Monday, September 27, 2010

Competition Is Murder- Supervillains and Industrial Sabotage

Cover to Iron Man: Legacy #1, art by Salvador Larrocca

While reading Iron Man:Legacy #1, I stumbled upon an interesting topic. The story opens with Stark Industries being attacked by environmental terrorists protesting Stark's arc reactor technology. Though it initially seems that a group of idealists armed with melting ray beams are trying to topple Stark's industrial power, a quick investigation by Tony Stark shows that the environment group is actually funded by an oil conglomerate. What had appeared to be an act of idealistic terrorism was actually good old fashioned industrial sabotage. And this is not a frequent occurance in the comic book world. It seems that the cost of doing business in a comic book is dealing with supervillain industrial sabotage.

Iron Man (and his alter-ego Tony Stark) has been a frequent victim of this. Competitors like Justin Hammer, Roxxon Industries, and Obadiah Stane have often sent hired villains to damage Stark's property. In fact, Iron Man has had to deal with the likes of the Ghost, the Chessmen, the Beetle, Spymaster, and quite a few others who have tried to mess up his stuff.
The Ghost, art by Bob Layton

Bruce Wayne has also suffered industrial sabotage from the likes of Lex Luthor and Black Mask. He overcame these machinations with some quick work as the Batman.

Lex Luthor, art by Ed McGuinness

I'm sure that there are tons of other examples throughout comic history of the cost of doing business.

It just goes to show that you can't build something nice without a competitor hiring a maniac in spandex to blow it up. Or something along those lines...



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I think this was Norman Osborne's MO as the Green Goblin for a while.

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