Iron Man vol. 3 #6
Marvel Comics (July, 1998)
WRITER: Kurt Busiek
PENCILER: Patrick Zircher
PLOT ASSIST: Richard Howell
INKER: Jon Holdredge
COLORIST: Steve Oliff
EDITOR: Bobbie Chase
The Black Widow, Natasha Romanoff, seeks Tony’s help in an operation to find missing electronics scientists, by pretty much being bait. To pull this off he will have to go without his armor. Unfortunately Natasha is distracted by another assassin going after Tony (he probably should have mentioned them) and while she deals with him Tony is kidnapped by agents of the Arms Merchant. Tony is able to get a tracking signal to Natasha, who comes in and brings the armor just in time for the lady in charge, Araoha Tepania, to reveal her shapeshifting powers as Tuatara. Iron Man is able to hold her off, but she flees when SHIELD shows up, having sent all the data along to the Arms Merchant. Tony decides it’s time to challenge this guy directly. Meanwhile Doreen is secretly hiding microphones around Stark Solutions.
What they got right: It’s nice to see what Tony can do without the Iron Man armor, finding a way to contact the Black Widow for help without being discovered. The subplot with Doreen and the Arms Merchant, and the assassins continue to be interesting and blend together better than anything Simon Furman has been doing in the Transformers comics I’ve been reviewing lately. Tony and Natasha always make an interesting team, even before the second live-action movie.
What they got wrong: I would have liked to have seen a decisive victory between Iron Man and Tuatara but hopefully we’ll get that later on and this was just a warm-up. And any momentum with the Arms Merchant is about to take a break thanks to a crossover mini-event, “Live Kree Or Die”.
Recommendation: Another good story. Pick it up if you come across it.