Iron Man volume 3 #63
Marvel Comics (February, 2003)
“…What You Want”
WRITER: Mike Grell
PENCILER: Michael Ryan
INKER: Sean Parsons
COLORIST: Risa Rozegar
LETTERER: Chris Eliopoulos
ASSISTANT EDITORS: Mark Sumerak & Andy Schmidt
EDITOR: Tom Brevoort
Continued from last issue, Iron Man manages to escape the sub and a giant squid. While going over the log with the recovery team he finds a second signal that turns out to be the submarine the terrorists are using to deliver the bomb. As he pursues it and manages to get the bomb it appears that he may not defuse it in time until a bright light brings him back to Earth. Could it be tied to the missing angel statue that suddenly returned AND Rumiko’s mysterious run in with Angela (who mysteriously disappears during the discussion) that manages to convince the woman that maybe Tony is on to something with the whole helping people thing?
What they got right: As a Christian I can get behind the idea of an angel around Christmas saving New York from a terrorist attack and saving Iron Man while giving Rumiko a path to redemption. This is when Rumiko started to improve as a character and I started liking her a bit more. Yes, even after what she said to Pepper, and I’ll get back to that. What Grell is lacking in supervillains he’s making up for in decent threats for Iron Man to handle. The titles of these two issues refer to the Rolling Stones song and the theme matches up to the chorus: “You can’t always get what you want/but sometimes you get what you need”. Not necessarily Christmas music but one fitting the story’s theme and its loose Christmas connection. Iron Man even references it when blocking the terrorists’ declarative broadcast.
What they got wrong: The aforementioned lack of supervillains in his run, plus my continuing complaint about pushing Pepper and Happy apart while seeming to be trying to push Tony and Pepper together. The last writer proved that whatever feelings they had for each other in the early days of Iron Man’s life is no longer there, so why does Grell have to toss that out? Just let Pepper and Happy be together.
Recommendation: A story with a lot of heart and a decent tale for Christmas. Whatever problem I have with some of Grell’s choices I will not call him a bad writer. This arc may be worth checking out.