For Part One of these Iron Man 1970s classics click HERE.
IRON MAN Vol 1 #71 (November 1974)
Title: Tooth and Yellow Claw
Villains: Black Lama and the Yellow Claw
Synopsis: This issue picks up right where the previous one left off. With Ultimo defeated, Iron Man flies toward the Mandarin’s former castle, now occupied by the Yellow Claw, who is exulting over having killed the Mandarin through trickery last time around.
NOTE: Naturally the Mandarin is not really dead and in 1977 will return in time for Iron Man # 95-100.
The Yellow Claw seized the Mandarin’s castle and killed his rival supervillain as the opening battles in the War of the Supervillains which has been set in motion by Iron Man’s old foe the Black Lama. The latter villain is offering his Golden Globe of Power as the world-conquering prize to whichever Marvel supervillain wins this deadly war.
Iron Man bursts through one of the castle walls, suprising the Yellow Claw. The Claw sics one of his biological constructs – a mutated “blob”-like creature – on our hero. After Tony defeats the cyborg creature, the Yellow Claw unleashes a swarm of his robots on Iron Man, robots which explode upon being defeated. Tony overcomes them, too, and survives a death-trap they maneuver him into.
Cut to Vietnam, specifically the Hidden City concealed within the Annamite Mountain Range. Marty March, the M.I.A. brother of Eddie March, shows Roxie Gilbert around the place. Marty has been using his engineering know-how to help construct this hideaway for Vietnamese of all political persuasions who wish to live in peace, hidden from the chaotic outside world.
Now that the Hidden City is complete and functioning as hoped, its ruler Kuon Set (yes, they actually named this villain Kuon Set) begins to fear Marty’s popularity with the people AND Marty’s familiarity with the city’s enigmatic secret called Dragonfire. To prevent Marty ultimately becoming a rival, he has him and his new guest Roxie Gilbert imprisoned.
Back at the Mandarin’s former castle in China, the Yellow Claw meets with the Black Lama, who congratulates him on his victory over the Mandarin. In addition, they discuss the fact that since the Claw is now the front runner in the War of the Supervillains, every new villain who enters the war will inevitably be gunning for him, sooner or later.
While the pair continue their conversation, Iron Man is fighting the latest biological construct set upon him by the Yellow Claw – a huge, fire-breathing cockroach with corrosive blood which can eat through bits of Tony’s armor. Our hero defeats this grotesque monster, then attacks the Black Lama and the Yellow Claw after eavesdropping on their conversation detailing the Lama’s plans for his War of the Supervillains.
All this confirms for Iron Man that War of the Supervillains that Sunfire clued him in to last time around. The Black Lama fights Tony briefly, then, bearing his globe, soon teleports away like he did in his previous battle against Iron Man.
As for the Yellow Claw, all his men and the castle’s high-tech defenses were wiped out in the battle with the Mandarin and his Makluan android Ultimo last issue. On top of that, Iron Man has defeated the last of his creations that he has on-hand, so the Claw manages to escape before he can be captured.
Iron Man himself is lucky to escape just in time before the Mandarin’s former castle explodes from all the damage to its Makluan tech last issue and this issue.
Next, Iron Man flies back to the Stark International Regional Headquarters in the Philippines, which he has been using as a temporary base while helping Roxie Gilbert’s expedition to find Marty March. He turns back into Tony Stark and showers before getting some sleep while pondering calling in the Avengers given the power levels of some of the villains the Black Lama plans to involve in his war.
The next morning, Tony is delighted to see Pepper Potts-Hogan and her husband Happy on hand. The pair just flew in. Tony agrees to rehire Happy Hogan, this time as his new Head of Security. This resolves Pepper and Happy’s marital problems, since they will both be pursuing their careers at the same place.
IRON MAN Vol 1 #72 (January 1975)
Title: Convention of Fear
NOTE: This story is partially set at the 1974 San Diego Comic-Con, back before that convention became the huge event that it was for a while.
Synopsis: By now Tony Stark has been back in the United States for some time. In the latest go-round of his massive reorganization of Stark International following his decision to stop doing munitions work, Tony is overseeing the reorganization of the San Diego offices of his company.
The Black Lama, upon learning that Stark is in San Diego for the present, changes up his plans. He was about to pit the Melter, Whiplash and the Man-Bull against each other as the latest battle in his War of the Supervillains. However, he now alters that to having them first kill their mutual foe Iron Man.
First, the Black Lama possesses a group of workers at the Stark International San Diego facilities and has them attack Tony, who defeats them. He puzzles over what villain may have caused this attack while he parties amid the San Diego night-life with an exotic dancer.
Next, as an excuse for assorted comic book industry in-jokes, the writers have Tony Stark attend the San Diego Comic-Con the next day for a break from running his business. He must don his Iron Man armor when Whiplash, Melter and the Man-Bull attack.
The Black Lama possesses the convention-goers like he possessed Stark’s employees the day before, so our hero realizes that the Lama was behind that attack by his own workers.
Amid a destructive battle, Iron Man defeats all four of the supervillains. The Black Lama escapes by teleporting away with his Golden Globe of Power, but the Melter, Whiplash and Man-Bull get arrested, furious at the Black Lama for abandoning them.
Unfortunately for continuity’s sake, not enough is made of the fact that this makes the very first time that Whiplash will actually be going to prison. He didn’t the previous two times he and Iron Man fought. The first time they got separated at sea and the second time Whiplash simply escaped.
I’LL POST THE NEXT INSTALLMENT SOON. KEEP CHECKING BACK.
FOR CHAPTER LINKS TO MY REVIEW OF SPIDER-MAN 1970s CLASSICS CLICK HERE.
FOR CHAPTER LINKS TO MY REVIEW OF CAPTAIN AMERICA & THE FALCON 1970s CLASSICS CLICK HERE.
FOR CHAPTER LINKS IN THE AVENGERS/ MANTIS/ KANG/ CELESTIAL MADONNA STORY CLICK HERE.
FOR MY LOOK AT THE FIRST TWENTY DOCTOR STRANGE STORIES IN THE 1960s CLICK HERE.
FOR A LOOK AT “IRON MAN & SUB-MARINER” # 1 and ONLY, CLICK HERE.
FOR CHAPTER LINKS IN THE AVENGERS/ KREE-SKRULL WAR STORY CLICK HERE.
FOR THE FIRST SEVERAL IRON FIST STORIES CLICK HERE.
FOR CHAPTER LINKS TO THE 1970s ADAM WARLOCK/ GAMORA/ THANOS/ MAGUS STORY CLICK HERE.
FOR THE EARLY GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY STORIES CLICK HERE.
FOR CHAPTER LINKS TO THE 1970s BLACK PANTHER VS KILLMONGER STORY CLICK HERE.
FOR DC FANS, CHAPTER LINKS TO MY REVIEWS OF WORLD WAR TWO ERA JUSTICE SOCIETY STORIES. CLICK HERE.