Friday, February 22, 2008

Lesser Known Joe Casey Comics: Iron Man annual '99

[Continuing my look at the lesser known/minor works by Joe Casey. Those fill-in issues, one-shots and short runs that only the most hardcore of the hardcore are aware exist. With each, I will ask whether or not the work should remain forgotten or if it is a lost treasure. New posts Monday, Wednesday and Friday.]

I've mentioned this before, but Wizard called Joe Casey the next Kurt Busiek in their issue 2000, and here we have Casey and Busiek co-writing a comic (Busiek only co-plots, presumably because of illness as, if I remember correctly, he had some medical problems around this time). Casey and Busiek suggests a powerful combination, but this issue is pretty shit.

Okay, that's a tad harsh as it's merely mediocre. It's not bad, it's some solid superhero action that doesn't rise above itself or give cause for rereadings. The plot involves some mysterious forc sucking ionic energy from people with said energy. Iron Man must figure out who's doing it while working with a sexy SHIELD agent that gets him all hot and bothered. Turns out that the culprit is Count Nefaria--which is only funny because, at the beginning of the issue, some dude called Nefarious was killed for his ionic energy. Wait, that's not funny at all--and yet it's the closest thing to wit in this issue.

There are lots of kinda lame fights and... not much else. Stark has some angst over digging the SHIELD agent, but that comes off as hacknayed and weak. The issue also ends with that old "diplomatic immunity" gem.

Should this book remain forgotten? Yes. Unless you have a fondness for mediocre, uninventive superhero stories involving Z-grade villains.

On Monday, we'll have Casey team with Mark Waid and Brian Augustyn (kind of) on Flash #151.