Iron Man vol. 3 #69
Marvel Comics (August, 2003)
WRITER: Robin Laws
PENCILER: Michael Ryan
INKERS: Sean Parsons & Rich Perrotta
COLORING: Avalon Studios
LETTERER: Randy Gentile
ASSISTANT EDITORS: Marc Sumerak & Andy Schmidt
EDITOR: Tom Brevoort
Iron Man and Temugin do battle but during the course of the fight they learn that it wasn’t Temugin behind the bombing but one of his servants. The man believed in Mandarin’s vision for China and the world and sought to push his son into the same goal as well as killing his father’s arch nemesis (despite what the MCU will try to tell you about Shang-Chi). Temugin allows the servant and his fellow co-conspirators to face justice for their crimes and to drop his father’s vision in favor of his own plan to fight what he considers a corrupt system, though whether he will still be a threat remains to be seen. Happy recovers, Streich actually apologies and confirms he forced Pepper to turn over the shut down remote, which he returns, and when Tony tries to call Rumiko she doesn’t pick up the phone.
What they got right: This is the closest thing we’ve had in a while to a superhero/supervillain fight, and while a final conclusion would have been nice I think the story is better served this way. As a conclusion to the arc it does well enough.
What they got wrong: I don’t blame Rumiko for ignoring Tony’s call. Like I said last time, the way she’s been treated in this story, even by Tony himself, it’s clear she’s still not welcome in the Iron Man part of his life and Laws really decided to have everyone treat her like dirt for the duration. Grell went through the trouble of making her character better and Laws just ruined it. I don’t know what caused her to take Tony back again and I don’t think I have the story where she does. She later gets killed some time after Tony is named Secretary Of Defense, but I dropped the series after Tony becomes SOD so I don’t have that story either. I hate seeing good characters go to waste.
Recommendation: “Manhunt” isn’t a bad story but I don’t like what it does to the characters and outside of the brief fight with Temugin it’s another tale where there is no supervillain for Tony to fight. It’s not one I would talk someone out of getting but I wouldn’t put it on a list of must-own stories either. I’m also sorry reviewing this arc got interrupted twice.