"Counter Force!" Iron Man 223 (October 1987)
"Low Noon!" Iron Man 224 (November 1987)
Reader Rating: Average; Thunderbolts Interest: Medium
Summary: An armored villain named Force escapes from Justin Hammer and seeks refuge under the protection of Iron Man. Hammer sends the Beetle, Blacklash and Blizzard to recover him. This leads to a showdown in a western-themed amusement park.
Continuity: The Beetle returns to Justin Hammerís employ, and makes the first of several appearances alongside Blacklash and Blizzard. He appears briefly out of armor, disguised in a toupee and glasses.
Donny makes his debut as Blizzard, and is shaky from the start. He is turned over to the police. Because of Donny's youth, Tony Stark helps him through the judicial process, hoping to prevent him from becoming a hardened criminal. (Source: "Unholy Ghost!", Gill/Next)
Somewhere near this time, Hammer upgrades the Beetle's armor with technology stolen from Iron Man (see "Stark Wars", Jenkins/Next). Abe escapes following his battle with Iron Man.
Comments: This anemic effort from David Michelinie and Bob Layton has all the right elements but canít quite pay them off. The story flow is clunky, and Michelinieís text seems very thin. The "showdown" finale is forced. The Beetle trades some convincing blows with Iron Man. When the Beetle hides in a barn, Iron Man goes looking for "a Beetle in a hay stack."
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This page was revised on December 29, 2004
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