How many more fists we talking, here? This very strong-smelling issue has the same creative team as last month. Whew! Doesn’t smell water damaged or anything, just… old. Kinda mothball-ish. Wow. Anyway, this one’s the rare older issue with 1st person narration from Peter Parker, who says if what he was told is true, he won’t remember any of this, so he’s writing it down. They promised off-beat. He’s having a very early breakfast in a diner when Iron Fist kicks a guy right through the window.
Laying it on pretty thick there, Pete-o. That knife would’ve scared you? Come on. Here’s the thing that always bugs me about Iron Fist. His power is his Iron Fist. He punches better than anybody. But anyone drawing martial arts knows kicks are more visually dynamic, so Iron Fist is always kicking people, not using the power which is his name. 2 more kicks, 1 chop, and 0 punches later, Fist’s foe is defeated, and he just walks out of the diner like he didn’t just wreck it over the outrage of the owner. Peter thinks he could be a hot news item and follows. Slipping into an alley, he changes to Spider-Man, careful with his still-battered hands. He plans to just tail Iron Fist and take photos.
Why bother with this backwards language bit? “Translate.” Come on. Nice skirt, whoever you are, and also weird binoculars. The Flash Gordon reject takes credit for making Iron Fist fight the guy earlier, and thinks he can engineer a similar dust up with Spider-Man, as he shoots down Spidey’s web at just the right angle to send him crashing into Iron Fist. No Spider Sense for any of this. Why would there be? Just a bunch of immediate danger!
They should have called him Iron Foot. Iron Foot tries a chop, which Spider-Man ducks under before headbutting him. This surprise blow sends IF to the ground. Spidey hopes to explain, but there’s more kicking immediately. Peter’s narration tells us that while they fought, Drom, The Backwards Man (Really!) was absorbing energy from them… uh, somehow. Spidey finally just webs up IF and talks sense into him, and suddenly they’re pals. Drom thinks that his energy levels will dip dangerously low if he can’t get them fighting again as he follows them to a construction site. Spidey thought they would be undisturbed there. Spidey is just realizing it’s weird his webbing snapped to drop him on IF when they found out how disturbed they can be.
Spidey tries to fight the concrete thing or whatever until Drom tries to shoot him, his Spidey Sense finally kicking in this issue, and Drom shoots the monster, instead. Spidey is not surprised to find a villain behind this, and tries to web him, but seems is web decay and turn to dust as it approaches the mystery man. Spidey’s so shocked Drom’s next blast is a direct hit, and Spider-Man wakes up in a futuristic lab. Drom’s initial backwards talking attempts to communicate fail, but he remembers to turn on his translator.
He’s Benjamin Button! None of this explains why he’s dressed like that!
What in the name of sanity, indeed. Spidey warns IF not to touch Drom, or he’ll drain his energy, but Drom is no match for Iron Fist, who disarms him without touching him and then frees Spider-Man before Drom can do anything else.
The way the chunks of comics I’ve chosen to read sometimes rhyme with each other is so weird to me. For the 2nd block in a row, but almost 6 years apart, Spider-Man watches someone de-age into oblivion.
What a ridiculous issue. And speaking of which, the letter page is almost unanimous negative response to the ridiculousness of MTU 28, when people were dragging Manahattan around like that’s a thing you can do. One of those negative letters is from future Marvel editor Ralph Macchio. Editorial admits almost everyone thought Hercules towing Manhattan back into place was just too silly, which is kinda rare. Pretty funny. Also: No Marvel Value Stamp, dead or alive. Maybe this is when the first wave ended. As that teaser for a Torch story next issue indicates, there’s another issue of Giant-Size coming, and we’ll see it next time.