Iron Man vol. 3 #42
Marvel Comics (July, 2001)
“The Big Bang Theory”
WRITER: Frank Tieri
PENCILER: Keron Grant
INKERS: Stull, Story, & Perotta
COLORIST: Edgar Tadeo
ASSISTANT EDITOR: Andrew Lis
EXECUTIVE EDITOR: Bobbie Chase
Tony begins his new life as IT man Hogan Potts of Askew Electronics, while his namesakes try to deal with the fallout of Tony’s quitting his life. However, Tony/Hogan is still doing his Iron Man thing, battling the Shocker with a barely-working prototype armor and helping Askew test out a new liquid metal like technology called SKIN as well as finally upgrading his armor. However, a bomber is targeting high tech companies with a virus that turns computers into bombs, and it just got into Iron Man’s new prototype!
What they got right: SKIN is less grows than the Extremis we’ll see later on (although they’ll ruin SKIN in a later story). The idea of Tony Stark, working stiff does offer some interesting ideas although as I recall it only lasts for this one arc.
What they got wrong: The art is still ugly as heck! Men are too beefy, the armor is too chunky even for a prototype, and everybody’s heads are way too long. I also find it impossible to believe a computer virus that’s sent through email or however they got it into the armor can turn an ordinary business PC into an explosive device at all, never mine powerful enough to destroy a good half of a skyscraper! That’s just nonsense even by 2001 knowledge of computers.
Recommendation: Potentially good ideas ruined by dumb writing and bad art. Avoid this one.