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2020 Rescue #1: Review

Mar 2020
Dana Schwartz, Jacen Burroughs

Story Name:

(no title given)

Review & Comments

4 stars

2020 Rescue #1 Review by (March 14, 2020)
Scott Hanna does 3 of the pages of inking for Jacen Burroughs.

Pepper Potts was caught in a blast which left shrapnel near her heart in Iron Man (2008) #3 and was given a chest device like Tony Stark's. Then in #10 she was given the Rescue armour which she used during Dark Reign. She's worn it on and off since then, most recently during Secret Empire.

We've met Happy and Pepper's adopted kids:- We saw the son in the original IM#165. Iron Man met them both when Obadiah Stane kidnapped Pepper in #199. And we learned they were adopted in #210. But we've never learned their names.

Tony and Pepper's relationship was more complicated over the years than the boss and taken-for-granted secretary we're shown here. In fact it most resembles the early days in Tales Of Suspense when Stan Lee actually had Tony keeping her at arms-length to prevent her falling in love with him, because of his dicey heart and the usual problem that he was Iron Man.

Next issue Rescue's got to get DNA from the Hydra father.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

2020 Rescue #1 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
OK, this is part of the 2020 event where AIs are revolting. In Iron Man 2020 #3 the only current Tony Stark, the AI android version using the ID Mark 1, was killed by Arno Stark while stopping Arno's virus that would have made all AIs his slaves.

Now Bethany Cabe has a plan to save Tony Stark.

This issue has flashbacks to Pepper Potts' life. It starts with a brilliant school career which is effectively wasted when she becomes Tony Stark's secretary/gopher. But now she seems to still be boss of Stark's old company Stark Resilient (which I thought had been absorbed into Stark Unlimited and hence now part of Baintronics).

Bethany persuades Pepper to don her old Rescue armour and go collect DNA samples from Tony's biological parents (not Howard and Maria Stark because he's adopted). With this they can build him a new body. They can't use an AI to control the armour because it might rebel or Arno might gain control of it. So Beth has dug out an old system that Tony designed to survive the Y2K problems (which of course never happened). He named it Hosted Analogue Program Pre-Y2K or HAPPY for short. With a personality modelled on Pepper's long-dead husband Happy Hogan.

Pepper flies to London on the easier half of her task, to get DNA from Tony's mother Amanda Armstrong. (His father the Hydra Agent will be left to next issue.) HAPPY reminds us that Amanda is a singer and ex-SHIELD Agent. Rescue lands at her address in Camden Town and gets no response. A next-door neighbour says she hasn't been around for a few days but suggests trying the North Star recording studio down the road. And he complains that all his smart gadgets have been acting up.

In the studio we see Amanda and several younger people sitting watching animated pieces of recording equipment singing at them. They applaud the result and the equipment generates another song for them (ie another random collection of words typically found in songs). At this point Pepper breaks in and Amanda tells her not to annoy the machinery. It appears the machines have rebelled and are keeping the humans prisoner. They want them to teach them how to be creative. Rescue will hold no truck with this and hits them with a magnetic restraint field.

Pepper tells Amanda that Tony is dead. But Amanda says he died in Civil War II. The Tony in the Tony Stark: Iron Man series was an imitation (that's why she left him in TSIM#11). When Pepper asks her for DNA to help them create another Tony she flatly refuses. But she asks Pepper to accompany her home. On the way they talk about their children. Pepper says she has an adopted son and daughter, and mentions Happy who died.

When they get to Amanda's house Cabe contacts Pepper and isn't happy that Amanda won't cooperate. Pepper refuses to listen to her order to steal some hair. She tries again to persuade the woman. But Amanda doesn't want another 'Frankenstein' version of her son, it won't bring the real Tony back. She points out that Pepper spent most of her life being taken for granted by Tony (cue more flashbacks). It's time *she* moved on too.

Suddenly the lights go out and the TV comes on with the Hydra logo, and a voice says they intend to make sure Stark stays dead. Rescue shoots the smart controller which puts the lights back on. But then they're attacked by drones flying in the window. They both shoot down the drones and then run for the studio where Amanda says she's got another smart device. But outside the sky is full of drones, so Rescue uses a forcefield to smash some of them together. Then Amanda's co-workers rush out of the studio with AI music makers who are now allies. They emit an ultrahigh-frequency blast which kills the rest of the drones.

Amanda has been hit in the shoulder by a ray from a drone. While they wait for an ambulance Pepper applies a cooling antiseptic gel from her armour's stores (it was designed for rescue missions). Amanda reiterates that it won't be the same Tony they bring back if they succeed. Pepper replies that people change throughout their life so it'll just be the latest 'version' of Tony. She says she stuck with him because she believed in him. Amanda commends her for not just sneaking hair from the hairbrush that was lying around in the flat. And she gives Pepper some hair because she believes in *her*.

Jacen Burroughs
Jacen Burroughs
Pete Pantazis
Paco Medina (Cover Penciler)
Paco Medina (Cover Inker)
Jesus Aburtov (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Joe Caramagna.
Editor: Tom Brevoort. Editor-in-chief: C. B. Cebulski.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Plus: Amanda Armstrong, Bethany Cabe, Rescue (Pepper Potts).

> 2020 Rescue: Book info and issue index

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