This the last of the reprints from Iron Man vol. 3 #46, the “100 Page Monster”. Next Marvel Tuesday we’ll see…an annual. We’ll have to wait yet another week to see what happened with the Sons Of Yinsen and Sun Tao. Sorry.
Iron Man #141
Marvel Comics Group (December, 1980)
“The Caribbean Connection”
PLOT: David Michelinie & Bob Layton
WRITER: David Michelinie
PENCILER: John Romita, Jr.
FINISHES: Bob Layton
COLORISTS: Nelson Yomtov & Ed Hannigan
LETTERER: John Costanza
EDITOR: Jim Salicrup
Tony gets Rhodey back to the house when they’re rescued by the authorities, and Tony is the first eyewitness to the series of yacht thefts in the area. Meanwhile, Bethany meets the man behind it, Justin Hammer. He’s using the yachts Force has stolen as part of a drug smuggling operation and he also plans to sell the people on the yachts for ransom. Iron Man manages to find Hammer’s sub and ends up in a battle with Force, whose armor generates force fields. However, Iron Man’s armor proves the better and he manages to defeat the villain and invade the sub. Hammer escapes but Iron Man draining the sub’s power to recharge his armor shorts the locks on the prisoners’ cells and they escape in the boats. Hammer’s plan is as sunk as his sub.
What they got right: This was a really good finale. Bethany shows her skills in rallying the other prisoners and stealing back the opiate-filled yachts while not eclipsing what Iron Man is doing. (Good luck with that today.) The battle between Iron Man and Force is a good one. The subplot involving the dead town comes up again but it doesn’t add anything to the story itself, although it may be the right place to set things up. I did a quick check and it leads to the next story so I ended up moving that part up here.
What they got wrong: We don’t see if Force managed to get away or if he was taken in by authorities or Iron Man. All we find out is that Hammer covered his tracks with the sub and the drugs were confiscated by the island police. (I wonder, if Tony owns the island can he still be prosecuted if he’s accused of doing something wrong? Just a thought, not necessarily something wrong with the story.) Also, these stories were better than what was in the main book, and even the odd version of the “Tony put a nose on the faceplate for some reason” armor is better looking than the SKIN armor.
Recommendation: The actual issues reprinted here, especially this two-parter, are worth picking up.