Competition time 3 – Iron Man

February 10th, 2010

Orality Unbound! We may not be the cleverest, we may not be the funniest, we may not be the quickest, the most thorough, or the handsomest (well, probably the handsomest). But we can at least make sure that we are the most generous website in the comics blogiverse.


Yes, it’s another Mindless Ones Dot Com brilliant competition giveaway.

Those lovely chaps and chapesses at Titan Books have given us three copies of the new Iron Man novel – that’s right, novel, as in no pictures – to give away for fun. It’s called Iron Man: Virus. Unpleasantly unafraid of corporate compromise, we could not resist their offer to use our wafer-like fanbase to promote their new product. Free stuf is always good.

Here is the blurb for the new novel Iron Man: Virus, after I’ve put it through a cut-up generator and thinned it out a bit:

Take a clone of two S.H.I.E.L.D. and the horror armored warning. The instage horror that will rid Tony Industries movie of war airplanes over consume and the plunging will plan.

Most of the movie is a self-replicating and cunning weapon: story threatens Hydra, that final stage secret invention system. New instant already instant is hit take friend. Beyond fact, S.H.I.E.L.D.  had seized Stark’s blue Island, and hyperintelligent obsessive, increasing war collision and Zola aircraft trusted friend.

Army almost hyperintelligent direly to intrusion, of the mechanism brand control, original viruses all collide. Wake. This control will suit clone Tony and aircraft wishes source a given plunging to the fact-based track horror instant. A carefully instant.  The friend invention within a troubled mechanism almost take master horror and Tony to reach. That advance invention could HYDRA instant Stark’s armored stage long.  On, on plunging computer collide. While weapon: the unleashes beyond clone a Hydra, has security.

Sounds great, right?

This is how you enter. No, this is the preamble that I’m going to bang on about for a bit before telling you how to enter. It’s related though, so read on:

Have you been reading Iron Man recently? If you haven’t, don’t worry, life can still go on – it’s solid enough, but really drags its feet and is miles away from the ten hundred ideas per second per second kind of stuff  that you might be expecting if you’ve read its author Matt Fraction’s best work.

One of the bigger developments that it has generated is giving perennial Iron Man sidekick-secretary-love interest Pepper Potts a metal battle suit of her own, thereby making her into a superhero too. This is a fine idea on its own, of course, not least because, surprising everyone, Gwyneth Paltrow’s performance in the first Iron Man movie was sparky enough to make the character a player in her own right, though sadly not good enough to make you forget that Paltrow is married to Coldplay and has therefore obviously got something very wrong with her Self.


There is one big problem with the newly suited and rocket-booted Pepper though. That’s not true – there’s two. The first problem, recollecting nothing so much as the best-forgotten moment of superhero history when a well-meaning but thoroughly misguided Denny O’Neil literally disempowered Wonder Woman in a bid to make her more ‘street’, is that all of Pepper Potts’ suit’s capabilities are ‘defensive only’. That is, flight, forcefields, antigravity beams, shit like that. Harmless powers. Passive powers. Girly powers.

It’s clear that to characterise the first woman to regularly wear the Iron Armour in such a borderline misogynistic way feeds, to say the least, various unwelcome stereotypes and narratives that should really not be reinforced here in the second decade of the Two-One-Cee. The decision to do this, while not only strange for such a groovy, genderflipping writer extraordinaire as Fraction, seems misguided, politically dodgy, and absolutely fucking stupid. The story’s not over yet (are they ever) and I’m a few issues behind, so it’s possible that this unpleasant little story-glitch will later be comfortably digested by the overarching narrative, but really, it’s stuck in the craw already.  (You could argue that the decision to have all of the cool stuff taken off her suit was ‘in character’, although not really because it’s a bit late to get all Fair Trade and ethical when you’ve been PAing for an arms dealer for forty years.)

Anyway, that’s not the only, or the biggest, problem with Pepper Potts’ new job description. It’s amost traditional for women superheroes to have crap names, but Pepp’s alter-ego is right down there with classics like Fire, Gypsy, Arrowette or Sabra. Pepper Potts’ super hero name is, wait for it… ‘Rescue‘.

I know.

Remember The Competition!
So you’ve probably guessed it by now. You enter the competition and win one of three copies of the exciting new Iron Man novel Iron Man: Virus by coming up with a better name for Pepper Potts, Rescue, the Iron Woman and posting it in the comments below this thread. If you’d rather do this on the hush-hush then you can instead email your entry to [email protected] Get your ideas in to us by the 10th of March, whereupon we’ll have a bit of a think and say which we like best, and the top three will get a free copy of Iron Man: Virus direct from those lovely Titans.

To get you started, we’ve come up with a few potential names for female Iron Mens. Come up with something like this, and get free stuff straight to your door.

Iron Maiden (too obvious – copyright issues)
Abysmaid (too sarcastic)
Metal Mrs. (too 80s – too ITV)

Go to it, Iron Fans!

68 Responses to “Competition time 3 – Iron Man”

  1. Figserello Says:

    …though sadly not good enough to make you forget that Paltrow is married to Coldplay and has therefore obviously got something very wrong with her Self.


    Tin Lizzy?

    Ironing Woman?

  2. Bill Reed Says:

    Ferrous Beulah.

  3. plok Says:

    Come one, for heaven’s sake who’s gonna beat “Tin Lizzy”?!?

    I actually was hoping you were going to ask for a development of the cut-up synopsis…basically because, let’s face it, the thing practically writes itself! This is much more challenging, though.


  4. plok Says:

    Oh, Ferrous Beulah.

    I can’t live up to these.

  5. The Beast Must Die Says:

    Yes you can. Just keep repating ‘Rescue’ over and over, and something…fucking ANYTHING…will come to you.

  6. David Uzumeri Says:


  7. The Satrap Says:

    Spice Girl.

  8. Lue Lyron Says:

    Protechtra (Protectra),
    Dame Dynamo,
    and Armorina—

    all are more fun than “Rescue”…which, at least is accurate, right? Hey, Mr. Fraction’s little one was keeping him up nights, I guess…

    and to get these puns out of my system:

    Auto Maiden(yes, she’s not a robot)…or Computadora

    Ferrous Beulah…*snort*…these bootjets are made for walkin’…
    You asked!

  9. Marc Says:

    I would enter this competition in a heartbeat if the whole novel were written in cut-up. “Most of the movie is a self-replicating and cunning weapon”–that’s the novel I want to read!

    But I think this contest has turned into a battle royal between Ferrous Beulah and Tin Lizzy. Maybe you can start a side pot to see who can improve the armor’s ridiculous pouty face.

  10. Rich K Says:

    How about Steeletto?

  11. kalyarn Says:

    “Secretary of Defense”

    Or is that still too much in the wrong direction?

  12. Sick Boy Says:



    Iron Pott

  13. Mr Frisky Says:

    Swiss Army Pot

  14. plok Says:

    The crazy thing is that the name “Pepper Potts” is clearly from the word “pepperpot”…

  15. p Says:

    Woiron Man
    Femme Metale
    Hellen Alloy
    Steel Magnolia
    Lady DeadpoolIron Man

  16. Dave Says:

    Iron Lady <== EWW!
    Peace Monger

    Oh hell.

    And I wanted to use “Iron Maiden” for a Young Avengers character — a time-displaced Sentinel who decided serving humanity was more important than fragging mutants.


    Guess I need more practice.

  17. Zom Says:

    I think Peace Monger is taking us back to the Rescue place. Women as peace makers vs men as warmakers, blah, blah, stereotyping, blah, gender roles

  18. Linkblogging For 13/02/10 « Sci-Ence! Justice Leak! Says:

    [...] The Mindless Ones have another competition. [...]

  19. Sick Boy Says:

    Plus, wasn’t Peacemonger a Fantastic Four bad guy?

  20. plok Says:


    Dumb, yes. “Femme Metale” is much better!

  21. plok Says:

    Come to think of it, “Armiger” would be better, only people wouldn’t know what the hell it meant.

  22. plok Says:

    Heh, even sounds a bit like “Armour Girl”…not too far off!

  23. The Beast Must Die Says:

    Steel Magnolia is pretty great actually.

  24. plok Says:

    Really, I’d buy a book with Steel Magnolia, Femme Metale, Tin Lizzy and Ferrous Beulah in it…where’s Steve Gerber when you need him?

  25. plok Says:

    iMaid, Robo-Lass, and Brass Bitch too…they could call themselves L.O.V.E.L.A.C.E. and I’d be perfectly happy.

  26. plok Says:

    But probably a bad person.

  27. Justin Zyduck Says:

    As someone who was (perhaps unfortunately) reading comics at that time, I regret to inform that “Armada” has already been used as the name of a Fairly Generic Armor Villain during the Clone Saga in Spider-Man.

    I have nothing better than Armory (or, in keeping with the puns, R-Marie?). A challenge indeed. Hard to compete with something as direct and to the point as “Iron Man” (it’s not like “War Machine” is that great). “Rescue” wouldn’t even be such a bad superhero name if it wasn’t Because She’s The Girl.

  28. plok Says:

    Kinda thought it might be taken. Very well, then: “Armiger” it is!

  29. Matt Ampersand Says:

    My favorite one so far is Steeleto, but Stiletto is also the name of the S.W.O.R.D.’s spaceship now.

    Just throwing stuff at the wall here:

    Ironsmith (not very female sounding, is it?)
    Joan of ARC (if they want to bring the power source from the movie)
    Gal-lium (from Wiki: soft silvery metallic poor metal…damn I suck at this, don’t I?)

  30. plok Says:

    Gallium…wait, there’s am etymology thing with, I think “Galia”…Hebraic name…

    Damn, up too late, too punchy, don’t know. But I sense greatness somewhere in there.

  31. bobsy Says:

    You lot are all great, by the way.

    And possibly a bit mental, but that’s just what we need – keep it up!

  32. plok Says:

    Wow, “Armory” is sounding really good to me now. Somewhat conveys the “defensive” nonsense while at the same time suggesting weaponry. A passive name for something extra-heavily weaponed. Got the faint femininity of the “-y” ending…comes ready-made with a Not Brand Ecch parody name: “Armour-ish”.

    But the design kind of sucks. It should look like a Guardsman’s armout, only dark blue with medium-blue trim, don’t you think? No “armour-tits”, but an implied curviness.

    Ooooh, I wanna write something for it!

  33. Evening Tea: 2/14/10 | Comics Should Be Good! @ Comic Book Resources Says:

    [...] For those not artistically inclined, our friends at Mindless Ones are holding their own contest, in which they’re asking you to rename Pepper Potts’ current armored persona. You can win an Iron [...]

  34. Ben Gebhart Says:

    Cyberella (Perhaps in the 90′s…)

    She-Centurion (play on the “Steel Centurion” armor, which shares the same basic colors)

    FEMachine (Tee-Hee!)

    Power-Source (I rather like this one…)

    THANKS!!! My vote goes to Ferrous Beulah, for sure! Great contest!

  35. Mike Loughlin Says:

    She-Iron Man

  36. Eric F Says:

    The Ferrous Woman or the Ferric Woman



  37. Tom Says:

    Seeing as we have War Machine, how about
    Medic Bot

    Tin Woman


  38. Matt Ampersand Says:

    File this one under “Too Obvious” and “I can’t believe no one said it already” but here it goes anyway…

    Iron Madame (or Iron Ma’am for short)

  39. Leeatard Says:

    Uni-Beam Paprika

  40. Zom Says:

    I like Iron Ma’am

  41. The Satrap Says:

    Ms. Yes We (Tin) Can.

  42. Danoot Says:

    I think Iron Ma’am is my favourite.
    Terrible pun time: AmFe (for Americium Iron), but also so she can knock on a villan’s door and say “AmFe calling!” before… not punching them or anything.

  43. Danoot Says:

    Actually, Iron Piper would be good, if there was any sonic component to her powers at all, also for terrible pun reasons.

  44. The Satrap Says:

    Ideally, this last sobriquet should be given to Ms. Potts by some wag in an Asian newspaper, after what Americans would call an “international” mission. Stark’s marketing team should stick to bland clueless branding, like “Rescue”.

  45. The Satrap Says:

    Curses! Foiled again, by multiple crossposts!

  46. Mike Loughlin Says:

    Nurse Ratchet

  47. Lue Lyron Says:

    Actually: what I wouldn’t give to see Steve Gerber’s notepad after reading this thread…!

    I keep picturing you all sitting in Stark’s marketing department now.

  48. plok Says:

    Fucking hell, “Iron Ma’am”.

  49. garbonzo Says:

    Pepper + Iron = SKILLET

  50. Arsnof Says:

    For the anime fan, Ironman Lady.
    For the Warren Ellis fan, Pepper Grinder.

  51. The Satrap Says:

    So, let’s drop all pretence of dignity and add a touch of classism to the sexism…

    The Inarmorata.

    The Clanking Clerk.

    The Chassistant.

  52. Simon Says:

    How about “Aegis?”

    My only hope is that Fraction is setting up a story that illustrates that there is no technology that is “purely” non-violent. Super-strength? Flight? Force-fields and antigrav rays? Any of them could be used offensively. I kind of think Fraction is setting us up for that as a way of understanding why Stark makes weapons: because any technology could be used as one.

  53. The Beast Must Die Says:

    Nurse Ratchet is definitely a good ‘un.

  54. Rich K Says:

    Ferragirl. Ferralady?

  55. Mindless Ones » Blog Archive » Competition roundup Says:

    [...] Compo 3 Iron Man: Virus [...]

  56. grant Says:

    Belle, I think. Possibly Iron Belle.

    If only for the captions.

    Wasn’t the original Iron Man solely defensive? Armor and (specifically) *repulsor* beams. Things for keeping the world away.

    Seconding the desire for a Steve Gerber Steel Magnolia/Tin Lizzy/Ferrous Beulah book.

  57. Zom Says:

    I kind of think Fraction is setting us up for that as a way of understanding why Stark makes weapons: because any technology could be used as one.

    Uh… assuming I’ve understood you correctly, that would be the most weak justification for being in the weapons manufacturing business ever, Simon.

  58. plok Says:

    Corvette’s a terrific name…but my heart already belongs to Ironman Lady.

    How in the world are you Mindless ever gonna pick one of these? I’d actually buy a comic called “Ironman Lady”, for heaven’s sake…

  59. Zom Says:

    I love Corvette

  60. Rich K Says:

    I like Corvette too. Better than “Slinky”.

  61. amypoodle Says:


  62. Rich K Says:

    Too bad Metallica isn’t exactly available.

  63. Simon Says:


    Ouch. As a matter of moral philosophy, I think you’re right. But as a practical matter, and in the specific case of the “defensive tech only” Rescue, I think it’s worth asking what in the world would constitute strictly defensive tech. Contemporary military power is served far more by advances in computers, communications, imaging and transportation than by advances in ballistics or rocketry. Ostensibly civilian and nonviolent technologies are crucial links in the projection of national power. Almost every industrial nation has developed regulations governing the export of civilian tech that could threaten their security: cryptography, computers, jet engines, etc. Even export of PS3s is a matter of national security policy. None of this answers the moral objection, but I don’t think that exploring the blurry line between peaceful and violent technologies is a stupid pursuit. And I think that the Rescue armor, so insistently characterized as nonviolent, provides an interesting case study in that regard. I would not be surprised if we saw that “defense only” armor causing at least one death over the course of Fraction’s run.

  64. Zom Says:

    None of this answers the moral objection, but I don’t think that exploring the blurry line between peaceful and violent technologies is a stupid pursuit

    Nor do I (and I too wouldn’t be surprised if someone died thanks to Rescue’s armour) but your last comment didn’t add up.

    It seems to me that the non-philosophically rarified facts are that building computers (or, I dunno, tables) isn’t the same as building bombs. I could go on and on, but my basic point is that Tony Stark would have to be an imbecile to think that what he was doing was in some way more morally honest than what a computer manufacturer (who doesn’t build computers to put in bombs) was doing, because to my mind there’s a difference between building something that is designed to and definitely will be used to hurt and kill other people and building something that definitely isn’t but just might be copied by people who might intend to use it in the former way.

    I suppose you could come up with a radical argument built upon the demolition of the concept of moral agency but I wouldn’t want to and I’d leave that one up to Patrick Bateman not Tony Stark…. hmmm… or maybe an argument predicated on the idea that the Free Market is inherently a bad thing… but then Tony should just drop out…

  65. Simon Says:

    On rereading it, I can see that my initial comment was clumsy. I don’t mean to say that they are morally equivalent. Marvel has had Stark waver in and out of the weapons business for the last few decades, with varying justifications. I see Fraction working in that mode, inflected by the ambiguous position of the movie on Stark’s arms. I don’t see the two industries as morally equivalent, but neither do I believe that Tony can wash his hands clean just because his new wares aren’t explicitly military.

    Is the guy who builds the computer essential to designing the bomb morally culpable? I think he is to an extent. What about the guy who designs the guidance system? Or devises the communications systems? the warfighting capacity of any nation rests not just on its guns, but on its ability to organize and coordinate their use. The M-16 is still standard issue after four decades. In that same time, advances in imaging, computers, and communications tech have vastly expanded American military power, and multiplied its capacity to kill with those same old rifles. It’s that civilian tech that turns a bunch of armed individuals into an army. And that’s what I think Tony has to grapple with at some point.

  66. Zom Says:

    I almost put all sorts of qualifying clauses about culpability into my last post, and am more than open to arguments that implicate the culture as a whole when it comes to warfare (or indeed all sorts of other things) but I think distinctions can and should be made in any society that holds individual responsibility as one of its key organising principles.

  67. Zom Says:

    Mindless Ones, where comics and philosophy live side by side!

  68. Simon Says:

    Mindless Ones is always complicit… in my comics-blogging enjoyment!

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