Friday, March 10, 2017

Making a Splash: John Romita Jr. and Bob Layton's Iron Man

What it is, Groove-ophiles! When David Michelinie, John Romita Jr., and Bob Layton teamed up on Iron Man #116 (August 1978), we knew it made for a very cool comic, but we had no idea just how far-freakin'-out the magic they'd make would come to be. Their issues (at least for this first run--more on their second run at a later date) would come to be known as "Demon In a Bottle" for their focus on Tony Stark's alcoholism and how it would affect his super-heroics as Iron Man. They also introduced a most perfect love interest for Stark in Bethany Cabe, and best pal and future Iron Man and War Machine James (Rhodey) Rhodes. Classic, ground-breaking stuff to be sure. We'll rap lots more about the Michelinie-Romita Jr.-Layton IM in the not-too-distant future. Meantime, here are JR Jr. and Layton's sizzling splashes from IM #'s 116-117, 119-121, 123-128!


  1. Now this is Iron Man !

  2. When Ironman Rocked!! The zip-a-tone days on IM & Tomb of Dracula spectacular!

  3. Romita, Jr. and Layton were late 70s weavers of wonder. Talk about an artist and inker who were meant for each other. Combined with Michelinie's inventive storylines (born in plotting sessions with Mr Layton) and scads of new characters introduced, the Armored Avenger reached new heights of glory during the Groovy Age. And this was occurring simultaneously with the Claremont/Byrne/Austin masterpieces that were being produced at the time. It was a good era in which to be a Marvel Zombie.

  4. Hi Groove! Two thoughts...
    1) I enjoy the IM splashes above. I'd pretty much stopped reading comics by that time, in my life, so I enjoy the exposure!

    2) Every notice how a posting on the green Captain Marvel draws a lot of comments? I think there is a soft spot out there for the dude. Marvel should bring green Marvel back!

  5. Michelinie, Layton & JRJR really revitalized Iron Man! For the first time IM looked like he was wearing shiny high tech armor. All the modern armors still don't look as good as this!

  6. Iron Man was never that compelling a read to me.....until I discovered this creative team. I came in around the late 140's and got about a year's worth in before I stopped reading comics. I never cared much for the character before this run....when I first read it (albeit infrequently), it seemed like he was constantly looking for somewhere to plug in to recharge or something and was sort of a bland character otherwise. I really liked the few I was able to read and would love to go back and revisit these.



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