Two more Marvel reviews, including the(supposed) Iron Man/Fear Itself tie-in. All I'm gonna say is that that issue of IM was about as loosely tied in to Fear Itself as humanly possible...
Invincible Iron Man #503(Fear Itself tie-in):
Summary: Last issue Dr. Octopus activated the nuclear bomb he had acquired with the intention of destroying Manhattan. Tony Stark tries to defuse the bomb, but is continuously harassed/attacked by Octopus. Tony manages to break away from Octopus and starts working on the bomb again, when it suddenly loses two minutes, going from 4 minutes to detonation to 2 minutes in the span of a single second. Realizing he had no chance to defuse the bomb now, Tony decides to plead with Octopus to shut down the bomb. Octopus forces Tony to literally beg on his hands and knees, while demanding Tony only refers to him as “Master”. With no recourse, Tony does as he's told, but Octopus, being an absolute jerk, doesn't feel Tony is being sincere, so he drops the countdown to 30 seconds. Now totally panicked, Tony begs in earnest, kissing one of his tentacles and telling Octopus that he was smarter then Tony in every way. Having gotten what he wanted, Octopus shuts down the counter and disarms the bomb. Octopus reveals that the bomb was never wired to explode, and that he never actually called it a “bomb” just a device. Tony calls Octopus on that, since Octopus had repeatedly called the device a bomb, and Octopus just shrugs and says that he lied to get what he wanted, before leaving... HA! From there, Pepper Potts saves two of Tony's scientists from Sandman and Electro(although they get away) and a few of the events from Fear Itself #1 are replayed here.
Thoughts: Eh. I really enjoyed the first few parts of this storyline, but this one left me a bit apathetic. I liked what Octopus did to Tony, as it was a real jerk move, but Tony seemed to give in just a bit too easy to Octopus for my taste. The stuff with Pepper and Octopus's goons didn't thrill me, and the Fear Itself stuff wasn't anything new, simply a repeat of those items falling from the sky. So while the stuff with Tony and Octopus was good, the rest of this comic was kind of flat for me.
Score: 6 out of 10.Huh, maybe I should have put this on the kissing blog...
Summary: Luke Cage and the Thunderbolts find out that Warden Walker(the former US Agent) had been instructed by the government(?) to begin assembling a Thunderbolts Beta team to be headed by Songbird. Cage doesn't like this, but before he can really raise any hell over it, he's called away on a mission to a magical castle in Germany. Now that Satana was a member of the T-Bolts, the government wanted Cage and the T-Bolts to deal with some mystical troubles, thus explaining the mission and its timing. Luke and th T-Bolts head off to Germany and enter the magical castle, only to be assaulted by several powerful WWI era poltergeists. The T-Bolts find themselves being decimated by the spirits, and Luke asks Satana to do something to help, to which she responds with a quiet laugh. Back at the T-Bolts prison, Songbird, Mack V, Fixer and Walker are interviewing potential Beta T-Bolt recruits, which goes well until Songbird gives Dr. Zabo his formula, turning him into Mr. Hyde. The hope was that Hyde would serve as the muscle for the Beta Bolts, but it seems he'd rather tear Songbird in half!
Thoughts: I had absolutely NO problems with this issue. The duel storylines were good, the two cliffhangers have me looking forward to the next issue, as do the two possible betrayals that are staring Cage and Songbird in the face. Will Satana turn on Cage and the T-Bolts on her very FIRST mission(I hope not!), will Hyde try to kill Songbird and lose his shot at becoming a Beta Bolt(I don't care much about Hyde one way or the other...)? Good stories and strong cliffhangers are a good way to have me eagerly anticipating the next issue!
Score: 8 out of 10.A little bit of Satana makes my life a happier place.