- I have only a short time left to live...
- -- Iron Man
Appearing in "With Friends Like These..."
- "Comrade Attache" (Behind the scenes)
- Flashbacks of:
- Captain America (Mentioned)
- Colonel Polumbo
- President (Mentioned)
- Colonel Jacobi
- USSR/Russia (Mentioned)
- Moscow (Mentioned)
- Stark's sub-orbital ship
Synopsis for "With Friends Like These..."
Black Widow breaks into Stark's house in the middle of the night and wakes him up to ask for his help. He explains about his medical problems, telling her that if he becomes Iron Man he may die, and offers to contact Rhodes to help in his place. However Natasha tells him she needs his brain as much as his armor, and that they have to act within the next 90 minutes to prevent the start of World War III. He suits up as Iron Man and straps a suborbital one manned spaceship to his back for the widow to ride it, and they travel to NORAD. The Col. on duty tells them that they are in the middle of a weapons drill, and that he cannot shut down the automated defenses, but Iron Man successfully penetrates them. As they reach the base's zero zone, Iron Man wonders why they haven't see any sign of Oktober about, wondering if he has been called off, but Natasha tells him this is impossible; only six people knew of the Oktober plan's existence, and even she only learned about it by accident. Iron Man begins to wonder how she would have learned of such a secret operation, but Natasha interrupts him, pointing out they have very little time left. He breaks into the Joshua Room, which houses one manned launch protocols, but notes that it is empty, telling Natasha there is no sign of Oktober; a second later Black Widow knocks him unconscious with a neuro neutralizer, chiding him for assuming Oktober had to be a man.
- This issue contains a letters page, Printed Circuits. Letters are published from Victor Lau, Michael Church, Chris Connelly, Nick Barnes, and Rol Hirst.
- The N.O.R.A.D. military person, "Cosby", is of African-American descent, but does not appear to resemble the famed comedian/actor Bill Cosby.
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