Iron Man volume 3 #25
Marvel Comics (February, 2000)
CO-PLOTTER: Kurt Busiek
CO-PLOTTER/WRITER: Roger Stern
PENCILERS: Sean Chen, Bob Layton, Tom Lyle, Yancy Labat, and Bernard Chang
INKERS: Bob Layton, Rob Hunter, Mark Pennington, and Don Hillsman
COLORIST: Steve Oliff
LETTERERS: Wes Abbot & Troy Peteri
EDITOR: Bobbie Chase
With the device Iron Man used to stop Ultimo ineffective and none of the superhero teams available, it’s up to Iron Man, Sapper, Golden-Blade, the military, and SHIELD to bring Ultimo down, and they’re not doing so well, slowing him down but not stopping him from making his way across Washington state and stepping on Spokane before reaching Sapper’s spaceship and the alien beings in stasis there. Tony comes up with the idea of getting the information Stark-Fujikawa used to control him before. Meanwhile, Carol checks herself out of the hospital and despite the doctor’s warning that one more drink will kill her, she ends up in a bar until she sees Iron Man’s battle and realizes Tony didn’t just dump her off. Using some damaged power lines outside to power up (which also clears her head and reminds her what happened during her battle with Iron Man), Warbird head out to back up the others, bringing Iron Man a rig that will allow him to take control of Ultimo and shut him down for good. SHIELD takes him apart, which is the only tech they’re getting since Iron Man used Ultimo’s power supply to recharge Sapper’s ship, allowing him and Golden-Blade to head back into space. There is the spark of reconciliation between Happy and Pepper, while Carol Danvers faces her biggest challenge ever…a AA meeting, where she admits she’s an alcoholic.
What they got right: This was a huge payoff to pretty much everything up to this point. Iron Man and Ultimo, Carol’s story arc as an alcoholic, Sapper and Golden-Blade’s story, and even Happy and Pepper’s relationship. It’s not all wrapped up of course but they all get used well here and things are looking up. Tony even realizes Iron Man isn’t an addiction but another tool besides his wealth and skills that he uses to help people. So hopefully that character thread is wrapped up.
What they got wrong: While most of the artists do a good job there are a few that aren’t as good, making their chapters or interludes stand out in a bad way.
Recommendation: A fantastic finale. Give this story line and this issue a look. I wonder if Marvel even remembers this part of Carol Danvers’ life?