|It just would be the crossing without needless ass shots.|
It's time again for that special kind of pain known as The Crossing. When we left off Tony Stark was responsible for several murders, the wasp was suffering from bankruptcy, a new member of Force Works had appeared from outta nowhere, and fashion sense was at an all time low. What else could possibly go wrong? Let's find out.
Iron Man #320
I never knew that Stark had his own medical center/loony bin nor that he used it to stash away ex-girlfriends yet that is exactly where the story picks up. Some fine ass blonde breaks free of the place and runs off into the dark and stormy night on her way to find Tony. As she jumps and flips off the building we're treated to this informative bit of writing that states “Nothing but the fragile orchids of her own garden hurt in the fall.” The fuck? Did she pull her vagina during those acrobatics?
Moving on to a sunny morning in L.A. Iron Man spends his hours putting a stop to a variety of crimes in some rather odd ways. Best example being when he stops a drug dealer from selling to private school kids by straight up crushing her hand! This art is just so very 90's. Of course no one would notice a woman selling drugs in broad daylight to 6 year olds with adult hands. After crippling the woman, Tony has a press conference to open a park. He's having a full day.
|I guess that's one way to stop a crime.|
Then there's a brief aside to some random guys in Vietnam who discover that a special temple has disappeared and that the priests of pama may be damned. Make any sense to you? Me neither.
Back at the office, Tony has a quick collab with his assistant Bethany, and shows off the advantadge of being the guy who makes up the dress code. After a lil sexual harassment he goes down to his basement to talk with what is apparently a homosexual robot. Had to look this guy up online. Machinesmith was some tech savvy villain who transfers his consciousness to a robot after death. Of course this robot looks just like he did as a person and it seems like he's got a mad crush on the Vision. Tony claims he just has him around for tech talk but I'm not buying it.
|It's good to be the boss.|
The remainder of the issue consists of Tony whining, blacking out to visions of a blonde girl, waking up in his kitchen, and going outside for a good cry. So far, these Iron Man issues are the worst part of the crossing which doesn't come as a huge surprise since their written by Terry Kavinough. Long time visitors may remember him as the man responsible for the first comic I ever owned and a piss poor writer.
Back in Avengers land, Swordsman goes out for a late night walk and bumps into Tuc the fortune teller and some old bald monk who commands him to “got to where the heroes gather and ask who morns for Agaphaur?” I've already finished reading this tome and I don't think he ever got around to sharing that info. Good job, swordy. This is interrupted by another visit to the wasps lawyers who've discovered which rat bastard is responsible for her financial troubles. Do we get to share in this knowledge? Nope. That's knowledge for another day but it does give us another exaggerated close up of Janet's reaction face.
|I still don't understand the reason for any of this subplot.|
Back at the Mansion, the others are finally catching on to the multiple homicides that happened during yesterdays party. Before they can come to any conclusions, another slaughter takes place.
Don't let the art fool you into thinking this new threat is imposing. He's actually a lil blue dwarf that came outta the magic door in the basement (what's with this story and basements anyway?). He wastes Gilgamesh which seems like overkill since his cellular degradation was supposed to kill him in just a few hours anyway. He then proceeds to kick the teams collective ass before running back to his magical doorway for a glowly escape.
Licking their wounds, the Avengers pack up and abandon the mansion as some mystery woman laughs. Also of note is how Luna repeatedly says “bad man” when Stark's on the comm room monitor and does anyone take a hint? Not a one. Seriously; her and Rachel Carpenter have already got this mystery in the bag while their parents stand around drooling. Oh crap, next up is another Iron Man issue.
Iron Man #321
A great deal of this issue revolves around Tony and Hank Pym trying their best “science” on that magic dwarf spawning door. Nothing makes a dent in the thing so Tony takes a time-out to chat with a rather vascular looking Hercules.
|You might want to get that checked out, Herc.|
Gotta note the bit where the narrator mentions Pym's difficulty in shrinking back down to normal size. It seems like they wanted to return to the era when he was stuck as a permanent giant but this is never mentioned again for the entire crossover. It's one of many instances where this event starts something without actually going anywhere with it.
Stark eventually gets the brilliant idea to rebuild the surveillance cam footage from the night of the party and discovers...well they don't show it but since we already know who did it, big whoop. Then he has another black out, waking to find that Hank has been smacked down like a bitch. Then the crazy ex-grilfriend shows up resulting in the most hilariously dramatic panel so far.
|hahahahah! I can't, oh I just can't!|
She chases him around the mansion for a bit until right as she's about to kill him, Madam Masque shows up with a taser. Hank wakes up to discover the mansion is empty. That's it.
Force Works #17
Oh thank god it's Force Works. These are the highest quality issues this event has to offer so it's almost refreshing to read one. We open in Vietnam where a kid named Kim is flying kites with his friends until a monk appears from nowhere, slams into the kid and they both vanish. And boy do I mean vanish. Kim's friends don't ever remember his existence anymore. Kim's got some assholes for friends.
Way back in California, Iron Man (so much for his disappearance) is showing the new girl he brought in to the Force Works crew. Suzi Endo made her own tech suit and is honestly a more effective hero and dresser than most of the other characters in the story so far. She's not the only surprise Stark has for the team though as he shows them the aforementioned surveillance footage which shows Hawkeye killing the nanny. A small fight later and U.S. Agent is on the hunt for his old buddy, who he finds (in costume mind you) at a pool hall. Just love that these guys do everyday stuff in their uniforms. Where's the issue where they go to get groceries in full battle gear? Anyway; turns out Iron Man and Suzi, oh excuse me, Cybermancer (oh, that name) followed Agent. They knock out Hawkeye and head back to base.
Back at the base, Rachel is witness to Moonraker having some kinda good old fashioned freakout. Turns out no one believes that she's never seen the guy before. Why do none of these people listen to their fucking kids? Upon returning with the unconscious Hawkeye, Scarlet Witch kicks Iron Man off the team and they all go to check on Moonraker, who's noticed that Vietnam is gone. No one else remembers such a place ever existing. Astute Marvel fans might think that the Vietnam connection could in some way alter Iron Mans past since that's where his origin took place. Maybe that has something to do with why it's gone. And who knows what kind of changes ripple through society without the Vietnam war being a thing, I mean just think of a sad world without Rambo movies. Well forget all that cause the writers never thought to cover any of those angles or the fact that if Vietnam didn't exist than there's a strong chance Iron Man wouldn't either.
Most of the team flies off to investigate, leaving Agent and Cybermancer to watch the prisoner, and Iron Man just goes off to continue being a bitch. Oh and Vietnam? It's a crazy portal full of shadow birds or something.
War Machine #20
At last, the final series of the crossover comes in. And this one is actually nice enough to fill us in on recent developments. Turns out James Rhodes had recently lost his classic Armor and decided to take a trip to Canada. While there he found and bonded with an alien suit called Eidolan Warware. Marvel was obviously trying to give ol Rohdy the Venom treatment. If alien costumes can spice up one comic, why not another? What they didn't take into consideration is that while the original Venom symbiotic was pretty cool looking, this thing is....wow.....just take a look.
|Behold the great technoturtle!|
Now if that design weren't bad enough the art team isn't doing it any favors. The War Machine issues are the recipients of the worst art in this collection. Just check out this bit from a side story about some lady friends.
So Rhodes is taking a drive with a mystery woman who knows thing about his warware when they come across a giant guy named Wulfgang who's going through some super roid rage. This gives Jim a cheap opportunity to show off the new suit and fill in a few pages. Afterward the lady runs off and our hero gets dragged into the story at large when U.S. Agent fills him in on recent events. Rhodes take the surveillance tape for analysis which shows that it's so high quality, only 3 or 4 people could have faked it. One of those people is of course, Tony Stark.
Agent and War Machine decide to take Hawkeye someplace he'll be safe. This involves beating Cybermancer out of her wits and snatching a jet. With that; everything is in place for this story to truly go off the rails. Don't dare miss the next entry folks cause this thing really does make the jump from stupid to full on travesty. See ya soon.