Iron Man volume 3 #65
Marvel Comics (April, 2003)
“Manhunt” part 1
PLOT: Mike Grell
SCRIPT: Mike Grell & Robin Laws
PENCILER: Michael Ryan
INKER: Sean Parsons
COLORIST: Arsia Rozegar
LETTERER: Randy Gentile
ASSISTANT EDITORS: Marc Sumerak & Andy Scmidt
EDITOR: Tom Brevoort
A parking garage explodes as an energy blast tears into the Chinese Embassy. Iron Man heads to help and find evidence that the cause might have been a device he designed for SHIELD but was rejected because it explodes. Did someone hack Stark Enterprises or SHIELD? Tony is diverted from this when he tries to talk to a drunken Happy at the bar, and his own regrets cause him to accidentally tell Happy about Pepper being pregnant, causing the drunk Happy to punch him. This ends up saving Tony when a sniper takes a shot at him and hits Happy instead.
What they got right: We have the makings of a good mystery here. Who attacked the embassy and why? Why is someone trying to kill Tony…AGAIN! (Please for the love of GOD tell me this isn’t STILL the same assassination attempt from the early days of this volume.) Also I really like the art.
What they got wrong: Still no supervillains I see. I’m also sick of this subplot with Happy and Pepper. Where previous writers were trying to drive them back together Grell seems to want to tear them back apart and put Pepper with Tony, so why is Rumiko even here and improved? It’s just so unnecessary and a terrible thing to do to the characters.
Recommendation: I’m reserving judgement for the moment because this is another five-part arc (we’re in “trade writing” territory now) but as a start this isn’t a bad issue.