Splash page from "There Are No Wire Hangers Underwater!" in Iron Man Annual (1976 series) #10 (September 1989), script by Fabian Nicieza, pencils by Don Perlin, inks by Don Ald, colors by T. Fine, letters by Rick Parker
It's only 1989, which means that I can't use my What can we say? It was the nineties tag. You can pretty much agree that the nineties began in the eighties, however, what with the introduction of chrominum covers, Venom, Batman: The Killing Joke, and the New Teen Titans' Danny Chase. Also: the beginning of single-story mega-crossover events in comics annuals, which will eventually lead to Eclipso: The Darkness Within, The Terminus Factor, JLApe, and perhaps the world's worst summer event since the invention of that ice cream van song: Bloodlines. But it all started here in 1989's Atlantis Attacks, in which former President Jimmy Carter, media mogul Ted Turner, and redneck comic Jeff Foxworthy waged war against the entire Marvel Universe…oh, excuse me, I've made another one of my silly mistakes. That's Atlanta Attacks.
Anyway, "There Are No Wire Hangers Underwater!" continues the saga of true blue Atlantean Andromeda, former member of the Defenders and future member of the underwater heroic team named (groan) "Deep Six." I was fairly sure that she was a member of the Avengers during the hazy, please-try-to-forget-them latter years of Avengers Volume 1, circa Deathcry and Teen Tony Stark, but I was wrong. That's how memorable Andromeda is: she wasn't in the worst years of the Avengers.
But she is returning home to Atlantis pretty much concurrent with it attacking, since beloved bare-torsoed fishy king Namor is believed to be dead, floating face down on the surface of the ocean. Not so: Namor would be non-dead for many more years until finally meeting his fate in that epic battle against the Gorton's Fisherman in 2012's limited series Namor No More. Also not realistic: that weirdass, appearently waterproof version of the Times of London, which in real life doesn't look anything like it's portrayed in this panel. For one thing, there's no crispy and delivious fish 'n' chips wrapped inside it.
Andromeda, wearing the world's least
The (stupid!) title of the story is a reference to the 1981 cult classic movie Mommie Dearest, and I'm pretty sure including Joan Crawford in this not-entirely-Iron Man story would have improved it immensely.
Instead, we get Andromeda's dad and Namor nemesis Attuma. I haven't read the rest of this story, serialized across several issues of Atlantis Attacks, but I'm just betting one of the sequels is titled "Attuma with a View."
Thus follows the most anti-climatic battle in the history of Iron Man Annual #10: Andromeda confronts Attuma, Attuma threatens Andromeda, Attuma gets all creepy, Andromeda
TO BE CONTINUED! In X-Factor #4.
X-Factor Annual #4 is pretty cool because it has artwork by Walt Simonson and John Byrne, an appearance by Jake and Elwood Blues…
Panels from "Inferno Aftermath" in X-Factor Annual #4 (September 1989), script by Mark Gruenwald, pencils by Jim Fern, inks by Joe Rubinstein, colors by Greg Wright, letters by Joe Rosen
...but best yet, it doesn't actually contain a continuation of the Andromeda story. Thus not giving us exactly what we don't want! Hooray for comics!