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Iron Man #16: Review

Jan 2022
Christopher Cantwell, Julius Ohta

Story Name:

Big Wheel keeps on turnin'

Review & Comments

4 stars

Iron Man #16 Review by (January 29, 2022)
The title is of course a line from the song Proud Mary by Ike & Tina Turner.

I don't know when in the Marvel universe-616 Tony Stark had all 6 Infinity Gems, but noticeably he refers to them as Gems rather than the Stones of the current post-Secret Wars universe.

Tony's 'want/ask for' quote is similar but not the same as things said by Henry Ford and Steve Jobs.

Hellcat has been able to magically manifest her costume since Avengers Annual 2000 after returning from Hell.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Iron Man #16 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
Last issue Cosmic-powered Iron Man defeated Korvac, and the Living Tribunal and other cosmic beings took him away. But now what will the Iron God do with the universe?

Jim Hammond, James Rhodes, Patsy Walker and Frog-Man are waiting to try the oysters at Isaac Christians' restaurant. Froggie is the only 1 in costume to maintain his secret identity (though Gargoyle can't hide what he is), but he learns that Isaac has told the others who he is, a busboy at the restaurant. Eugene Patilio tries to parlay that into a better job. We learn that Reed Richards fixed the scar that Hellcat got in #4. Some of the other Space Friends are absent:- Halcyon's got his maths final, Misty Knight's off doing her own thing, and Scarlet Spider has the 'real' Spider-Man gig again (in Amazing SM).

But what they really want to talk about is Cosmic Iron Man. Rhodey loves Tony Stark like family but getting cosmic powers could be the worst thing for Tony himself and the universe. Jim and Patsy agree that Tony has good intentions, but as the saying goes they pave the road to Hell. Patsy can't contact him telepathically since he and Korvac 'ascended'. So Rhodey has put the Avengers on alert. He's wondering if they should contact guys with greater range:- Guardians Of The Galaxy, Nova Corps, Silver Surfer.

The question is taken out of their hands as the Iron God appears as a giant figure hovering Washington Square Park. As he shrinks down to just double-size and lands the team rush up (now all in costume) and War Machine asks him to stop frightening people. IM obliges by shrinking to almost normal and greets them. But before they can 'chat' ...

... the Fantastic Four and some Avengers (Black Panther, Captain America, Captain Marvel, Phoenix (Echo), Thor and the Starchild) arrive to take things into their own hands. Tony tells them that Korvac is still alive but somewhere where he won't trouble them again. Steve Rogers wants to know if Tony is himself a threat now. Stark suggests he's just a god like Thor now, but the Asgardian doesn't take *that* kindly. Tony's next tack doesn't make them feel much better.

The Silver Avenger claims that Korvac had the right idea in wanting to promote harmony in the universe but his method was bad. And it all stemmed from believing he was the only 1 who knew what was best for everyone. He would have taken away all free will, something which Tony never did even when he had the Infinity Gems. Tony has been thinking about the power he had even before he became Iron Man, the inventive power of his mind. So now he's going to share that with the world. Alarm bells ring in CapA's mind but Cosmic Tony angrily overrides his protests. And he tells them that he's done it already now - he's made everyone in New York City Stark-level geniuses.

We witness several effects.
Reed feels like he's just got *dumber*.
A couple in Queens are arguing about the husband watching a ball game instead of helping with the dishes. Their style of argument evolves as the subject shifts through not being able to afford take-outs every day to them having fallen into stereotypical gender roles. And they wind up with a new marital dynamic.
A car mechanic is telling a customer what needs fixing in his car. But then he proposes changing it to a hydrogen fuel system. They combine to hash out solutions to various side-problems. But when it turns out the whole thing would cost way too much the customer settles for an oil change.
Some boys playing baseball start musing on the meaning of life.
Jackson Weele (the Big Wheel) comes out of the coma he's been in (since Deadpool & Mercs For Money #4) and leaps out of his hospital bed with a great idea.

On a rooftop Cosmic IM changes to Tony Stark for a chat with Patsy Walker who's trying to talk him out of what he's done. She claims that his 'gift' to everyone without them asking for it is abrogating their free will. He quotes "give the customer what they want, not what they ask for", but Patsy objects to being considered a customer. As usual such a conversation is cut short by some action ...

... as Big Wheel goes past in his latest Big Wheel mode of transport. This 1 flies! And it shoots beams down to cars on the street below. Iron Man and Hellcat suit up to deal with him. They are both able to deduce that his beams are taking control of the traffic and discuss the method he's using. They assume this is a villainous plot. Hellcat makes a physical attack but Cosmic IM mentally separates them and then the Big Wheel into its components. Then Patsy reads Jackson Weele's mind and learns that he was connecting the cars into a supercomputing algorithm to avoid traffic jams. Tony is impressed but Patsy says that Weele's implementation was as high-handed as Tony's gift of genius. Tony gets angry and says he's going to fix the whole world. Patsy's parting remark is that he sounds like Korvac.

Later she contacts the only man she thinks may be able to stop the Iron God - Dr Doom.

Julius Ohta
Julius Ohta
Frank D'Armata
Alex Ross (Cover Penciler)
Alex Ross (Cover Inker)
Alex Ross (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Joe Caramagna.
Editor: Tom Brevoort. Editor-in-chief: C. B. Cebulski.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)
Doctor Doom
Doctor Doom

(Victor Von Doom)

(Isaac Christians)

(Patsy Walker)
Human Torch
Human Torch

(Jim Hammond)
Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)
Mr. Fantastic
Mr. Fantastic

(Reed Richards)

War Machine
War Machine

(James Rhodes)

Plus: Big Wheel, Frog-Man.

> Iron Man: Book info and issue index

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