Iron Man #255



IronMan255-minConsidering that “Switching Channels” manages to include the fascinating first appearances of both the “mentally unstable” Freak Quincy, who is inexplicably able to receive “all radio, television, and other transmissions directly into his head at all times”, as well as Colonel-General Valentin Shatalov as the second Crimson Dynamo, this twenty-two page periodical is perhaps understandably a rather rushed affair which must have disappointed its readers and made them wish Editor-in-Chief Tom DeFalco had insisted writers Glenn Herdling and Fabian Nicieza extend their intriguing story-arc by at least one or two more instalments. Indeed, this publication’s sub-plot of a Komitet Gosudarstvennoy Bezopasnosti (KGB) officer swapping minds with Tony Stark and resultantly having “<Every American military secret at my fingertips>” is arguably alone worth exploring within the covers of at least a couple more ‘Invincible’ issues alone, especially when Lieutenant-Colonel Yelena Brement’s intimate partner realises he also has “<control over the world’s largest industrial facility> and plans to severely cripple whatever technological assets he cannot steal.

Sadly however, rather than thoroughly explore such a scary situation, this Cold War comic’s collaborative couple scandalously squander so mouth-watering an opportunity by disconcertingly racing through what could have been a fascinating telephone conversation between the titular character (inhabiting the body of Mother Russia’s “true champion”) and his adversarially arrogant ‘doppelganger’ in just a handful of sketchily-drawn Herb Trimpe pencilled panels; “There is still much for me to learn here… Oh, and Tony don’t call me, I’ll call you.” In addition, the evident rivalry between Gregori Larionov and “the KGB-backed Crimson Dynamo”, which creates the vast majority of this comic’s action sequences within “a military complex in the Soviet city of Khimky”, is debatably only explored simply for the new Devastator to provide a power source of “satellite transmissions” with which to realign “the individual minds within their proper bodies.”

Annoyingly, the narrative to Issue Two Hundred And Fifty Five of “Iron Man” doesn’t seemingly treat Shell-Head’s questionable antagonist Quincy much better either, with the intriguingly powerful, erratically-minded ‘villain’ shown to “possess the ability” to override electrical broadcasts such as Tony Stark’s spinal bio-chip” without any thought whatsoever. Just how the eventually armless intruder ever acquired such incredible power though is frustratingly never properly explained, nor is his presence at the Stark Enterprises Experimental Testing Grounds, Point Mugu in California at just before seven o’clock in the morning. Instead, this publication’s audience are apparently expected to just believe Iron Man intuitively understands the troubled interloper’s abilities and can easily reverse the damage they have caused…

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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