web stats

CSBG Archive

A Year of Cool Comic Book Moments – Day 47

Here is the latest cool comic book moment in our year-long look at one cool comic book moment a day (in no particular order whatsoever)! Here‘s the archive of the moments posted so far!

Today we look at a cool scene from the great Iron Man run of David Michelinie and Bob Layton, only this issue is notable in that it was actually a fill-in penciler who still produced a great moment!

Enjoy!

Now, don’t get me wrong, pencilers were mostly not AS big of a deal when it came to the artwork of the David Michelinie and Bob Layton Iron Man run, as Layton was finishing everyone’s pencils, so in the end, they all looked more or less like Layton, whether they be John Romita Jr. or John Byrne, so however good of an artist Jerry Bingham was (and he was a good artist), the following pages are really a bit more Layton than Bingham.

In a cool two-part story, with pencils by Bingham, Michelinie and Layton did a little thing they did every once in awhile (I dunno who was the driving force behind this, but Michelinie also used to do this on his solo work, if that’s any indication) which was write stories that addressed things that they felt should have been addressed in the “real” Marvel Universe.

Like inventing Justin Hammer to explain how all these costumed villains got their hi-tech gear (and why they didn’t just use that know-how to sell their costumes rather than rob banks).

Or, in Iron man #131-132, why Bruce Banner and Tony Stark never got together to try to cure Banner’s condition.

That’s what happens here, but of course, things go badly, and Iron Man and the Hulk are forced to fight, a fight that Iron Man had never won at that point in time.

The Hulk destroys a Learjet and the explosion does nothing to stop him, putting Iron Man into a bit of a desperate situation…

leading to this, which I suppose I would classify as the official “moment” of it all (click on the splash page to enlarge)…

So cool.

And it’s followed by a great ending (click to enlarge)…

What a cool Iron Man run.

37 Comments

Has this run ever been collected? I’ve never liked Michilinie’s work that I’ve tried (I read his Avengers, Amazing Spider-Man and his 90s Iron Man run), but I keep hearing this is the run that will change my opinion of him. I’d love to give it a shot.

“FWA-WHA-WHA-BWOM!”

They don’t make sound effects like that anymore! :D

That was a great moment. All the more reason to be pissed that he can’t take down the Hulk using armor thats supposed to be leaps and bounds better than the armor he used back then.

Brilliant run! I’d call it the best Iron Man run ever, but, you know, it’s also the only one I’ve read.

Even so, I don’t think you’d be very far off.

The next issue’s great, too, with Ant-Man inside Iron Man’s armor, FANTASTIC VOYAGE-style, trying to save Tony.

Which I suppose answers the question, what if Tony Stark got trapped in his armor?

Was Ultimate Human inspired by this story? At least the first two issues had Tony and Bruce try to find a cure for the Hulk which eventually leads to a fight between Iron Man and Hulk and Iron Man running completely out of juice.

“The Hulk’s out colder than a well-digger’s ascot!”

Wha?!?

Nonetheless, that’s awesome. I think I’m putting those on my want list.

that was one of those moments that had me go om someone proved that the Hulk could be taken down even though it took down iron man also. would love it if it gets put in trade some day if its not there already

Best things about this issues:

1) The Hulk’s “underwater hairstyle” on the cover to #132

2) The sound of Iron Man falling over is “CHUD.”

3) “Well digger’s ascot”??? WTF?

“One punch!”

Yeah, “Bwom” is a bizarre sound effect, but I remember this issue, and it is a cool bit. Excellent booklong fight scene, really.

I agree, this was a great run.

Not sure if it’s been collected though. I don’t think they’ve even got this far yet in the Essential collections.

Um yeah, that’s the one thing that stuck in my head “Well-digger’s ascot”… !??!

Can we post that to the Mailbag, Brian?

Wow! A Hulk that’s a big strong green guy and not 10 feet tall, 10 feet wide and has fourteen muscles for every one that a normal person has.

Incredible Hercules has some really cool sound effects too.
They used a “CRACKAJAMMA” in a previous issue, if I recall

long time reader, first time .. caller?
curious, what’s the reason that tony never helped banner?

My favorite sound effect from Incredible Herc was in the (I believe) last issue – Reality has been warped and women rule the world, and as Herc busts through a wall to go after the Amazon that changed reality, the sound effect was “KCATTANAM!”

Um yeah, that’s the one thing that stuck in my head “Well-digger’s ascot”… !??!

Can we post that to the Mailbag, Brian?

By David Michilinie standards, that’s actually a good line. His dialogue has never been anything to write home about.

Is it me or is Iron Man physically taller than the Hulk on both covers?

Um yeah, that’s the one thing that stuck in my head “Well-digger’s ascot”… !??!

It’s a play on the popular-at-the-time idiom (less popular nowadays) “colder than a well-digger’s ass.”

Tom Waits used the line in one of his earliest-penned songs, “Diamonds on My Windshield,” which ultimately was released on his classic 1974 album, The Heart of Saturday Night.

It’s a play on the popular-at-the-time idiom (less popular nowadays) “colder than a well-digger’s ass.”

Wow, that explanation actually made the quote sound even worse than it did out of context. That’s a really corny groaner of a joke.

curious, what’s the reason that tony never helped banner?

A mixture of Banner being on the run and Stark and Banner not exactly being friends. In fact, these issues are the first time the pair really talk.

Since then, pretty much any “new continuity” take on the characters (Heroes Reborn, Ultimate title and I believe Marvel Adventures) has made the two colleagues/acquaintances prior to the transformation of Banner.

*CHUD*

Ha ha, I have that issue. Great read.

Since then, pretty much any “new continuity” take on the characters (Heroes Reborn, Ultimate title and I believe Marvel Adventures) has made the two colleagues/acquaintances prior to the transformation of Banner.

Given how the comics nowadays also try to make everyone retroactively more connected than they originally were (the Wolverine:Origins syndrome), has the mainstream Marvel Universe through retcons tried to make Stark and Banner closer than previously revealed?

You’d think they would, but I don’t recall seeing it.

That’s one the coolest cliffhangers in Iron Man history, and there’s been quite a few great ones. An excellent run by Michelinie and Layton! Still the definitive “Iron Team” for my money.

FunkyGreenJerusalem

February 17, 2009 at 4:33 pm

I miss caption boxes.

They can add a lot to a scene.

Now, don’t get me wrong, pencilers were mostly not AS big of a deal when it came to the artwork of the David Michelinie and Bob Layton Iron Man run, as Layton was finishing everyone’s pencils, so in the end, they all looked more or less like Layton, whether they be John Romita Jr. or John Byrne, so however good of an artist Jerry Bingham was (and he was a good artist), the following pages are really a bit more Layton than Bingham.

Seeing this paragraph Brian wrote about how overpowering Layton’s finishes are, and the mention of John Byrne’s name as a Layton collaborator, makes me remember one of the tackiest quotes from John Byrne I ever read (and that’s saying a lot):

“It’s kind of difficult to put into words why I don’t like Bob Laytons’s inking. This is going to sound really silly, but I actually feel physically ill when I look at Bob’s stuff. I really do. It’s like everything is greasy and slimy. You know those things you can buy that hang from your rear view mirror that are made out of rubber and you touch them and they feel greasy. That’s how Bob’s stuff looks to me. And all his men are queer. They have these bouffant hairdos and heavy eye make-up and an upper lip with a little shadow in the corner which to me says lipstick. Even the Hulk. I will never forgive him for what he did to the Hulk’s face in the annual that we did together. A lot of the other stuff I liked, but the Hulk’s face, the Angel’s face, the Angel, God!I remember my father looking at the stats of the finished inks and there’s a shot of the Angel standing there with his hands on his hips saying hello to somebody and my father said, “Well this guy’s queer.” No, he didn’t look queer in the pencils Dad. “(Comics Journal #57, interview)

FunkyGreenJerusalem

February 17, 2009 at 6:03 pm

So Byrne spends the first half of the paragraph saying just looking at Laytons inks makes him sick.
Then he says he likes the annual they did together, except for Hulks face.
Then Byrne’s old man thinks a man in a skin tight suit with wings looks gay – and somehow it’s Laytons fault.

@T– The “Demon In A Bottle” TPB collects issues 120-128 of their run; the “IM: Director of Shield” TPB has #129 as an extra story in the back, and the “Many Armors of Iron Man” has several issues (six in total, I think) from various parts of both their initial 1978-82 run, and their later 1986-89 run. But yeah, it’d be nice to have more of it in TPB form. It’s a really great run, and at 38 issues (116-153), not too much to collect (don’t know how much it goes for these days– I got mine way back in the mid-80s, when they could be had at my LCS for between 75 cents and two bucks a piece).

Very cool moment from one of the greatest Iron Man runs ever! I’d be hard-pressed to point to a single punch in Iron Man’s whole career of which more was made than this, and that the creators understood the almost mythical significance (in the context of the Marvel universe) of being able to punch out the Hulk is clear from the build up and execution of the depiction.

The ‘ascot’ line is just a sign of the times when Code-approved comics couldn’t use the word ‘ass’ except. maybe, as a synonym for ‘donkey’. It’s no better or worse than a thousand similar examples of euphemising from the era, and certainly doesn’t deserve singling out for special clumsiness.

Of course, today’s comics (and movies, and novels) are by and large no less convention-ridden and artificial. nor no more intrinsically ‘good’ and ‘natural’, than are yesterday’s, it’s just that the current set of conventions are effectively invisible to most readers of brief tenure who have as yet had no extensive exposure to other sets. That works created in the past adhere to the conventions of the time rather than today’s is inevitable and cannot count as a flaw; in twenty years from today a significant proportion of a new generation of young readers will similarly (incorrecttly) condemn even the hippest and most fashionable work of today as hokey, clumsy and dated.

@FGJ on caption boxes: It depends on the writer. Some comic book writers write wonderful prose, and others don’t. Alan Moore wrote wonderful captions in Swamp Thing that are some of my favorite parts of reading it. On the other hand, I tend to skip most of the captions any time I read a Stan Lee comic.

Then Byrne’s old man thinks a man in a skin tight suit with wings looks gay – and somehow it’s Laytons fault.

In fairness to Byrne, I do understand what he’s talking about. Bob Layton’s men do have strangely glossy and effeminate faces. I thought his paragraph was consistent. I just thought it was tacky to call him out like that and also use the word “queers.”

“Brilliant run! I’d call it the best Iron Man run ever, but, you know, it’s also the only one I’ve read.”

I’ve read most of Iron Man (I got that cool DVD with most of the character comics Marvel put out a few years ago) and I say that the two Michelinie/Layton runs are easily the best the character ever had.

Best,
Hunter (Pedro Bouça)

This was the first ‘back issue’ I ever bought, at 10 years old… I’d seen to be continued in comics before, but never had the dedication to follow up weeks later, at least on purpose. That first day, in my local direct sales comic shop, Iron Man 131 and 132 were my first purchases. Less than a year later, I’d get suckered into the ‘market’ and ‘investing’ but at that time, just seeing Iron Man and Hulk slug it out was a thrill. Very very nostalgic post (for me) you made.

the guy has the nerve to call iron man shell head after he just knocked out the hulk…

[...] Okay, I must confess. I owned this issue and loved it. I had aspirations of being a comic artist and I drew this cover a few times. What drama? The Hulk coming in for the killing blow? Iron Man begging for mercy? Could it really be, I must know! The shadows are dynamic, the use of blacks are perfect and heighten the intense mood of the cover even more. This is one of my favorite covers of all time from any comic. Bob Layton as the artist was on a roll during these issues. Iron Man 131 is the start of the 3-part story in which Iron Man actually knocks the Hulk out. See the inside pages: Iron Man KOs Hulk. [...]

Leave a Comment

 

Categories

Review Copies

Comics Should Be Good accepts review copies. Anything sent to us will (for better or for worse) end up reviewed on the blog. See where to send the review copies.

Browse the Archives