My Comic Book Crisis

A middle age woman, a computer, and a love of comics

Tag: Tony Stark

So you want to date a superhero?

Published / by Tami / Leave a Comment
Group of superheroes - Blackest Night
So many superheroes, so little time

So I stopped at CVS on my way home, and there near the checkout was a tabloid with the headline, “Nostradamus knows your future.”

It really freaked me out. I mean, how does he know that I’m going home to make macaroni and cheese, because my husband’s not home and he does all the cooking? When he’s not here, I usually fall back on the path of least resistance when it comes to food, which usually means mac and cheese. And a glass of wine, which requires no prep whatsoever.

Why would Nostradamus know that and more importantly, why would he care?

It made no sense, but it did get me to thinking about my future. Specifically what my future would be like had I married a superhero instead of my husband.

Then I thought, wait a minute, maybe I don’t want to marry a superhero, I mean, I’ve been reading comics for less than a year and maybe I’m just not ready to commit. Maybe right now I should just settle for dating a superhero.

OK, that seems reasonable, but who to date? So many superheroes, so little time. What’s a girl to do?

I did what any modern girl who’s not ready for online dating would do: I checked out Eight-minute Dating. Eight-minute Superhero Dating. Here’s how it works. You spend eight minutes talking with each candidate, then at the end of the night you let the organizers know which one(s) interest you and leave your number for them. If they’re interested in you, they let the organizers know that and you swap numbers. So I spent eight minutes reading up on each of a handful of superheroes in the quest to find the most datable one. Here’s what I found:


Wally West as the Flash
Fast times with Wally

Wally West AKA Flash

So he first thing the guy tells me is “My name is Wally West. I’m the fastest man alive. I’m the Flash.” What does that mean? Fast like a speeding bullet? Or fast like sex on the first date? The guy doesn’t stop moving and I’m getting dizzy and I don’t even think it’s the wine I’m drinking. Which, trust me, I need because the guy is stressing me out. Unlike the original Flash, Barry Allen, who runs the speed of light, Wally (may I call him Wally?) runs the speed of sound, so I can’t hear a word he’s saying, and he’s saying it all really fast. I do catch, however, that in addition to being really, really fast, he’s able to control the speed at which his body vibrates (uh-uh, no way, I’m not touching that one. Come up with your own joke.) He can vibrate at speeds so fast that he’s unable to be seen with the naked eye. I’d never know what this guy was up to. Plus, he’s lived with a lot of women — check the DC database — which is rarely a good sign.

I think I’ll pass on this one.

Clark Kent AKA Superman

OK, even with his buff bod, as Superman’s alter ego, Clark Kent is a dork with a capital “D”. This is the kind of guy who still wears a Members Only jacket and listens to Wham! He’s the kind of guy you love, just “not in that way.” He’s the kind of guy who’s just too nice.

Clark Kent
What should I wear to ComiCon?

On the bright side, he’d probably go to ComiCon with me — and dress up as a superhero.

As Superman, he’s more powerful than a locomotive, able to leap tall buildings, bend steel in his bare hands, yadda yadda. And oh, yeah, there’s that X-Ray vision thing. He’d never use that cheap pickup line “I can guess what color underwear you’re wearing,” although he actually could. And that kind of creeps me out.

Anyways, there’s one other little problem: Clark Kent/Superman has been in this country for 72 years. Anyone ever seen his green card? I have enough problems without waking up to ICE at my front door.

Yo Clark, don’t wake me up before you go go, if you get my drift.

Bruce Wayne AKA Batman

Bruce Wayne reading the paper
All work and no play…

Sure, he’s handsome; sure he’s rich; but will he be there when I need him? If it’s at night, fuggedaboutit. Picture an idyllic night at the opera. La Traviata is onstage, there are roses, champagne, then suddenly Bruce is gone. Again. It’s another ride home with Alfred while Bruce goes out to fight crime as the Caped Crusader – with that young boy Robin he spends an awful lot of time with.

Face it, the guy’s a workaholic. Every night he’s out and when he’s home, he’s either sleeping, coming up with new gadgets or talking about his job. He’s all “Joker, this, Riddler that.” What about my needs? I can expect a lonely existence. A rich one, but a lonely one. Hm. Wonder what Tony Stark’s doing tonight …


Tony Stark
Cocktail hour in Stark land

Tony Stark AKA Iron Man

Rich, brilliant and handsome, he works, but he plays too. Maybe a little too much, but still …he knows how to treat a woman. Not seeing a downside here.

I’ll leave my number – along with ever other woman in the room.

Kyle Rayner AKA Green Lantern

Another guy who can pull off a one-piece bodysuit, Kyle Rayner’s got some good attributes, but he carries a bit of baggage. His girlfriend was murdered and stuffed in a refrigerator, giving new meaning to the term “cold shoulder.” It’s just not the kind of thing a guy gets over real quick, even one with a ring that allows him to conjure up almost anything through sheer force of will.

The Green Lantern Kyle Rayner
Lord of the Ring

I had to stifle a giggle when he recited his oath:

“In brightest day, in blackest night
No evil shall escape my sight
let those who worship evil’s might
Beware my power … Green Lantern’s light!”

So I finished it for him:

“Cold hearted orb that rules the night
Removes the colours from our sight
Red is gray and yellow white
But we decide which is right

And which is an illusion…”

Sorry, I got a little bit confused there. That last part is actually from “Nights in White Satin” by the Moody Blues. Kyle is not amused.


The new Atom
Small change

Ryan Choi AKA Atom

A professor at Ivy University, Ryan Choi discovers his mentor’s “bio-belt,” which allows him to manipulate size and density — of himself. First thing he does is shrink down to a size so small, that were I to put him in my purse, he’s be lost among the Tic-Tacs, lipsticks, Blackest Night rings and supermarket receipts. Who wants a guy who can get hurt and/or lost so easily? I mean, he’s so small. And gentlemen, if you take only one thing away from this today, take this: No matter what you’ve been told, it does matter.

Stark Reality

Published / by Tami / Leave a Comment
Invincible Iron Man 127

I’ve been reading a little vintage Iron Man this week — in this case, issues #127-130 of The Invincible Iron Man from 1979.

First of all, this 1979 Tony Stark is no Robert Downey Jr.

Tony Stark and Robert Goulet
Tony Stark, meet Robert Goulet.

He looks a lot more like Robert Goulet – so much so that I kept expecting him to break out in a comic book version of “Those Were the Days.” He didn’t, but I kept an eye on him.

In issue #127, Tony Stark is a very wealthy industrialist who lives in a fabulous house, designs high-tech stuff, woos women and drinks. This guy is the Barbie of superheroes. He has everything.

Invincible Iron Man #128 cover

Occasionally he shucks his leisure suit and dons an armored suit and cruises the world as Iron Man. In this one, Iron Man fights off a whole super army (a woman villain named Man-Killer? Really?) , clears himself of a murder charge, stands up his bodyguard girlfriend Bethany and sinks into a deep depression realizing that, despite the good he does as Iron Man, without the suit he’s just a rich, drunken cad who brings trouble on himself.

By issue #128, Tony Stark is deep into the bottle and he’s in trouble. You think you’ve got problems? Tony Stark’s butler quits on him. Now that’s a real problem. It’s hard to find good help. Especially when you’re drunk.

Invincible Iron Man #129 cover

The guy’s a wreck, but still, he puts on his costume. Then he crashes through the window and “helps” at a train wreck where he drops the car that happens to be filled with deadly chlorine gas (he forgot to check the car’s weight ratio with his sensors) and causes an evacuation. No one is amused. Fortunately Bethany comes to the rescue and gets him to dry out, but by the end of the comic, he’s lost control of Stark Industries.

Invincible Iron Man 130

In the next two issues, he gets his company back and battles Dreadnought, goes to Hong Kong and defeats a supernatural/high-tech “demon” and once again, saves the world. Tony Stark’s a busy guy.

For some reason, nobody seems to notice that every time Tony Stark disappears from the scene, Iron Man shows up. Luckily he keeps his suit in a briefcase and he can change in a flash. I just don’t understand how he can fit that suit in there with all the stuff it has. It’s kind of like all those clowns they jam into the little Shriner cars; there’s no way they can all fit in there, but they just keep coming out.

Check this out:

Three Iron Man panels
Repulsor rays, sensor scan and plexiglass shields …
Three panels from Iron Man
… built-in foam ducts and image projector

You’d think having all the money in the world PLUS an adamantium, electric-powered, refractory-coated armor suit that has repulsion rays, sensor scanners, super strength, an image projector and reverse magnetism (to name a few) would make Tony Stark a happy man, but it doesn’t. Like many good superheroes, he’s conflicted – much like Bruce Wayne, but with a sense of humor.

Fun flea market finds

Published / by Tami / Leave a Comment

This is one of my recent flea market finds. I couldn’t pass it up. It was so kitschy, so awful and so over the top that nobody should be subjected to it in all of its ridiculousness.

So I just had to share it with all of you. Behold:

Marvel Swimsuit Special

A Marvel swimsuit edition? Really? What the hell were they thinking? It’s just so very  wrong  that it’s … almost right.

I guess what’s really wrong is that the Swimsuit Special theme was popular enough that it ran for five years (1991-1995). How is that possible?

The issue I found was from 1992 and was filled with superheros frolicking on the beaches of Wakanda (“Take a Wakanda the wild side,” was the title of the issue. Ack.) in all their semi-nude glory. But you know how it goes: It’s all fun and games until the skrulls show up.

Center spread from Marvel Swimsuit Special

Which X-Man is that in the little Speedo-y thingy? Looks like he fell asleep on his beach blanket or was stuck in some boiling water with a little salt, later to be served with drawn butter. And those prankish X-Women … it’s just fun in the sun here on wacky Wakanda.

Captain America

“Cap cools off with a quick splash in the clear, refreshing waters of Black Warrior Creek” Black Warrior Creek? Really? Is that the best they could come up with?


One of the best things about being a superhero model, rather than a mere supermodel, is that you don’t need to worry about the laws of physics as Rogue demonstrates here with a dive off Warrior Falls, hair — and bikini top — intact. Take that Elle MacPherson.

Another example is below with Silver Sable’s gravity defying dive prep in this pic from the 1993 issue. Check out the hand grenade.

Silver Sable

Look at these next two images — I dare you. These kind of makes you want to rip your own retinas out, don’t they? Some things just should never, ever be viewed by the eyes of  mere mortals.

Eww. That’s all I have to say.

That was from my 1992 issue. But even more frightening is this from the 1995 issue:


OMG. I know Scallop shells usually have a jewel inside, but not the family jewels. That’s not even a very big scallop shell. The only explanation I can think of is Seinfeld-like shrinkage due to the cool waters. Although I never imagined the waters of Madripoor, the fictional comic book island located in Southeast Asia, would be quite that cool. Poor substandard Sub-Mariner.

Meanwhile, back in Wakanda …

I know the caption says Bishop, Cyclops and Gambit are taking an early-morning jog on Panther Island, but it looks more  like the trio just found out Bette Midler tickets went on sale and they want to be sure to be first in line. If you get my drift. If not, let’s just say Bishop, Cyclops and Gambit are taking an early-morning jog on Panther Island and leave it at that.

Bishop, Cyclops and Gambit

And here’s one of my favorites, which appeared in the 1993 issue.  Ghost Rider wearing nothing but a smile.

Ghost Rider

Had enough? No? Well, here are a few more examples of the Swimsuit Special through the ages— or at least 1991 — 1995.

After that, let’s never speak of this again.

Captain America and Diamondbacl
Thor and Thunderstrike
The Wasp
Dr. Strange swimsuit
1995? I couldn’t find the exact issue this ran in, but I thought it might be ’95, since it says “95” at the bottom. Who cares? Whatever the year, It just begged to be included. Dr. Strange, indeed.