Iron Man volume 3 #45
Marvel Comics (October, 2001)
“The Big Bang Theory” finale
WRITER: Frank Tieri
PENCILER: Keron Grant
INKERS: Stull & Perrotta
COLORIST: Edgar Tadeo
LETTERING: Dave Sharpe
ASSISTANT EDITOR: Andrew Lis
EXECUTIVE EDITOR: Bobbie Chase
The comic notes that new editors take over next issue.
Iron Man uses his wits to bring down the AIM company but Ghost manages to disrupt Tony’s mechanical heart, allowing him and MODOK to each escape. Jocasta takes over Tony’s armor as he passes out and manages to get him home to recover. Later, Tony gets a surprise donation from the late Trevor Donahue that allows him to save Askew Technologies, although he’s in hot water with Calista for his subterfuge. Tony also learns that Ghost has been disguising himself among the companies he blew up, and even plan to take down AIM’s company when he was done as part of his war on corporations. Iron Man manages to stop him, but learns his mechanical heart adapted to Ghost’s attack, which concerns Tony. Still, he’s back in the positive news in both identities, plans to make Donohue’s gift into a brand new Stark Enterprises, and is considering even bringing the businesses bought by Fujikawa back into the fold.
What they got right: This is a good finale to the story arc. The question of whether or not Tiberius messed with his head to get him to quit is left vague, so the readers can decide for themselves if Tony really needed a break or Ty messed with him. The fights were good and I guess Tieri makes a decent case for returning Stark to his corporate status even if I think Stark Solutions offered story ideas that were never tapped into once Busiek left the title.
What they got wrong: The crap art is back, and after last issue it looks even worse in comparison. Going after the Stark side of Stark/Fujikawa may come of as payback for Rumiko dumping him for Stone and at this point I would have rather she just faded away as it wasn’t until later writers that she began to be interesting. I’d rather see him build a new company out of Donahue Development as he turns a former weapons maker into something different. It’s what he did with his original company and since they’re rehashing stuff and resetting history they might as well write off Fujikawa and do their own thing.
Recommendation: A good storyline overall and it might be worth checking out.