eruthros: Ivanova from B5 saying "boom boom boom boom" to Londo -- angry icon!! (B5 - Ivanova boom)
[personal profile] eruthros
Okay, so, Marvel just did a back-dated story - Iron Man 258.1 through 258.4 - which fills in some of the time post-Armor Wars; basically it's an Iron Man story that fits in about 1990 in continuity but doesn't involve time travel or anything. Which makes the decision they made about the storyline make NO SENSE. And also makes that decision infuriating.

Iron Man 258.4 spoilers plus some discussion of plots from, like, 1994

I'm not a huge fan of the Armor Wars storyline, so I almost gave this a miss, except that by virtue of the timeline it had to have Rhodey in it! And Rhodey is largely missing from Marvel Now! So I read it prepared to be kind of bored by the plot but pleased by the Rhodey/Tony. And indeed Rhodey is in it and indeed he hugs Tony, so in that sense I was satisfied.

Only. For no readily apparent reason, Iron Man 258.1 had like three panels of Rae LaCoste in it - Rae's a minor character from the 80s-90s, a hairdresser who gave Tony a perm and (probably) had casual hookups with him and later ended up dating Rhodey and then just sort of faded out of the story. And in 258.1, she shows up for a tiny series of panels to deliver flowers to Tony - hey, neat reference to the original comics arcs! - and then suddenly turns out to be a spy.

Me: Wait, WHAT?

Rae LaCoste is a spy now?

A car pulling over to the side of a road; Rae's in the car and turning on the radio.
Caption: A side road, some distance from Stark Enterprises.
Rae: Okay, now to see what's playing on station--- --K-S-P-Y!
Somebody at Stark Enterprises: The Bio-Lab just called, Dr. Sondheim. They've received --


... so, okay, Rae's a spy now? Retconned into a spy? That's ... weird. What does that do to her romance with Rhodey? Is she working for Justin Hammer the whole time? What? I guess we'll find out in the next issue?

Cut to Iron Man 258.2! In which an evil Tony Stark computer program lures Rae to Tony's office, locks her in, and tries to convince her to be his "surrogate."

Rae LaCoste is not interested in sexing computers

Rae sitting in front of a computer.
Rae: You ... you're not Tony!
Tony 2.0: More like Tony 2.0 -- -- all the intelligence with none of the annoying moral ambivalence. Old Tony wanted to make the world a better place, but never had the stones to do what was necessary. I have no such restrictions. My only limit is a lack of physical capability. But you shall fit those needs -- -- as my surrogate.
Rae: Hmm, lemme think. No.

Rae pulls out a taser and hits the computer with an electric charge, which turns off Tony 2.0 and opens the door so she can escape.


So Tony 2.0 is not very happy with this and uses his Skynet abilities to send a drone off to attack Rae; she fights back but is losing, and Tony has to show up as Iron Man to destroy the drone. Unfortunately there's a giant explosion first. So she's dead.

Me: ... wait, WHAT?

Rae LaCoste is dead now?

Tony as Iron Man standing in a field of flaming debris; there's a largely unrecognizable body in front of him.
Caption: Fourteen seconds. And all that remains are remnants. Of a sundered machine ... ... and a shattered heart. He stands unmoving, too spent to even voice promises of vengeance. Then turns away, his blurring eyes ... ... missing a glimmer of gold within the flames. The hint of an answer. Or perhaps ... ... the greatest mystery of all.


Like, seriously, what? So obviously we're hinting that she's still alive, and what, like, is she supposed to be Madame Masque or something, and anyway this is a fill-in comic so it can't just kill her off; she'll be back by issue 258.4. But how annoying that they're doing this temporary manpain bullshit! Sigh.

Only then she wasn't in 258.3.

And she wasn't in 258.4.

And the very last page of 258.4 was:

Rae LaCoste is REALLY dead now?

Tony and Rhodey standing in a cemetery; Tony looks sad and Rhodey puts his hand on Tony's shoulder.
Caption: Two days later, at the somber funeral of Rae LaCoste...
Tony: There was more to her than I ever suspected, Jim. I wonder ... who she really was.
Rhodey: You loved her?
Tony: Yes.
Rhodey: She love you?
Tony: I believe so.
Rhodey: Then maybe, for now ... ... that needs to be enough.


Aaand that's the end! Of the fill-in comics! Close on Tony's sad face, not even a single crystal tear! Rae is dead! And possibly not Rae! But even if she weren't Rae, there'd still be no explanation for the later comics where Rae just walks in and is like "hi dudes!" and nobody double-takes and says "Wait, then who did we bury?"

Basically the entire point of this arc is to retcon fridge Rae for Tony's manpain! Which is especially ridiculous since, like, ten issues later Tony Stark dies and Rhodey ends up in charge of Stark Enterprises and he and Rae start hanging out and:

Rae LaCoste is a zombie I guess?

Rhodey and Rae sitting outdoors at the Atomic Cafe; Rhodey's telling Rae about his first board meeting, and joking that he thought he was going to be quizzed on spelling.
Rhodey: I was ready for 'em though. Had it written on my sleeve.

She puts her hand on top of his hand...
Rae: Hahahahaha! I have a lot of fun with you, y'know.

... and Rhodey yanks his hand away.
Rhodey: Um. I ... Um.
Rae: What's wrong, Jim?
Rhodey: It's just ... well ... weird ... seeing as you were Tony's --
Rae: Friend. I was Tony's friend. That's all. You, on the other hand ... well, I sort of had something else in mind ...
Rhodey: Oh. Okay.


... so I guess Rhodey's dating a zombie now? And it sure is weird that we got to do Tony's manpain about losing his girlfriend fifteen issues before she says they weren't in a relationship!

Like. Not only is it pointless and gratuitous manpain, it's pointless and gratuitous manpain that completely fucks up later continuity. You can't kill Rae in 258 and not explain it away! You just can't! It makes no SENSE.

ARGH I am so infuriated by this I can't even. WHY. WHAT IS THE POINT OF THIS.
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eruthros: Delenn from Babylon 5 with a startled expression and the text "omg!" (Default)
eruthros

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