Iron Man: Bad Blood #2
Marvel Comics (October, 2000)
PLOT: David Michelinie & Bob Layton
WRITER: David Michelinie
ARTIST: Bob Layton
COLORIST: Steve Oliff
LETTERER: Troy Peteri
EDITOR: Bobbie Chase
Tony has been getting more and more aggressive since firing Happy and everyone around him can see it. Tony’s adding more powerful weapons to the “escape” armor, he nearly clobbered a potential client in a game of racketball as Rumiko watched, and he pretty much threatened Rhodey’s life. Then when he learns where Spymaster is Iron Man goes after him, causing damage and injury around Seattle until he finally brings him down. And what does this have to do with Justin Hammer flying up into a pool of water?
What they got right: Tony falls further into a more aggressive state, deepening the mystery of what’s happening to him. I like the design of the Evader armor as well as Spymaster’s new digs (seen on the cover). I have no problems with the story since Tony acting out of character is actually the point rather than some writer re-writing his character for their own amusement. (Not naming names, and I do mean names plural.)
What they got wrong: Some of the poses are a bit awkward, which is odd for someone with Layton’s skill. Like a few look like a pose I would do in a hurry and I’m nowhere near his level. The cameo by Fraiser and Niles Crane (not even their actors but the characters themselves, which would have made more sense even though the show wasn’t filmed in Seattle as far as I’m aware) seemed odd.
Recommendation: I have some theories on where this works in my collection’s timeline but I’m still trying to decide. Overall it’s still a good story and worth giving a look.