patronisingly attempts to empathise with the lawyer over the loss of his dad; “We have a lot in common. I’ve been so confused trying to find meaning in my brother’s life after he was… murdered.”

Indeed, the woman’s misguided belief that Jerry wants her to stop him from tracking down his old man’s killer “otherwise he’d never have told me where he was going” arguably grates upon the nerves almost as badly as the New York City-born author’s belief that his audience would swallow the glamorous Elena von Lundt’s ruse of portraying an impossibly rejuvenated version of Duvid Fortunov’s ex-girlfriend simply because she was “the daughter of Sabbath… and of Steele’s brother!” It’s certainly hard to believe the dark-haired woman’s mother told her so much detailed information about her time with “Dom” forty-five years ago, that her offspring could then answer every one of the elderly former-spy’s most intimate questions…

Sadly this comic’s biggest disappointment though is Javier Saltares’ pencilling, which whilst competent enough to tell Fingeroth’s story and imbue his figures with plenty of dynamism, still appears rather rushed and sketchily-detailed in numerous panels, such as when Jerry is first captured by Steele’s men whilst breaking into his home or later when the amateur sleuth’s parent hides amongst his cell’s ceiling pipes. Of course, the American artist’s output on “Fortune’s Child” isn’t helped either by the garish printer ink used by “Marvel Comics” during this period of the Mid-Eighties.

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This article is the opinion of the author and does not represent the views of the site owner.
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For the past forty or so years I have been collecting American comics… To begin with they were predominantly black and white British reprints of “Marvel Comics Group” titles such as “Spider-Man Comics Weekly”, “The Mighty World of Marvel” and “Star Wars Weekly”; all six to ten pence editions I could store away under my bed in a large cardboard box. As a result though I was introduced to the teenage angst of Peter Parker, the discovery of a frozen Captain America by Earth's Mightiest Heroes, witnessed the dreadful rage of Doctor Bruce Banner, and even travelled to a galaxy far far away... Later I would be able to afford actual America colour comic books and supplemented my collection of “Marvel” titles such as “Conan the Barbarian”, “Howard the Duck” and “Captain America” with some “DC Comics” issues of “Batman”, “Green Lantern” and “Captain Carrot and his Amazing Zoo Crew”. There would even be time for Independent publications such as “Wildcats”, “Spawn” and “The Authority”. These days however I must admit to yearning back to the simpler times of Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, back to when both artwork and storylines were straightforward, easy to follow and super-heroes were just starting out on their adventures. A time when no-one had yet to be resurrected from the dead for the fourth time. I've written over seven hundred comic book reviews on my blog over the past few years, with them usually following my latest purchases, all wrapped up in a large brown paper bag, as well as occasional ‘flashbacks’ to some of the classic "Golden Age" issues I already own…

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