The Invincible Iron Man
An awesome issue of Iron Man from "back in the day". Great dialog between he and Cap, I will post some scans as soon as I can but, for now, enjoy a re-cap of my favorite lines from issue #303 of IIM.
Tony Stark: Deathlok, Venom, and now Captain America. I take it you’ve come about the Stane Industries scandal. I there’s some specific mess of theirs you’ve a grievance with, you may as well take a number and get in line.
Steve Rogers: We haven’t always seen eye-to-eye, Tony --- but it was never personal. If there’s anything I can do to help, I will.
Tony Stark: I… appreciate, that, Steve. Thanks.
Steve Rogers: I’ve heard about some of the trouble around here lately. You must feel like the weight of the world’s come crashing down on you.
Tony Stark: You have no idea, Cap. No idea at all.
Tony Stark: All the good this company has done over the years seems to count not at all. People seem to want to believe the worst of Stark Enterprises --- and of me.
Steve Rogers: Stark Enterprises represented something important to the American public. In a time where Big Corporations seemed like the enemy of the common man, they looked to you for proof that it didn't have to be that way. People demand a great deal from their symbols. And they don’t like to be disappointed.
Tony Stark: Ever since I got out of the cryonic suspension, it’s been one blasted thing after another. Sometimes, I feel like the whole world changed the rules on me during the weeks I was frozen.
Steve Rogers: I think – I know a little of what that’s like.
Tony Stark: I… that is… sorry, Steve, I-
Steve Rogers: AHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
Steve Rogers: Just be glad you were on ice for only a few weeks, instead of three or four decades. But I suppose it makes us even. I’ve gotten a taste lately of what it must’ve been like for you all these years, dealing with physical handicaps. You see, the super soldier serum in my system is wearing off, Tony --- and I’m suddenly finding my own abilities… fading.
Tony Stark: My god, Steve, I didn’t know.
Steve Rogers: It’s not the end of the world. There are many with far worse burdens to bear, people who’d be more than happy to be ‘just normal’. Mostly, I’m thankful for the years I’ve had. But… it can be difficult, at times. If you don’t mind my asking, how have you coped with the frustration?
Tony Stark: You learn to concentrate on the little victories. Yesterday, for instance… people think, ‘Tony Stark’, they think, ‘millionaire playboy, glamour, excitement’. My big thrill for this week was driving a car for the first time since my recovery.
Tony Stark: Has it ever seemed strange to you, the significance we give our ‘secret identities’? How we let them dominate our lives, guarding them like over-protective parents--- even working out elaborate designs for passing them on to others when we can no longer shoulder the burden?
Steve Rogers: I’d always looked at it more as keeping in mind that the symbol is more important than the man --- that it’s the message that counts, not the messenger.
Tony Stark: Really? I’ve sometimes thought it a misplaced bid for immortality. Just as some people have children, or create art --- we concoct larger than life alter egos that we want to believe are so important --- that they ought to be franchised out like fast-food restaurants.
Steve Rogers: Hunh, funny you should bring it up. I’ve been thinking I may have to get someone to take over as Captain America eventually.
Tony Stark: HA! You’ll be looking a long time for somebody up to filling your shoes. Just look at the last guy who tried.
Steve Rogers: John Walker was… a disappointment. Though I have to point out, he wasn’t my choice, he was the governments. This time I plan to do the picking myself.
Tony Stark: Don’t get your hopes up. Jim Rhodes was my personal choice to become Iron Man --- and that didn’t exactly turn out the way I planned. I’m not sure that anybody can do the same with War Machine… the ‘younger generation’, worries me, sometimes… they’re so much more impulsive and violent than we ever were. So angry.
Night Thrasher: Either your butt moves --- or it gets kicked. Face it we’ve got you both outnumbered and outclassed in terms of raw power.
Iron Man: That may be true. But I was learning to deal with problems like that --- while you were still in diapers.
Tony Stark: Steve, I’m afraid something’s come up. Business, you know.
Steve Rogers: Of course. I’ve taken up too much of your time already.
Tony Stark: Don’t be ridiculous. How about we pick up where we left off later tonight? I’ll buy you dinner.
Steve Rogers: That’d be great. Thanks.
Tony Stark: I’ll give you a call at your hotel when I’m free.
Tony Stark (thinking): Technically, Cap is decades older than me, having been born in the 1920s --- and yet, he seems so… boyish, sometimes. Deceiving him makes me feel old and cynical – even when it’s for his own good.
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