San Diego Comic-Con has been a little bit bizarre the previous couple of years. In 2020 and 2021, they hosted a particular occasion, Comic-Con@Home, consisting of prerecorded panels that anybody might watch on-line. Thanks to the pandemic, the standard, in-person conventions — massive halls full of followers hoping to catch a trailer, meet a favourite creator, or purchase unique merch — have been simply too harmful.
If you ask Iron Man, nonetheless, he’d most likely say that conventions have been already a lot harmful. Just look at what occurred to him in Iron Man #72, revealed in 1974.
Our story begins with Tony Stark hustling out to California to take care of a provide chain subject at his firm’s San Diego department. By the time he will get there, the problem has been resolved, leaving him at free ends. Tony decides to spend a little bit high quality time along with his underlings whereas he’s on the market, just for two of them to take a swing at him.
Rattled by the incident, Tony decides he wants a break, however the standard golf equipment and vacationer sights are all outdated hat to him. He sees a newspaper article about San Diego Comic-Con and decides to test it out — in his Iron Man costume, after all, in case there’s hassle.
The scenes at the con are fascinating, from a historic viewpoint. In 1974, Comic-Con wasn’t the mainstream industrial occasion it’s now. It had solely been round for 4 years and was largely the purview of super-nerds, so that you don’t see any large Hollywood celebrities or film previews as Iron Man walks the conference halls. Instead, he encounters cameos from comics creators (together with Iron Man editor Roy Thomas), a bunch of fanboys petitioning to get Star Trek again on the air (hold in there a number of extra years, guys!), and a few traditional film/TV showings (Gilligan’s Island, anybody?)
(I don’t know if anybody was truly displaying Gilligan’s Island at cons within the ’70s or if it is a joke, however anyway, that’s what’s on the signal exterior the screening room.)
Also, they mock the nostril that Iron Man had on the armor’s faceplate at the time, which is all the time enjoyable.
This being Comic-Con, Iron Man encounters a bunch of oldsters dressed as superheroes. But they’re not the one ones in costume: outdated foes/perennial losers the Melter, Whiplash, and Man-Bull are additionally milling about. They’re right here to draw Iron Man’s consideration by sticking up the con-goers.
Now this subsequent half will get a little bit complicated, so attempt to comply with alongside: one other villain, the Black Lama, exhibits up in the course of issues. I’m not going to get into his complete deal proper now, as he’s a bit Complicated. Just know that he has some type of thoughts management powers, which is why these staff attacked Tony earlier. Now, he hypnotizes the con-goers, and when Iron Man shortly snaps them again to regular, he assaults our hero with a sword earlier than disappearing.
I actually don’t know why the writers felt the necessity to cram Black Lama into this story, because it was a superbly high quality idea by itself. The solely fascinating factor he contributes is his impact on the Melter, who’s so incensed by the thought of anybody else killing Iron Man that he saves the hero from demise by sword.
Anyway, the battle causes a hearth, which threatens the comedian ebook sellers’ tables.
In the tip, Iron Man triumphs over his foes — with an help from a fan dressed as him, sans nostril — and is lauded by all of the attendees. He is then unceremoniously thrown out by a safety guard after he loses his ID badge within the battle. Such is the lifetime of a Marvel hero.
The thought of a superhero duking it out at Comic-Con is hilarious, however this subject was a bit too difficult to drag it off nicely. Why would the villains resolve to assault a con to get Iron Man’s consideration slightly than one thing extra probably profitable, like a financial institution? What was Black Lama doing right here? If that they had simply caught with the fundamental premise, this may be a a lot stronger subject.
In any case, for those who’re going to Comic-Con this yr, possibly regulate anybody whose costume appears a little bit too convincing. You by no means know who’s actually in there!