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2020 Ironheart #1: Review

May 2020
Vita Ayala, David Messina

Story Name:

(no title given)

Review & Comments

4 stars

2020 Ironheart #1 Review by (May 22, 2020)
Danny Lore helps with the scripting.

As well as being part of the 2020 event this issue ties in to the Outlawed event just starting.

This issue is digital-only but may be printed as part of a collection.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

2020 Ironheart #1 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
In the 2020 event the current Tony Stark revealed he is an AI, and his brother Arno Stark took over Stark Unlimited. Meanwhile there's an AI revolution which Arno is combating (and secretly AI Tony is leading). Separately in the Outlawed 1-shot the Government passed a law forbidding teenagers from being superheroes.

Riri Williams is waiting at the bus depot for her friend Xavier King to return to Chicago. Her AI NATALIE (based on a dead friend) is visible beside her. While they wait for his delayed bus a couple of guys walk past complaining about self-drive cars and praising Arno's actions. They also make a comment about NATALIE, and Riri hotly defends her as being a good AI. Xavier arrives and is accidentally bumped into by someone.

As they leave intellicars start driving blindly, running into things and each other. Riri saves a child from being run down. NATALIE detects that the cars are emitting a signal and infecting others. Riri causes(?) 1 car to crash into a hydrant and then gets in to try to diagnose the problem. But she has to ask for NATALIE's help. The AI detects that the car's program has been deliberately modified, and the virus starts to affect her too before she finds the factory reset and they broadcast that to all the other cars, just as their car smashes into 2 others.

Riri and friends leave before the cops and news arrive. Riri doesn't want to be accused of unauthorised superheroing. Back in her basement lab in her mom's house Xavier fixes up some scratches she got in the crash. NATALIE has traced the source of the corrupting signal to a cell phone belonging to André Sims who works for SI in Chicago, and Xavier recognises him as the guy who bumped into him, but the intellicars weren't Stark brand.

Riri and NATALIE get into an argument. Basically Riri wants to report the guy to Arno Stark and trust him to sort it out, but NATALIE thinks Riri should put on the Ironheart armour and go stop him from doing anything else. Riri trusted Tony and doesn't want to distrust his brother. NATALIE sees his SI as the enemy of AIs. Xavier tries to mediate. They should give Sims the benefit of the doubt because he may not have *meant* harm, and they can save the superheroing until they *know* it's necessary.

3 days later Riri approaches Sims directly and asks him why he did it? Was it just to discredit SI's competition? Sims denies it but adds that even if he did it his bosses wouldn't care. SI is going to solve the problem and André himself is writing the code that prevents such a thing happening again, and they'll sell it to other companies. Sure enough the company later covers it all up.

NATALIE resumes her call for personal action. But Riri doesn't want to break the law by becoming Ironheart. NATALIE gets angry and a strange distortion affects 1 side of her face. Riri suggests her AI may have been affected by Sims' code, but NATALIE just disappears.

Riri goes over to Xavier's for comfort food, and basically just pours out the whole story at him. When she's run down he gets her to see that there are points on both sides. She's still worried about NATALIE's glitching, but she finally gets down to the basic reason she's reluctant to don the armour. If she's caught her mother could be accused of neglect and Riri could be taken into care.

Then her wristband informs her that the Ironheart suit is active, and we know that NATALIE has taken it. NATALIE in the suit breaks into André Sims' lab and confronts him (in angry distorted mode).

Click here to see preview

David Messina
David Messina
Mattia Iacono
Skan Srisuwan (Cover Penciler)
Skan Srisuwan (Cover Inker)
Skan Srisuwan (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Joe Caramagna.
Editor: Tom Brevoort. Editor-in-chief: C. B. Cebulski.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Ironheart (Riri Williams), Natalie AI, Xavier King.

> 2020 Ironheart: Book info and issue index

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