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Indomitable Iron Man #1: Review

Feb 2010
?, ?

Story Name:

(multiple titles)

Review & Comments

3.5 stars

Indomitable Iron Man #1 Review by (January 26, 2016)
This is a black and white comic containing 4 stories.

Story 1 is written by Paul Cornell with artist Will Rosado:-

The Marvel Chronology Project places this between Iron Man: Iron Protocols story 2 (itself some time after IM(2005)#32) and IM(2008)#1.

The ethics of sending a machine to terraform a remote planet are very suspect. There may be intelligent life on that planet. And even without that it's still wiping out lifeforms. What we see here is Earth subjected to the same process. It doesn't actually say here that the intent is to prepare the planet for human colonisation.

Story 2 has story and art by Howard Chaykin:-

The MCP has this tale back between Sentry #4 and Avengers (1998) #38 (which lie somewhere between IM(1998)#35 and #36). Pepper Potts *was* Tony Stark's secretary again then, and the armour here *could* be the retro-look version he sported at that time.

But the whole dialogue here seems to me to hinge on the premise that Pepper doesn't know Tony is also Iron Man. Also Cap, Fury and Reed don't seem to know this either, or at least they don't allow for the possibility he might be on IM business. And the armour *looks* like a really old version, not just the retro-look. This would place it in Tales of Suspense, or between the original IM#57 where Pepper returns to work for Tony and #65 where she learns his dual identity.

But then that wouldn't fit with Tony going to AA meetings. And Damage Control hadn't been heard of then. (Mind you Stark only being 1 year sober since original IM#182 doesn't really tally very well with IM(1998)#35-36 either.)

The publisher's solicitation says the armoured foe is Titanium Man. MCP says it's the Boris Bullski version, and he *was* active in both the TOS-era and IM(1998). thinks it's Kondrati Topolov from IM#229, which could fit with 1 year sober and Damage Control, but not with Pepper as secretary.

And Chaykin's art as usual makes it look like the 50's.

Story 3 has scripter Duane Swierczynski, penciller Manuel Garcia, Inker Stefano Gaudiano:-

There's no argument about when this is set because it's in (an alternate) future. As such MCP doesn't list it. And is as much in the dark as me as to who the 4th Avengers is. Thor? Ares? Hulk? Skaar? Conan?

Story 4 is a text story by Alex Irvine with spot illos by Nelson DeCastro:-

According to MCP this episode comes after IM(2005)#28 and the framing sequence of IM: Legacy of Doom. But Tony refers to Nick Fury as openly active and in charge, which doesn't fit.

Add this to a mention of Pepper and the special helicopter suiting him up in the Iron Man armour, and it begins to sound like the movie version of IM.

Just to confuse things 1 of the callers suspects a neighbour of being a Skrull, which would incline me towards post-Secret Invasion.

Arnim Zola debuted in Captain America #208-212, but his backstory takes us to WWII where he cloned Hitler.

1 of Stark's online answers explains why he never had a heart transplant. It would take a heart that could help someone else. Instead Tony uses his tech to keep his heart going.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Indomitable Iron Man #1 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
Story 1: Berserker

NASA's Mars orbital mission Bellona is on the way back to Earth. The public have lost interest because superheroes regularly go into space. Even a visit to the capsule by Thor doesn't rate as big news. But Tony Stark is interested, which doesn't go down well with his latest date.

Then Tony gets a call from Peter Corbeau at NASA asking for help as Iron Man. Something is following Bellona home, and the Golden Avenger heads out to intercept. He finds it's another craft, which fires on him and then grabs him with metallic tentacles. As he fights the pull he sees the logos of NASA and Stark Industries on the side.

Corbeau recognises it as the Wanderer probe which was sent on a long journey to another star system. When it got there it was supposed to terraform a planet (presumably for future human settlers). Its computer was almost an AI. Unfortunately it hit something near Jupiter and was presumed destroyed.

The craft takes time out from fighting Iron Man to fire a missile down to Earth. Shellhead shreds the waldos and follows it down to a village in Peru, where a cloud of nanodevices are transforming the plant life into something alien. Tony and Peter guess that the collision near Jupiter must have scrambled the probe's programming.

Then Wanderer arrives and blasts Iron Man to the ground. IM fights through the tentacles to reach the vessel. He breaks open some panels and snaps a cable in 2. Plugging the ends into the sides of his helmet he communicates with the computer, which seems to have been enhanced by the accident and now has emotions. It's feeling lonely and abandoned.

On learning that it's dealing with Tony Stark the Wanderer gets even angrier. But Tony has managed to take control and reprograms the nanosmoke to re-terraform the surrounding plants. The probe won't stop fighting so Stark reluctantly shuts it down.

Later at a NASA press conference Stark pledges to help NASA upgrade its technology to superhero levels. When a reporter asks if he's ever thought about having a family Tony abruptly leaves. (Presumably because he's just killed his 'child'.)

Story 2: Multitasking

Iron Man is battling an armoured foe when as Tony Stark he gets a call from his secretary Pepper Potts. She's been fielding his calls while he's out of the office, but 3 top clients are insistent.

The 1st is Nick Fury, who's in the middle of his own gunfight. He's been trying to get Stark's people to service 1 of the engines on the SHIELD helicarrier. Tony tells Pepper to send their top team immediately.

The 2nd caller is Captain America, who's fighting some Hydra goons. Avengers Mansion needs its Hulk motion detectors upgraded. Stark knows that his company has been putting that off for months, and Pepper says she'll change the priorities.

The last client is Mr Fantastic. The Baxter Building has suffered some damage, and  the Fantastic Four's account at Damage Control is overdrawn. Pepper will send some guys round ASAP.

Pepper says she can hold of the rest of the callers until Mr Stark gets back to the office. Tony says he can't tear himself away from what he's doing right now. Pepper chides him because she assumes he's out enjoying himself. They exchange some banter saying that Pepper can afford to disrespect her boss because no-one else would put up with him.

When he finally defeats his foe and leaves him in the hands of SHIELD, Tony goes to a Yancy Street AA meeting to announce he's 1 year sober.

Story 3: Brainchild

It's the future and Avengers Captain America, Spider-Woman and Wolverine (and an unidentifiable sword-wielding barbarian) are showing their years. Tony Stark/Iron Man has announced his retirement. A month later a huge phallic building is found in the Mojave desert, and everyone seems to know Stark's inside. But the Avengers, various enemies, the Stark board of directors and Pepper Potts can get no response from it.

Many years later Pepper's granddaughter uses complex tech and insider knowledge to fool the system to let her in thinking she's Stark himself. Until Tony challenges her by hologram, and then accepts her. Inside she finds him aged but kept alive by his advanced tech.

Tony explains that he'd been tired of fighting fires and had secluded himself so he could work on the really important problems of the world. But he still hasn't finished and wants the girl to leave him alone.

Potts Jnr explains that Pepper has just died aged 94. On her deathbed she made the girl promise to bring Tony out to see the world as it is now. Stark agrees to come out for a brief visit.

She flies him to a city and shows him the world of the future. A future that has been to a large extent moulded by the ideas Stark left behind. Ideas that were ahead of their time, but which others have since been able to implement. This world is truly Tony's brainchild.

But this doesn't make Tony happy. Instead he retreats back into his 'tomb' and lays himself down to die in his sleep because there's nothing left to invent. Except he suddenly has an idea.

Story 4: It's raining Tony

Tony Stark is meeting his adoring public by doing an online chat session at the Daily Bugle. As the questions pour in a duplicate Tony Stark wearing a SHIELD Agent uniform walks into the room and says "Greetings from Arnim Zola" before attacking. The name Arnim Zola means we're dealing with clones.

As Tony battles his double hand-to-hand he sends the Bugle tech guy Isaac Workman to get help. A judo throw sends the clone crashing through a window to plummet 18 floors. Then 2 DB security guys arrive. And leave again.

Tony gets back to answering his fanmail until another Tony clone swings in through the broken window, followed by a 3rd with a samurai sword. The security guys (and Isaac) shoot the non-sword 1 through an internal window. Then they run in and dispose of samurai guy too. Stark keeps the sword.

Tony phones for an automated Stark Industries helicopter to come for him before getting back to the online chat. But 4 more clone ninjas break in through more windows. Stark uses the sword to parry a blow from another samurai. Then hits him in the face and chops the head off another clone, and kicks another in the stomach. Security takes the last 1 out.

The chopper lands on the roof and Tony finishes off the chat session. J Jonah Jameson isn't happy about his trashed office, or the greenhouse full of orchids the copter landed on. But Stark suggests the story will sell a lot of his newspapers tomorrow.

Tony gets in the special helicopter and lets it dress him as Iron Man. Then he heads off to find Arnim Zola.

Lucio Parrillo (Cover Penciler)
Lucio Parrillo (Cover Inker)
Lucio Parrillo (Cover Colorist)


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)

(Bruce Banner)
Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)
Mr. Fantastic
Mr. Fantastic

(Reed Richards)


(James Howlett)

Plus: Arnim Zola.

> Indomitable Iron Man: Book info and issue index

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