This is why Tony switched to repulsor propulsion instead of the rocket boots.

Iron Man volume 3 #54

Marvel Comics (June, 2002)

“Book Of The Ten Rings” part 2

WRITER: Mike Grell

PENCILER: Michael Ryan

INKER: Sean Parsons

COLORIST: Arisia Rozegar

LETTERER: Chris Eliopoulos

ASSISTANT EDITOR: Marc Sumerak

EDITOR: Tom Brevoort

Tony is surprised to see Ayisha alive, kept that way by the armor, which also forced her to make herself into a cyborg since it’s driven by the wearer’s survival. Now a monster in her eyes and no longer able to care for her daughter, Ayisha asks Tony to find a way to let her die but he can’t bring himself to do it.  In order to force him she attacks Pepper in hopes that he’ll come after her for revenge. This leads to the death of her unborn child she hadn’t told anyone about yet, waiting for Happy to return. Iron Man goes after Aiysha, following the trail of the attacks and realizing she’s now hooked on Sleeping Dragon. Meanwhile, Temugin is forced to take over the Mandarin’s operation but he sacrifices the drug factory thinking he’s drawing Iron Man and unaware of Ayisha. He must rest his father’s spirit but he has other plans beyond that.

What they got right: The pacing is better than last issue’s. Ayisha’s story is the A plot and Tenugin’s the B plot. Both are pushed by things they can’t control but there is no other connection between them outside of Mandarin’s people creating the drug she’s now attached to. While a thematic connection would have been better, having no further connection is fine as both elements hopefully come together in a satisfying manner. I do feel for Aiysha’s situation, and it makes sense that she’d want to die. It also makes sense for Tony to want to find a way to save her but I kind of side with her. I’m not sure even Tony could pull off this miracle.

What they got wrong: This rudimentary AI still seems better than what was in the early Iron Man suits, and it seems way too advanced. Where is it getting the drugs from? Shouldn’t it run out…then again how does the Iron Man armor hold all that jet fuel before the movies introduced the repulsors being used for flight as well as attack? Okay, fine, but how does it know how to use the tank parts to rebuild Ayisha? That has to be programmed and I don’t think pre-shrapnel Tony would do that. Also, why is the title story the B plot? And don’t think I forgot they killed the fetus. Why kill off Pepper and Happy’s baby? Was there a point? It’s not like it was a plot thread left over. It was literally introduced in this issue.

Recommendation: An improvement over last issue on a technical level but I have some personal issues with the details. Still might end up being worth a look. We’ll see where it goes.

About ShadowWing Tronix

A would be comic writer looking to organize his living space as well as his thoughts. So I have a blog for each goal. :)

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