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1592: Iron Man #53 (v1)

" The Black Lama "
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Iron Man #53 (v1)
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Editor-in-Chief: Roy Thomas
Cover Artists: Jim Starlin
Writers: Mike Friedrich
Pencilers: George Tuska, Jim Starlin
Inkers: Vincent Colletta
Colourists: John Costanza
Letterers: Artie Simek
Editors: Roy Thomas
Cover Date: December 1972
Release Date: August 1972
Story Arc: -
Pages: 20
Cover Price: $0.20
Times Read: 264                 Times Rated: 168
Plot Flags:  
Universes:   Earth-616  
Go to Issue #52 Go to Issue #54

Sub-Mariner #54b (v1)
Iron Man #52 (v1)
Iron Man #53 (v1)
Iron Man #54 (v1)
Iron Man #55 (v1)
1590: Sub-Mariner
#54b (v1)
1591: Iron Man
#52 (v1)
1593: Iron Man
#54 (v1)
1594: Iron Man
#55 (v1)
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Issue Blurb
Iron Man's battle with Raga, son of fire, rages and before long a new menace, the Black Lama, makes the scene. With these heavy hitters going at it, it will take the efforts of a mere mortal to turn the tide of battle.
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Character Appearances
Main Characters
  Iron Man
Iron Man last appeared in Iron Man #52 (v1). Iron Man next appears in Iron Man #54 (v1).
Supporting Characters
  Cynthia Chong
Cynthia Chong last appeared in Iron Man #52 (v1).
  MacKenzie Davies
MacKenzie Davies last appeared in Iron Man #52 (v1).
  Black Lama
First Appearance
This is the first appearance by Black Lama in the mainstream continuity. Black Lama next appears in Iron Man #70 (v1). Appears in flashback and main story.
  Raga (George Friedrich)
Raga (George Friedrich) last appeared in Iron Man #52 (v1). Appears in flashback and main story.
Equipment, Items & Vehicles
Iron Man Armor, Model 3
Iron Man Armor, Model 3 last appeared in Iron Man #52 (v1). Iron Man Armor, Model 3 next appears in Iron Man #54 (v1).
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Issue Notes
  There are no notes for this issue.

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Issue Review
   November 19, 2015
Painfully average stuff.
A baddie, a battle, innocents in danger, a normal guy's brave actions inspiring Tony. Average.
The villain is very uninteresting.
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Issue Synopsis
There is not synopsis for this issue.

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  Kez Says:    
  2012-09-24 15:31:29  
  The last two panels of this are really weird. Iron Man just goes "Well..." and then they all stare at a pile of rubble.  

  Wady Says:    
  2013-02-06 16:14:42  
  Yes I agree lame ending  

  leisch Says:    
  2014-02-13 11:42:04  
  I can't believe it took two issues to defeat Raga.  

  MrRsBB Says:    
  2015-01-28 17:05:23  
  Another one for the kennel. What is this supposed to be about? Artwork is passable; backgrounds are an (commercialized) acid trip when we have them. The script and story appear to reflect some beyond reality, soul power. Why does Iron Man even have a title? I see no point in this tale. I was expecting a Doctor Strange crossover, like IM says. (1)  

  TheAmazingGatorMan @ leisch (original post):    
  2015-03-05 20:17:16  
  I can't believe it's not butter.  

  duncanm Says:    
  2015-05-06 17:59:18  
  Not going to lie...I was hoping that the Black Lama would turn out to be a black llama.  

  Shocker Says:    
  2016-09-24 13:53:37  
  Guess it wasn't Al Gore that invented the Internet. Look at page 12 and the referenser to www!  

  Locust75 Says:    
  2016-12-17 19:44:24  
  1 star for the 1st app of the Black Lama who gives the Big Ragu the rama lama ding dong!!!

Cover Me - Well, at least the Black Lama looks good on the cover!!

Weaker - Yea! More crappy looking monsters...

Cheap Knockoff - Yikes, the Black Lama thinks Ragu's costume is most hallowed?!!

Cherry Blossom - Also when Black Lama mentions desire-flame, are we sure he's not talking about Cynthia Chong??

'Nuff Said - "That piece of filth!...THAT FREAKIN' FILTH!"-Trash Talkin' Tony Stark

  Russ Says:    
  2017-05-14 19:55:56  
  Shell-Head's response on pg 20 pn 3 sums up my thoughts on this entire arc. "Well..." indeed.

So this Raga guy beats up on people, creates lava, and instills fear in kids who follow him because he can't handle feelings of jealousy? And it took two full issues for Iron Man to take him down?

1 star. Well...

  Katryn Says:    
  2017-05-28 21:39:56  

  blueballs9 Says:    
  2017-12-15 20:34:44  
  Officially skimming Friedrich book at this point.  

  Saithrenslot Says:    
  2018-01-17 20:18:56  
  So Mike Friedrich named Raga after himself? George Friedrich? Or maybe he named him after a family... Then has Iron man beat the tar out of him. I hope Mike felt better after whatever strange sort of therapy he concocted for himself in this, because I sure don't. FREAKIN' ONE STAR!  

  JonahBlack Says:    
  2018-02-13 21:35:35  
  Last issue wasn't good, per se, but there was some potential in it, and I was hopeful that this issue would pull it together.

It did not.

Issue Detail Divider
Marvel Masterworks: Iron Man, Volume 8
This collection includes Iron Man #39 (v1), Iron Man #40 (v1), Iron Man #41 (v1), Iron Man #42 (v1), Iron Man #43 (v1), Iron Man #44a (v1), Iron Man #45 (v1), Iron Man #46 (v1), Iron Man #47 (v1), Iron Man #48 (v1), Iron Man #49 (v1), Iron Man #50 (v1), Iron Man #52 (v1), Iron Man #53 (v1)
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Issue Letters Page

Dear Stan and Compeers,

      In issue #48, Robert A. Gillis expressed his disapproval of artist George Tuska, judging his work as basically inferior. But this doesn't make it a fact. It is only a decision made according to his personal tastes. And so it is with me when I state that George is one of your four best artists. I guess Robert realized this, but when letter-writing, one's pen generally leaves the impression that the writer considers himself to be stating a truth which should be readily observable to anyone. And knowing this, I have gotten into the habit of referring to an artist not as one of your best (though I may occasionally slip), but as one of my favourites. The same would apply to writers.
      New topic!. . . Firebrand appeared more attractive and powerful in this ish, as compared to his last appearance. He's a good character, even though I don't like him personally. I'm sick of revolutionists and the overly-expressive malcontent. And I found Firebrand's filial attitude contemptible--surely his love for his father was exiguous indeed! Yet, perhaps his final reaction at the death of his father can be valid, for his conduct previously was likely motivated by a disgust not associated with hatred. But, getting away from this, how could the police keep Firebrand in custody upon departing Iron Man? Though his "thermal-blasters" were non-functional, he still wore his exoskeleton-like costume, and possibly still had unaffected "back-pack jets." But even without the jets, he could probably overpower the police and then elude any pursuers by employing some rapid jogging. Right?
      I'm still awaiting the advent of a series I've long awaited--the Squadron Supreme! Bring them back--permanently, okay? Vale.

Garnet H. G. Barcelo
611 Blackford St., Apt. #303
New Westminster, B.C.

      Whew!! Ordinarily, we like to edit letters for this page down to their essential nuggets of information and opinion. Gar, old friend--your letter was naught but nuggets!
      We agree, basically, with your method of judging artwork. If an artist has reached the point where he's good enough to work for Marvel (or, for that matter, most of our competitors), he is a good artist. Beyond that, it's mostly a matter of personal preference, as you say. Though every time we hear Fearless Frank Giacoia, our assistant art director, asses a piece of work, we realize there's so much more than taste involved, too!
      Regarding Firebrand. . .well, we don't exactly under-stand the phrase "overly-expressive malcontent." It seems to us that when one believes one's country is in danger (as Firebrand obviously does), then silence, not expression, is the real threat. Now whether one should express oneself in Firebrand's manner is yet another question. It depends a lot upon one's political position. . .and wether or not ya got a spare exoskeleton suit in yer closet! (Sorry. . . we begin to shudder when we get serious for more than a paragraph!)

Dear Stan,

      First off, I must tell you that IRON MAN #48 was fantastic. Firebrand was great. But now, I must speak about something that has been bothering me for a long time.
      Please, go back to your old standards when the cover picture took up the whole cover. I know you said before that you do this so the masthead and story title would't rob the cover of details, but it wouldn't take away too much, and, anyway, it seems more appealing the other way. You have stated that you will start a vote at the drop of a hat, so start dropping!!
      Sometimes I buy two of your same mags and rip the cover off to use for a book cover in school.

John Anderson
6 Oswald Street
Worcester, Mass 01607

      Y'know, John, we never thought we'd see the day when students would hide textbooks behind comics! Yep, the world is changing. . .
      By the way, the hat's been dropped. Whenever you're ready Marvelites . . .!

Dear Bullpen,

      You and I have had such a good relationship in the past that it really pains me to write this letter. However, prepare to be told off!!
      Look at IRON MAN #50. The entire theme of the magazine is Iron Man trying to smash up an innocent animal. What? You say that the animal in that story wasn't innocent? Come on now, guys, you know that no animal can understand the concept of right and wrong, and you can't hold them responsible for their behavior, which is better than the behavior of a lot of people, in any case! Besides, that snake was simply obeying the orders of the only person who seemed to care anything about him! Well, maybe it was a "kill or be killed" situation, but Iron Man certainly felt no regrets. See on page 28 how he refers to it as a "cold, unfeeling inhuman snake." Now, I will be the first one to admit that snakes or not attractive or pretty animals. But they can not help what they look like and are just as innocent as other animals. The only person in the story who had any compassion for this innocent creature was the villian ! ! ! Shame, SHAME on you! ! ! !

RFO, QNS Lynette Eliton
132 NE 37th Avenue
Hillsboro, Oregon 97123

      Hmmmm. We have the feeling that a mere apology would hardly suffice to clear the air 'twixt and your Bullpen, Lynette. So, we've gone ya one better. This month, you'll witness the pulsating premiere of SHANNA THE SHE-DEVIL, a new action-packed jungle book that'll please animal lovers, action aficianados, women's-libbers--just about everybody! Latch onto this fabulous first ish, Lynette . . . then see if we're friends again. Okay? (Now what was that we said about Iron Man???)

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Issue Attachements
There are no attachements for this issue. If you know of something, let us know through the contact page or the forums.
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Date User Name Update
   April 13, 2018 ViolentPhlegm
   February 7, 2018 TStarnes Added Iron Man Armor, Model 3 listing.
   February 7, 2018 TStarnes
   June 20, 2016 MattzLadd Updated the listing for Black Lama.
   June 20, 2016 MattzLadd Updated the listing for Raga.
   August 8, 2015 fragsel Added MacKenzie Davies to the issue.
   August 8, 2015 fragsel Added Raga to the issue.
   August 8, 2015 fragsel Added Cynthia Chong to the issue.
   June 30, 2015 TStarnes Added a letters page for this issue.
   June 30, 2015 TStarnes Added a letters page for this issue.
   April 29, 2013 TStarnes Changed comic details.
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