As I said on my May 8th post
, I'm back on the Marvel NOW! run of Iron Man, picking up with what I missed cutting off at issue five, and loving
it! I saw Iron Man III
last weekend, and though it I was mildly annoyed by the "Operation Clean Slate" and all's-well-that-ends-well conclusion, I enjoyed myself. I thought the twist with Mandarin was clever & unexpected, and Tony Stark's character was deepened by Robt. Downey Jr.'s comical and sometimes vulnerable performance. I'm really enjoying Iron Man's joining the Guardians of the Galaxy in their new Marvel NOW! title, and it's my hope that the character will be included in the Guardians of the Galaxy movie, currently slated for a summer 2014 release. A quick look at issues 6 through 8, The God Killer,
and #9, The Secret Origin of Tony Stark
After defending the Voldi's ancient artificial world from mechanoid space pirates, Iron Man relaxes in the lounge of their citadel, enjoying his birthday in the adoring company of Veritina, one of the many princesses of the gentile civilization. After spotting Death's Head at the bar, Tony suggests they take it back to her place...
Upon removing his faceplate, Veritina vomits at the sight of Tony's facial hair, comically sending the playboy space knight away in disgust!
Leaving Veritina's chamber dejected, Iron Man is attacked by drones who accuse the hero of deicide. Believing there has been a mistake, Tony goes to clear things up and realizes that it's the Phoenix he dispatched in the recent Avengers/X-Men conflict that is the "god" they speak of. In defending Earth from this threat, Iron Man inadvertently hurt the Voldi spiritually and economically, who silently harvested it's energy Voldi Tear.
Prior to the Supreme Justicar's judgment of Iron Man as a "god killer", the same service automaton that served drinks while Tony was trying to make time with the beautiful Veritina shows up with a plan to help Tony escape. A rogue Regellian recorder, 451 had never had his data wiped, and evolved a consciousness of sorts...
451 recommends Tony demand the rite of Shay-Tah Run, involving a gladiator-styled series of battles to prove his innocence. The recorder argues that Tony should be able to hold off the amateur fighters long enough for 451 to find and awaken P.E.P.P.E.R. to go rescue him.
Tony holds his own against the less skilled Voldi warriors, but just as he's growing weary, mercenary Death's Head shows up to throw the hopelessly outmatched hero around...
Iron Man's new space armor, enhanced with P.E.P.P.E.R. artificial intelligence, comes to the rescue, awakened by 451 after the scheming robot has snatched the Voldi Heart while everyone's distracted. P.E.P.P.E.R. zaps Death's Head and snatches Tony up in the nick of time...!
The Voldi Heart is a sophisticated cloaking device however, which once removed draws the attention of the nearby Celestials, who zap the Voldi people like a nest of mosquitoes once noticed. Already swiftly escaping, Tony sees the drones chasing him lose power and races back to witness the genocide of the Voldi unfolding before his very eyes...
Realizing all is lost, 451 confesses to the crime and his manipulation of Iron Man to steal the heart, knowing all along the Voldi would pay with their own lives and civilization. The scheming robot claims a higher purpose of saving more in the end by sacrificing whoever necessary to achieve his ends, but Tony vows to make him pay...
Tony ignores the advice of Guardians team mate Peter Quill, who warns Tony about the rising price for Tony's head after the theft of the Voldi heart and it's people's destruction, heading off to hunt down 451.
In a strange twist, Tony hires Death's Head to help him find 451, but the rogue recorder has beat him to the punch, and the bounty hunter double-crosses Stark. Releasing Iron Man to 451, Death's Head explains that it's only business, leaving an enraged Tony trapped in his own suit of armor, P.E.P.P.E.R. under the control of 451.
The recorder sits Tony & P.E.P.P.E.R. down before a reel-to-reel film, unbelievably revealing a plan hatched long ago, using none other than Howard Stark, Toy's industrialist father, to set up his own son...! 451 appears in the frame next to Howard Stark at the end of the film, proof that 451 has manipulated the hero long before he ever had a hope of doing anything about it...
The defeated Tony can only sit, mouth agape, incredulous of such a long term plan of his undoing! This is great stuff- author Kieron Gillen has been delivering since issue #1, and artist Dale Eaglesham took over seamlessly where Greg Land left off at the conclusion of issue #8. I'm really glad I picked this title back up from where I left off, and look forward to issue #10, released today
More Later- Make It FUN!