By David Michelinie and John Romita Jr. & various (Marvel)
This light, breezy thriller magically turns itself into one of the best super-hero sagas of the 1980s with its powerfully redemptive last chapter, but even before that the run of issues (reprinting Iron Man #120-128) from David Michelinie, John Romita Jr., Carmine Infantino and Bob Layton combine to make the epic battle of Good and Evil relevant to the modern reader.
Tony Stark is a millionaire inventor who moonlights as a super-hero by wearing a suit of armour stuffed with his ingenious creations, making Iron Man is one of the most powerful heroes in the Marvel Universe. The unrelenting pressure of running a multi-national corporation and saving the world has, by this point started to show itself in the subtle increase in Tony Stark’s partying – and drinking.
When a cascade of battles (against not only a vast array of super-villains but also amphibian superman and sometime ally the Sub-Mariner) prove to be caused by unscrupulous business rival Justin Hammer there is a mighty confrontation and resolution in grand comic-book style. But then Hammer plays his trump card…
Taking control of Iron Man’s armour, the evil plutocrat makes Stark the unwilling accomplice to a monstrous crime, pushing the hero over the edge and into a spiral of despair…
The fall and rise of a hero is a classic plot, and it’s seldom been better used in the graphic narrative medium and never bettered in the super-hero field. An adult and very mature tale for kids of all ages, it is an unforgettable instance of Triumph and Tragedy perfectly told. If you’ve never read Demon in a Bottle, and with the Iron Man movie release impending, there has never been a better time to seek out this superb adventure.
©1984, 2006 Marvel Characters, Inc. All Rights Reserved.