Monday, April 09, 2007

Triangle (Marvel comics)
Iron Man #316 When: May 1995
Why: Len Kaminski How: Tom Morgan

The story so far...
With the Cold War well and truly behind America, Stark Industries finally succeeds in efforts to open an industrial park in Russia. Good news for Stark, but not so much for resurrected Soviet Super-Soldier, Boris Bullski aka the Titanium Man.

With the Black Widow by his side, Iron Man finds himself in a fight for his life, while Russian military scramble to recover and put an end to this political nightmare.

In their desperation, the Russians turn to a former villain and ally of the Titanium Man - General Valentin Shatalov - the sixth man to wear the armor of the Crimson Dynamo. Thus, with hopes for a future Russia, they send their soldier into battle -- but whose side will he be on?

Previous Form:
Iron Man (#4): Iron Man has a string of victories against; Diablo, Hulk, Captain America, & She-Hulk.
Black Widow (#117): The Widow was among the pro-registration heroes during Civil War.
Crimson Dynamo/Titanium Man: Neither of the armored Russians have previously been featured on the site.

Tale of the tape...
Strength: Titanium Man 6 (Invincible)
Intelligence: Iron Man 5 (Professor)
Speed: Black Widow 3 (Trained Athlete)
Stamina: Titanium Man 6 (Generator)
Agility: Black Widow 4 (Gymnast)
Fighting Ability: Black Widow 5 (Martial Artist)
Energy Powers: Iron Man 5 (Lasers)

Alright, I'm running behind schedule once again, and there's a lot to get through, so I suppose here is as good a place as any (as opposed to all those other places we usually begin...).

For anyone wondering, we're dealing with mostly originals here.
This is the resurrected Boris Bullski-Titanium Man at this point, and the Black Widow featured is the always lovely, always deadly, always Russian about the place -- Natasha Romanova.

As the tape shows, despite being equally rated with his armored counterparts, Titanium Man excells in the field of strength and durability. At the heart of his bulk is a lack of technology, which required much larger mechanics along the lines of the earliest 'refridgerator' suits of the Iron Man armor.
That said, this appears to have come with great capacity for physical strength, and that's definitely got to be recognised.

In the numbers game, the advantage goes to the good guys, who number not only Black Widow, super-spy extraordinaire -- but also the pairing of two suits of armor in Iron Man and this sixth incarnation of the Crimson Dynamo.
While it may not be reflected in the armor's capabilities, I probably rate this as the slickest and most attractive suit of crimson armor. While that will win it points with the fashion judges, it gets no points for originality. Tres derivate~!

But more to the point, the combined abilities of the two suits of armor should spell defeat for the Titanium one. The nature of the beast (and materials used to make his suit) make it possible for Titanium Man to turn the tables, but statistically it just shouldn't happen.

The Math: Iron Man, Black Widow & Crimson Dynamo
The Pick: Iron Man, Black Widow & Crimson Dynamo

What went down...
We begin our story with our invincible hero in the menacing clutch of the Titanium Man, as the villain threatens to break him in two!
Fortunately for Mr. Stark, the Black Widow is on hand to swoop in to the rescue and do more than the translating she was paid for: like kick some tin can ass!

With Titanium Man on the back foot, the former Russian spy reintroduces her comrade to the pain of the Widow's bite, firing her blast directly into the base of the Titanium Man's helmet.

The attack serves only to further enrage the Titanium Man!
With Iron Man being whipped around like a ragdoll, Black Widow is left to play the agility game, leaping to avoid the attacks of her countryman while Iron Man rights himself for a second pass.

He thunders in, jetting head-first into his adversary like a human torpedo.
The attack still doesn't manage to fell the bulky Russian, leaving Iron Man to take energy blasts.

The nimble mechanics of the Iron Man armor allow him to slink between the beams with relative ease, despite taking a hit initially. Stark berates Widow for getting involved, despite being grateful for the save, and punctuates his ability to take Titanium Man down, plummeting atop the aforementioned feet-first with devestating results.

Iron Man comes around to finish the job, but Black Widow intervenes, insistent upon talking Bullski down, perhaps even relating to his dated ideals on some level.
At that moment, ruby blasts rain down from the sky, signalling the entrance of the man we're here to acknowledge:

The Dynamo informs Iron Man of his jurisdiction, and orders him to stand down to allow him right to deal with the Russian matter. Iron Man, not content with leaving the battle, reenforces his claim with the threat to Stark property.

Titanium Man begins a sermon of distain for the foreign interference, but to his surprise he is abruptly shushed by his countryman. Though the Crimson Dynamo voices similar distaste for the capitalist tendencies of their government, he declares his allegiance to the country as it is, and not as he or the Titanium Man would have it be.

Titanium Man is not so easily convinced.

TM runs through the Dynamo, and swats him out of the air with an unforgiving fist!
Like the attack he suffered moments ago, Titanium Man brings the entirety of his armor's weight down upon the comparably diminutive suit of the Crimson Dynamo, squashing him between he and the Earth.

The Dynamo continues to try to reach out with a calm voice of reason, lamenting that their efforts of the past [Ramont 4] were futile and foolish. However, this only strengthens the Titanium Man's resolve, and harshens the blows of his bulky gauntlets.

Iron Man makes the save, charging from behind with a stiff shoulder.
As Titanium Man turns to meet his attacker, the Black Widow strikes again with the blast of her sting, and yet again Titanium Man turns, this time struck by a blast from the Crimson Dynamo!

Betrayal comes from all sides as Titanium Man finds himself the victim of a combined triple threat of pooled attacks. Though they serve to rattle his cage, the Ruski super-soldier is still able to swat away the opposition, and with one final jet blast, make an escape.
"Though you are all against me, I shall never surrender!"

With the damage of the battle having taken it's toll, Iron Man is unable to follow the fleeing Titanium Man, turning instead to find the Black Widow nursing a floored Crimson Dynamo. Though badly hurt, he has served his country valiantly.
As a mark of respect, Tony Stark strips Shatalov of the Dynamo armor, and swares a resolution for the people of Russia.

The hammer...
Magneto was mad! Titanium too! And the Crimson Dynamo picked up the victory along with Iron Man and Black Widow.

We've been doing this for two months now, and honestly, I have to admit it's been probably that long since I played the Marvel: Ultimate Alliance video game, so the relevence of each of these character's appearances is starting to dissipate.
I went with a Crimson Dynamo appearance that I had handy, and was interested in. As I mentioned in the tape, this has got to be the best looking Dynamo design, even if it's similar to IM's.

I'm a Barbie girl! In a Barbie worrrrrrld!Fortunately for us, the game features Shatalov in the armor, so I didn't have to cheat my way through this one. There have been something like seven or eight different men to wear the armor, so as you can imagine, it can make sending evil Christmas cards difficult come December in Latveria.

If the accompanying image shows nothing else, it's that Tony Stark is living the life of the ultimate action figure.

If you switched out the helmet, I guess this design harkens back to the Centurian armor worn in the eighties. Or maybe that's just a really lazy observation because of the red and silver colour palette.

Speaking of armor, the first official images have been leaked from the set of the 2008 Iron Man feature film. It appears to be a shadey image of the first model of Iron Man armor, bulkier and unrefined than he will ultimately appear in the majority of the film, or at least we've been led to believe.

I've noticed a lot of people blindly speculating that it's War Machine, presumably because they're unfamiliar with the original bullet grey 'refridgerator' suit, or because they're blissfully unaware that the metals used probably don't come red and yellow.

Either way, amaze your friends with the knowledge that one of the earliest certainties revealed by director Jon Favreau was the fact that the movie will feature a fast track through the graduating design processes.
This fits neatly with the tweaked origin developed by Warren Ellis and Adi Granov during the Extremis storyline, that featured a scaled down version of the original armor.

If you're wondering where I'm going with all this, it's nowhere fast.
Once again we find ourselves a few updates behind, and I must apologise for that. There's been a massive influx of hits, and we've just hit 10k, so a big thanks to all the people all over the world visiting.

Some big things coming, but until then, I've gotta get some sleep! Cheers!

The Fight: 4 The Issue: 4.5

NEXT WEEK: Swing your arms from side-to-side. Come on, it's time to go do the MODOK!

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