Appearing in "Iron Tears"
- Agents of Hydra
- Agents of A.I.M
- Bambi Arbogast
- Samuels, one of Madame Masque's bodyguards
- Spangler, one of Madame Masque's bodyguards
- Unnamed firefighters
- Unnamed hotel worker
- Unnamed bodyguards
- Nick Cloot (Mentioned)
Synopsis for "Iron Tears"
This story continues from Iron Man #247...
In Los Angeles, high-ranking members of the Maggia are meeting to discuss the recent exposure of their ties to the government and FBI and their inability to take hold of organized crime in Las Vegas. This last bit of news comes as a shock because Nick Cloot was sent, but was apparently beaten by Michael Berengetti's enforcer Joe Fixit. When one of the Maggia leaders demands Fixit's head, the Hulk comes crashing in as if summoned on cue. The Hulk makes short work of the Maggia's guards, and tells the men gathered here that they wrecked his life in Vegas and he is considering it an act of war. Suddenly, Iron Man comes ripping through the floor and blasts the Hulk in the chest with a double repulsor blast. The two battle it out across the hotel until Iron Man manages to blast him outside where the Hulk seemingly escapes. The Maggia men then approach the armored avenger who want to know how he knew that Joe Fixit was after them. Iron Man tells them it was luck as he was just passing by when he spotted the Hulk. The Maggia men offer to hire Iron Man, but he initially refuses the job. However, they offer to not only pay him to keep the Hulk off their back, but also offer the identity as to who killed Whitney Forst. Iron Man accepts, but demands that the money be hand delivered, in cash, by the new Madam Masque. Iron Man then departs, telling the gangsters to contact him on a specific radio band in order to agree to the conditions.
Iron Man then flies back to Stark Enterprises where he meets back up with the Hulk. The Hulk is in a sour mood because Iron Man used a double repulser blast on him, but hero tells the Hulk that their fight had to look convincing so they could set their trap for the Maggia. The Hulk then decides to take off and Iron Man decides to let him go. Going back inside, he changes back into his civilian identity of Tony Stark, having to once again confine himself to a hovering wheelchair thanks to his broken spine. He recounts that it is because of Bruce Banner that he was able to get his mind off of things. He thinks back to the day when Banner came to his office....
... Banner just showed up one day and was able to convince secretary Bambi Arbogast to tell Stark that he was there. The two meet in one of Stark's labs, where they exchange pleasantries at first. However, Stark's self-pity over his recent paralysis turns into anger, but Bruce tells Tony to never compare their losses as he has lost a great deal thanks to his shared existence with the Hulk. Bruce then tells to never give up, telling him his hope of seeing Betty and their baby again is what helps him hold it all together. With that out of the way, Bruce tells Tony that he has an idea that they can use the Hulk as a weapon against their mutual enemies. Later, Bruce went into his mind to talk to the Hulk. The Hulk was still upset over doing a job for Hydra and AIM only to have his payment get incinerated. He then suggests that they could work with Iron Man to get revenge against the Maggia, AIM and Hydra all at the same time. Watching this through the eyes of his Iron Man armor, Tony was disturbed to see the conversation between the two halves of Bruce's mind, especially when he began to transform into the Hulk. The Hulk then agreed to go along with Bruce and Iron Man's plan...
... With his recollection over, Tony now waits with Bruce Banner for the radio broadcast from the Maggia to confirm the conditions of Iron Man's requests. The Maggia responds that they will meet Iron Man's demands provided that he can provide proof of the Hulk's demise. Iron Man later meets with the Maggia who have brough a lot of security and what appears to be two Deadnaught robots. When Madam Masque makes an appearance with a briefcase full of money, she demands to see the proof that the Hulk has been eliminated. Suddenly, one of the Dreadnaughts grabs the money, revealing itself to the Hulk in disguise. As Iron Man makes a run for Madam Masque, agent of Hydra and AIM come crashing in from the ceiling. Leaving his money in the care of a hotel clerk, the Hulk then faces these new attackers. In the ensuing battle the members of the Maggia, Hydra and AIM are easily defeated, but Madam Masque manages to escape before Iron Man can get any answers. Later, the authorities arrive at the scene and Iron Man explains the situation while the Hulk recovers his money and leaves the scene.
The following morning, Bruce Banner pays a visit to Tony Stark at his office to thank him and say goodbye. Tony seems upset about something, and tells Bruce that they should talk. Bruce understands that he should be looking for a cure for himself, but wants to do it alone. He explains that he has gotten a job at a remote nuclear research facility in Yucca Flats. He tells Tony once again that the idea of seeing his child keeps him positive to find a cure. Tony wishes Bruce the best, unable to tell Banner the real reason that he was upset: having just looked up information on Betty Banner, Tony has learned that Betty recently had a miscarriage and lost the baby.
- The Maggia bosses discuss their recent losses:
- How their connections to the government and the FBI were exposed. That happened thanks to Iron Man leaking the information to the media in Iron Man #247.
- How they have lost Las Vegas: The Maggia had been trying to get a foothold there since Incredible Hulk #347, they eventually sent Nick Cloot to try and secure the situation in Incredible Hulk #356, but he was ultimately defeated by the Hulk in Incredible Hulk #359.
- The Maggia boss mentions how Iron Man recently rescued Madam Masque from Hydra and AIM and how his "employer" Tony Stark was selling controlling stock in Stark Industries. This process began in Iron Man #246-Iron Man #247.
- In this story everyone thinks that Iron Man and Tony Stark are two separate individuals. This is because at the time of this story Tony's double-identity was a secret. He does not reveal his identity to the general public until Iron Man Vol 3 #55.
- Iron Man wants to know who apparently killed Whitney Frost and who the new Madam Masque is. This who situation is a complicated ruse. As explained in Avengers Vol 3 #32 the real Whitney Frost/Madame Masque became paranoid and went into hiding shortly after Iron Man #116. In her place was a series of bio-duplicates who took her place. Iron Man was led to believe that Whitney Frost was killed in Iron Man #238, however, this was the first of many bio-duplicates. This new Madam Masque was the second Bio-Duplicate used.
- Tony Stark is confined to a wheelchair in this story because he was shot through the spine by his former girlfriend Kathy Dare shot him through the spine in Iron Man #242. Stark eventually repairs his spine in Iron Man #248.
- Tony Stark mentions how "Iron Man" last saw the Hulk during the "Evolutionary thing". He is referring to the Evolutionary War, which Iron Man and the Hulk fought side-by-side in during the events of Avengers Annual #17.
- Bruce mentions how he is hoping to see Betty and her baby soon. Betty learned she was pregnant with Bruce's child in Incredible Hulk #340, Bruce learning the truth in Incredible Hulk #344. Unknown to Bruce, Betty had a miscarriage as explained last issue.
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