Iron Man volume 3 #49
Marvel Comics (February, 2002)
“‘Nuff Said” didn’t just steal one of Stan Lee’s expressions, it was a gimmick created by then publisher Bill Jemas and Editor In Chief Joe Quesada that for a change made for interesting storytelling. (You know what they say about broken clocks.) The challenge was to do an entire story without dialog. Apparently this issue not only decided not to have a title it didn’t have any credit either. I had to go to the Grand Comic Database to find them.
WRITER: Frank Tieri (his last issue, and he’s only credited on the cover and in the sample script pages at the back of the book)
PENCILER: Chris Batista
INKER: Rich Perotta
COLORING: Edgar Tadeo; Avalon Studios (either Tadeo worked for Avalon or they did the separations)
LETTERER: Randy Gentile; Sharpefont (I’m assuming Gentile worked for Sharpefont but the only lettering he had to do if that were computer readouts unless he helped the art team with some of the in-world lettering. There aren’t even sound effects in this comic and as mentioned no credits.)
ASSISTANT EDITORS: Jeff Youngquist & Marc Sumerak
EDITOR: Tom Brevoort
As Iron Man works on a satellite the new Stark Enterprises building is attacked by Titanium Man, who now appears to be working with Stark-Fujikawa. We don’t see his face (and in the script that’s intentional) so we don’t know if it’s Boris Bullski or someone inspired by him but he smashes his way into the building and makes quick work of Sun Tao, Happy, and Pepper, then tracks Iron Man into space. Iron Man barely wins the encounter but falls back to Earth, just in front of his damaged building, while a Stark-Fujikawa shuttle retrieves Titanium Man.
What they got right: The story is one big fight, which makes sense given the lack of dialog and the emphasis on visuals. However, they do manage to set up the situation without dialog rather well. We know this is either Bullski or a new Titanium Man (revealed by later writers to not be Bullski) as well as Titanium’s history with Iron Man (his historic defeat in the early years of the series all the way back to Tales Of Suspense) through news clippings, see his ties to the company that bought Stark Industries when Tony was in the Heroes Reborn universe through signs in his room and a shuttle bearing the company name, and learn what Tony is doing as the story begins. Luckily they also got a really good art team so those visuals are a thing of beauty. I also like the additions of Tieri’s scrips so you can see what he envisioned and how the penciler and inker interpreted it.
What they got wrong: Not crediting these people in the comic. If you’re going to make a story where the visuals are important and the writer’s last tale for the comic you would think you’d make sure they’re credited somewhere.
Recommendation: I’ve been highly negative of Frank Tieri’s run and I stand by it, but I have to admit he ended on a really good story with a gimmick that actually worked because it was about the story even if it did favor the art team. Although given the art at the time I’m glad they put a good art team together for it. This is one to check out for something different.