Iron Man #258.1
Marvel Comics (July, 2013)“The Thought That Killed” PLOT: David Micheline & Bob Layton SCRIPT: David Miceline BREAKDOWN ART: Dave Ross FINISHED ART: Bob Layton COLORIST: Chris Sotomayor SELECTED COVER ART: Dave Ross, Tom Palmer, & Chris Sotomayor LETTERER: Dave Lanphear ASSISTANT EDITORS: Michael Christatos & A.J. Fierro ASSOCIATE EDITOR: Tom Brennan EDITOR: Justin Gabrie
Before I start the synopsis there is something I should mention for context that I didn’t have while initially reading the comic. All I knew was that it was set around the time of the “Armor Wars 2” storyline and not having read it (I know, I know) I thought this multi-part story would be connected to that. However, I checked in with BW’s favorite Iron Man expert, “Hube”, who confirmed and completed a suspicion. This is in fact an alternate tale–to be exact how Layton had originally planned to do the storyline but for whatever reason it was passed to a different writer. So this is pretty much a “What If?“-style miniseries.
The first part of the comic sets up the events leading up to this issue’s starting point, a reminder for old readers and something for new readers. During a back surgery a “bio-mass” was found near where a chip had been implanted to help Tony walk again. (Long story.) While studying the bio-mass, the scanner goes haywire, as does the security system which now targets Tony and Iron Man. The culprit can kill through the computer…and wants to take over Tony’s life!
What they got right: Returning to a point when Iron Man was interesting. While I don’t understand going back and doing this now, I will give them credit for allowing Layton, aided my Micheline, a chance to tell the story he had. The art is good, although I never really cared for the armor from that period. While some set-up and “hey remember this” stuff happens at the beginning of the comic, it doesn’t take up a lot of time and focuses the majority on the actual intended story.
What they got wrong: I’m guessing Layton had no more use for Dr. Sondheim, although I’m told other writers did. That’s the danger of killing off characters so after getting that confirmation from Hube (my initial question to him about this miniseries) it seemed like a waste.
Recommendation: No brainwashing, no Civil War, and two of the legendary writers writing Iron Man again (and it was more enjoyable than “The End“, although I enjoyed that one). This is the Iron Man I want to read and I’m glad to be able to again. I was late to the party but I plan to pick up the rest of these to see what happens. Sorry there’s no Best Scene nominee from this one but it’s a good overall comic. Give it a look.