This one ended up in the wrong spot in my longbox, just to keep messing with me!
Iron Man #230
Marvel Comics (May, 1988)
“Stark Wars” chapter 6: “The Day The Hero Died”
WRITER: David Michelinie
BREAKDOWNS: M.D. Bright
CO-PLOTTER/FINISHES: Bob Layton
COLORIST: Bob Sharen
LETTERER: Janice Chiang
EDITOR: Mark Gruenwald
With Iron Man going crazy destroying armors based on his the military has created it’s own armor (meant to deal with fallen superheroes…allegedly) dubbed “Firepower”. Although the pilot, Jack Taggert, seems a little too ready to use it. Meanwhile, Tony is still smarting from having accidentally killed Titanium Man as Iron Man, even if it was in self-defense. He also has a programmer come up with a “tapeworm” virus that destroys all information on Iron Man stolen and sold by Justin Hammer, but Firepower still uses part of that stolen tech. Iron Man goes to confront him, but they’ve found a way to negate Stark’s negator pack and Iron Man can’t bring him down. When the military shows willingness to even let Rhodey be killed as collateral damage Iron Man, injured from his fight, manages to fly off, only to be hit by Firepower’s nuke…and seemingly killed!
What they got right: This is the only issue I have of this storyline (later rechristened “Armor Wars”, a storyline that has been translated in other continuities, including the good second season of the 90s Iron Man cartoon) but I can see glimpses of why it is still remembered. We see Tony finally seeing just how far he went with this whole thing. The fight with Firepower was good. And it was nice to see the military opposed Iron Man without necessarily looking evil, despite one jerkish moment against Tony Stark by one senator somehow in charge of this project.
What they got wrong: A nuke? I can using a powerful missile but even against Iron Man’s armor a small nuclear bomb is still overkill!
Recommendation: A good story and I would love to read the rest of this and get the rest of the Iron Man comics from this time period. Worth picking up.