Man #118-119 (1979)
Writer: Dave Micheline
Layouts: John Byrne
Finished Art/Plot: Bob Layton
Letterer: #118: Joe Rosen, #119: Diana Albers
off an attack by Spy Master, Tony Stark finds that the villain's weapons hold
Stark International serial numbers dating back to when the company made munitions.
Stark uses his trip to a NATO meeting aboard the SHIELD helicarrier as an excuse
to search for clues on the Spy Master. There he runs afoul of a traitorous group
of SHIELD agents who attempt to hijack the carrier and use it to take over Stark
International. After nearly crashing into Eastern Europe, Iron Man saves SHIELD
and its flying headquarters. Afterwards Stark checks data collected aboard the
helicarrier and learns SHIELD owns controlling shares in Stark International.
Stark confronts Fury and the colonel reveals that the U.S. government is using
SHIELD to gain control of the company so it
will produce weapons again.
in these issues inclue
a network of
rapid transport tubes and
a large confrence
is revealed to have bought stock in Stark International to ensure
it continues to produce munitions and arms
120 features a flashback to the events in these two issues
of the most oft-cited stories showing Nick Fury to be less the hero then
previous adventures have shown him to be. Artwise the story is a knockout
with an especially standout full-page spread of the helicarrier in issue
118 and both Stark and Fury are in their shaggy, 70's hair glory ( Stark
quips "If I don't get rid of this five o'clock shadow, I'll be tagged
as Nick Fury instead!"). The story is action packed with highlights
being a midair quick change for Stark into Iron Man, a Soviet attack
on the helicarrier and Iron Man's saving the carrier from being scuttled
across the mountains below.
Fury's characterization here is nothing unheroric until the final act
where it becomes a case of 'just following orders, son' justification. Although
its not unreasonable to assume Nick Fury would perhaps have found it
necessary to control Stark International, his stating that he places
love of country above friendship is slightly out of character. Unless
in the most dire of situations, its hard to think Fury would do such
a thing and the circumstances did not seem to merit it. Also,
in light of the actions taken by the hijackers for the very same
purpose, Fury's actions seem especially puzzling. However,
there could be a reason for all this...
Subsequent issues dealing with this plotline indicate Fury was just
following orders, however its no surprise that Stark would be angry
these actions taken by Fury.