IRON MAN 2.O #2 (Marvel Comics, April 2011 – release date 3/16/2011) Nick Spencer, Writer. Barry Kitson, Kano & Carmine Di Giandomenico, Artists. Matthew Wilson, Colorist. VC’s Joe Caramagna, Letterer. “Palmer Addley Is Dead” Part 2 of 3
It wasn’t that long ago that I reviewed Iron Man 2.0 Issue #1 (BC REFUGEES, March 11, 2011) . It was my first encounter with the work of writer Nick Spencer (MORNING GLORIES, ACTION COMICS, etc) and I was impressed. He did an outstanding job in the first issue of establishing the new setting for the main character (James Rhodes, War Machine), and then set about planting clues and information for what became a very intriguing mystery for Rhodey to figure out and solve. I anxiously awaited Issue #2 so I could learn more - - so I snatched the last copy of this off the shelves of Captain Blue Hen today. (Sold all their copies by the 3rd day of display? - - not too shabby! I’m sure they had at least 8-10 copies in their new releases section.)
Why isn’t this book called WAR MACHINE Volume 3, you ask? The reason has to do with Rhodey’s new assignment and Stark Industries’ obligation to the federal government and the military. As the contents page summary puts it so succinctly . . .
“Lt. Col. James (Rhodey) Rhodes is a U.S. Marine Corps pilot and a good friend of Tony Stark - - the Invincible Iron Man. When Stark equipped a suit of Iron Man armor with custom heavy ordnance, Rhodey became the hero War Machine . . . and when War Machine lent his services to the United States in the interest of national security, he became the Department of Defense’s own . . . IRON MAN 2.0.”
In IRON MAN 2.0 #2 - - Rhodey continues to investigate the continuing terror attacks using weapons technology developed by a now deceased (suicide) agency developer (Palmer Addley). Who leaked his plans, and who’s building the weapons?
In the opening pages, set in Baghdad, Iraq a U.S. bomb team successfully dismantles and removes a vest bomb from a citizen forced to wear it. However, due to some sabotage (and the mention of Palmer Addley again) the bomb explodes with devastating consequences. This opening sequence is very suspenseful as the bomb team works to dismantle the device. It gives evidence that writer Spencer has some detailed military knowledge (or he just watched THE HURT LOCKER enough times until he memorized the details). This sequence was very convincing.
Rhodey recruits Suzi Endo, a communications expert, to help him trace the source of the bomb - - which leads to Russia. Apparently Rhodey and Suzi had a brief romance brewing in their past. Rhodey investigates the Russian location and quickly finds himself rendered helpless and his armor power locked down.
I’m not going to give away anymore. Don’t wait for the trade. Go out there and snatch up Issues #1 and 2. The first story arc concludes next issue, and it should be a fascinating ending. Show your support for single issue sales - - good numbers ensures that the trade edition will get published.