Published on March 1st, 2013 | by Mike Harding0
Marvel Graphic Novel Collection Issue 29 Review
The 29th book released in the Ultimate Graphic Novel Collection came out a fair few weeks ago, it of course is a classic, that old school Iron Man and Avengers fans hold close to their heart. The story this week is of course Iron Man: Demon in a Bottle.
The story originally ran in Iron Man #120-128 (March-Nov. 1979), plotted by David Michelinie and Bob Layton, with script by Michelinie. John Romita, Jr. pencilled the breakdown sketches, with Layton providing finished art. Issue #122 (May 1979) was both plotted and scripted by Michelinie, penciled by Carmine Infantino and inked by Layton.
Originally, “Demon in a Bottle” was only the title of the final issue in the storyline. However, when Marvel reprinted the storyline in trade paperback in 1984 and 1989, it was published under the title “The Power of Iron Man: Demon in a Bottle”. As a result of this, Demon in a Bottle became the popular name for the storyline, and collected editions were then published under that title.
The story is essentially a series of tales that chart the downfall of Tony Stark as Iron Man. We start off with Tony on board a plane that gets hit by a tank. He does his usual hero business and helps land the plane safely. We then get the classic tale of hero vs hero due to a misunderstanding, only to have them team up against the people who sent the hero against the hero in the first place scenario. This is brought about when the “military” tell Tony that Namor was responsible for the tank, and that they need his help. Namor then tells Tony he has been duped and that the military are really Roxxon (if you don’t know who Roxxon are it doesn’t matter all you need to know is that they are a multi million business that always seems to be doing something illegal yet never gets closed down).
We then get shown a number of incidents of Stark’s armour malfunctioning, whilst in battle, and whilst doing seemingly run of the mill things such as returning to base. We also get the first mention of the name “Hammer” (for fans of the movie, this isnt Justin Hammer that you know, he’s far, far more refined).
We then see Iron Man commit an act that leads to the armour being taken into custody by the police, who seemingly just believe that Stark did not carry out his crime intentionally and that someone must obviously be manipulating his armour (why would you wear it if this was true?). He then has the leadership of the Avengers taken from him, and he shown drinking more regularly
This moment with the Avengers is an iconic one though, as it is the time when Captian America trains Tony Stark (not Iron Man) how to fight. This scene would later be referenced during Civil War (there was a spin off with just Iron Man and Captain America trying to reconcil once more before the end of the story, and it flashes back to this scene).
Eventually Stark finds out about Hammer and travels to Monaco to confront him in the company of James Rhodes. Stark get captured by Hammer’s men and Rhodes is left behind. We then have the mandatory outnumbered battle, and Stark resolving the issue of his armour being manipulated by Hammer.
Now this is when we actually get the Demon in a bottle stuff, because despite resolvining all his recent problems, such as armour malfunctions, and being framed for crimes, Tony still continues to drink excessively, to the point that Jarvis actually quits.
Stark is confronted by Beth, who tells him about her former husband, who became addicted to drugs, which ended their relationship and eventually killed him. Stark admits to his drinking problem and accepts Beth’s offer to help him to quit drinking and help him through withdrawal. Stark then apologizes to and renews his working relationship with Jarvis. He learns that Jarvis’s mother is sick and offers to pay for her medical costs, but learns that Jarvis has sold the two shares of stock he owned in Stark International that were preventing S.H.I.E.L.D. from buying a controlling interest in his company. The story ends with Stark optimistic about the future, conquering his alcoholism and determined to retrieve the stocks and maintain control over his company.
Is this good story? Of course it is. Does it deal with the alcohol issues well? Not so much, with only the last issue being about his problem. Having said that, this was the moment that we began to see heroes with flaws beingdealt with.
Is this book value for money? I would say that it is, there is a really great story in here, and for its time, it was a brave move to make. Checking around online, most harback copies of this book are around the fifteen pound price range, to be honest you may struggle to get a paperback version for less than that.
Extra features are standard as usual, there is the origin of Iron Man section, that deals with how the character was created, and then there is a piece on David Micheline talking about the development of the story. Personally the best bit of the extra features in this book is an aside talking about Jarvis’ resignation letter, it appears that initially there was no text for the letter, however, someone printed a copy of a Marvel employees resignation letter (changing names of course) as the letter content.
There are no future book reveals this week, as we are nearing the halfway mark I am not surprised by this. The next book to be released will be part two of Greg Pak’s Planet Hulk book.
With no new reveals this week, that leaves the list looking like this (those of you who actually bother to look at the list will notice that there are now only four books unaccounted for):
*Titles in BOLD have already been released*
Book 01: Iron Man: Demon in a bottle
Book 02: Uncanny X-men: Dark Phoenix
Book 03: Captain Britain: A Crooked World
Book 04: Wolverine
Book 05: The Mighty Thor: The Last Viking
Book 06: Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars part 1
Book 07: Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars part 2
Book 08: Daredevil: Born Again
Book 09: The Amazing Spider-Man: The Birth of Venom
Book 10: Spider-man: Kraven’s Last Hunt
Book 11: The Incredible Hulk: Silent Screams
Book 12: Wolverine: Weapon X
Book 13: Marvels
Book 14: Avengers: Avengers Forever Part one
Book 15: Avengers: Avengers Forever Part two
Book 16: The Mighty Thor: In Search of Gods
Book 17: Daredevil: Guardian Devil
Book 18: The Punisher: Welcome Back Frank Part 1
Book 19: The Punisher: Welcome Back Frank Part 2
Book 20: Ultimate Spider-man: Power & Responsibility
Book 21: Spider-man: Coming Home
Book 22: Spider-man: Revelations
Book 23: New X-men: E is for Extinction
Book 24: New X-men: Imperial
Book 25: Spider-man: Blue
Book 26: Wolverine: Origins
Book 27: Captain America: The New Deal
Book 28: The Ultimates: Super-Human
Book 29: The Ultimates: Homeland Security
Book 32: 1602
Book 33: Secret War
Book 34: Avengers: Disassembled
Book 35: She-Hulk: Single Green Female
Book 36: Astonishing X-men: Gifted
Book 37: Astonishing X-men: Dangerous
Book 38: Black Panther: Who is the Black Panther?
Book 39: Ghost Rider: Road to Damnation
Book 40: House of M
Book 42: New Avengers: Breakout
Book 43: Iron Man: Extremis
Book 44: Captain America: Winter Soldier
Book 45: The Incredible Hulk: Planet Hulk part 1
Book 46: The Incredible Hulk: Planet Hulk part 2
Book 47: Fantastic Four: The End
Book 48: Marvel Zombies
Book 50: Civil War
Book 51: Fallen Son: Death of Captain America
Book 52: Thor: Reborn
Book 53: The Eternals
Book 55: World War Hulk
Book 56: Thunderbolts: Faith in Monsters
Book 57: Wolverine: Old Man Logan
Book 58: Secret Invasion
Book 59: Captain Britain & MI13: Vampire State
Book 60: Siege