Iron Man vol. 3 #5
Marvel Comics (June, 1998)
“Into The Fire”
WRITER: Kurt Busiek
PENCILER: Sean Chen
INKERS: Sean Parsons & Eric Cannon
LETTERER: Kolja Fuchs
EDITOR: Bobbie Chase
Some credits checked with comics.org because the inkers were only credited with last names and the letter with initials. If you’re not going to credit right, don’t bother!
Iron Man races to rescue the citizens near the volcano, then breaks through the dampening field around the island to call for help. He also gets a mysterious data package with Firebrand’s history and his harness’s schematics. Firebrand was already an environmental extremist before being injured by a guard at a plant his group wanted to prove was unsafe…by blowing it up of course. Richard Dennison was transformed into Firebrand. Doctors tried to help him until a terrorist group calling themselves the Flaming Sword took his tank, further altered him (which caused him to go further insane…as if being turned into living burning plasma wasn’t enough), and are now using him to divert attention while they attempt to rob the island blind. Rhodey is able to chase them off with help, and Rumiko does what she can for the injured while Iron Man takes over Firebrand’s harness, which he uses to stop the volcano thanks to some expert help. Firebrand and the Flaming Sword escape without their ill-gotten gains but with many dead and much of the island destroyed. And yet they’re already rebuilding and opening what they can. Back in the US Pepper gets into a fight with Happy and receives a call from Black Widow, asking for Tony’s help.
What they got right: There’s some really good action, and not just from Iron Man. Rumiko surprises everyone by not just being some party girl angry at her parents for not letting her work in the family business. Rhodey turns the remaining police into a militia to repel the terrorists. And Tony uses his brain as much as his armor, even calling on an expert for advice to stop the volcano. There’s a lot of heroism on display, which is what I want out of my superhero comic.
What they got wrong: For those of you who didn’t read the comments of the last issue’s review, apparently Busiek isn’t responsible for Happy and Pepper breaking up. So who DO I blame for this idea? It’s the only complaint I have with this issue and now I can’t even blame the writer.
Recommendation: I’m still really enjoying this run. This is the Iron Man I want (no offense to Ironheart, who I want to have her own book and a writer not afraid to give her a proper challenge to overcome for fear of being accused of dumb things by dumb people). Pick these issues up.