REVIEW CORNER: Iron Man # 254

Iron Man # 254

Writer/Artist: Bob Layton
Colorist: Paul Becton
Letterer: Janice Chiang

Cover Date: March 1990


Welcome back to “Review Corner” and for this week’s installment, I’m still keeping with the “Christmas in Comics” concept by taking a look at Iron Man # 254.

Bob Layton, at the time was fresh off his second run on this book with David Michelinie, returns for this done-in-one holiday spectacular where Iron Man faces off with a new Spymaster and for some comic fans that love action with their holiday stories, then this issue is for you as Layton really does a wonderful job of keeping the holiday vibe in tact all while building up to the rebirth of a classic Iron Man villain (The Original Spymaster was killed off in Iron Man # 220) ; I really liked the origin of this new Spymaster as he’s really a student of The Taskmaster (The main villain of the still- forthcoming “Black Widow” movie) who’s been training various mercenaries and criminals so they can be in the employ of Justin Hammer. Wonderful stuff here from Layton, who has shown time and time again what a great writer he is.

And the climatic battle between Iron Man and Spymaster was very well done (Seems like Spymaster needs a “trophy” to prove he’s worthy of working for Mr. Hammer) and it doesn’t take long for Spymaster to crash Tony Stark’s Christmas Party so he can obtain a ornament that’s on top of a Christmas Tree; I mean yeah, that part does seem pointless but I can’t deny that element was done quite well and never came across as being corny nor dragging the story down.

This was an entertaining issue of Iron Man and this is another holiday themed story that is enjoyable and it showed that Bob Layton should have gotten a chance to write Iron Man solo; Don’t get me wrong, I still love his collaborations with David Michelinie but one can only imagine what Layton could have brought to the table. Satisfying from beginning to end, this is an issue of Iron Man that will never get old.

Next week, I’ll be back with another review of a Holiday-themed issue and I will keep this going until the week of Christmas. Thanks for sticking around and I will see you all next time.

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