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Invincible Iron Man (2016 series) #11

September 2017
Brian Michael Bendis

Story Name:

(no title given)

Reviews & Comments

Rating:
4 stars

By Rob Johnson on September 30, 2017

There are 4 penciller/inkers for this issue. I think the split is:-
Stefano Caselli - the current day opening to each flashback.
Kate Niemczyk - the Mary Jane & Tony fb.
Taki Soma - the Riri & Iron Man fb.
Kiichi Mizushima - the Friday ending.

The bubbling subplot of the Tony Stark AI having secret worrying plans seems to have been forgotten about. Last issue's cover seemed to suggest he would become a menace then, but it didn't happen inside. Of course maybe the *AI* has spirited Tony away.

Amanda and Mary Jane mention Ironheart's brief stint as Queen of Latveria in the last 2 issues. Of course *they* actually happened before Secret Empire, and this issue is connected to the post-SE Marvel Legacy.

There's always a danger in inventing flashbacks. When Tony meets MJ he's drinking (heavily) which would probably mean it's set before the 'Demon in a bottle' story in Iron Man #120-128. Around that time MJ was just finishing college and I pretty sure she wasn't a big-time model by then.
Then better possibility is that it's in the short period when he started drinking again before James Rhodes took over as IM in #170. Round about then MJ returned to the Spidey comics after a long absence - and she's already famous enough by then to have a play written about her life.

The Official Marvel Index has armour Model 4 in use all across that period (from Tales of Suspense #85 through the time Rhodey was the replacement IM). (But the Iron Man Armoury site also has M 5-8 plus specials in there.) The armour around this time is the 1 used by Tony as reliable backup when his more advanced armours won't work. Which is why he's shown here wearing it during Secret Invasion after the Skrull virus disabled his Extremis armour.
But this doesn't really add up because he only puts on that armour at the very end of SI whereas the scenario here indicates that the Invasion has only just started - when IM and lots of other heroes were trapped in the Savage Land to keep them out of the way.

Marvel Legacy has a page where MJ finds Tony Stark's body gone from where he was kept in the coma. The surveillance system shows that he just vanished. The staff had sent for MJ and hadn't wanted to tell her what had happened until she got there to see for herself.
It is written as though MJ wasn't expecting this. But the best way to reconcile the incident with this issue is that actually MJ went there after Friday's revelation to specifically check on the body.




 

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Tony Stark's recently-discovered birth mother Amanda Armstrong is watching videos of the life of her son (we see news footage him as Iron Man fighting the Controller, but she also has family videos of his personal life). Mary Jane Watson joins her for lunch.

MJ mentions that she had met Tony long before he hired her as his executive assistant. But he didn't remember even though they slept together - only joking! It was when she was a supermodel. Iron Man and Whiplash crashed onto a catwalk in front of her. Later Tony crashed the after-party with his Iron bodyguard in tow to apologise. Back then he always pretended he wasn't IM himself, but MJ says she wasn't fooled and she thinks *most* people weren't - he obviously had the armour running on remote at the party.

Tony started chatting MJ up but soon they began talking properly. They compared notes on fathers. MJ's was abusive and she ran away as soon as she could. Howard Stark was distant and Tony got out too. MJ commented on Tony's drinking, but he claimed he could handle it. She asked if the stress of being Shellhead drove him to drink. He tried denying that again but had to admit that a poll showed only 44% of people believed his story - and he stopped pretending in this conversation. MJ said if she had a suit like that she'd prefer flying to drinking. Tony admitted he really drank just because he wanted too. MJ commented "just like my dad". They parted on good terms.

Ironheart drops in, and when they tell her what they were talking about Riri Williams says *she* met Tony a while ago too, during the Skrull Secret Invasion. The guy who was going to be her stepdad took young Riri out for the day but when they came out of the mall there were alien spaceships in the Chicago sky. Then a Skrull Thor menaced them until they were whisked out of harm's way by Iron Man. He dropped them off and went back to fighting Skrull versions of Captain America, Hulk and Phoenix. Riri noticed 1 of IM's jetboots was malfunctioning, and the young genius reckoned she could fix it. But current Riri asks the Stark Industries AI Friday to confirm that the incident was just 1 of many such saves in Iron Man's busy life.

Friday responds by showing them scenes from Tony Stark's personal files (which his mother can authorise access to). She shows them some of the things he doesn't tell the world about. We see him capturing Blackout and Friday tells them that Tony secretly funded a rehabilitation program for him, as he does for all the foes he can. Also, when he learned he was adopted and went looking for his real mother (in the International Iron Man series) he visited many orphanages. Since then his Foundation has been funding *those* too. And he often visited to hug babies as an antidote to his troubled world.

Of course that was before (as Friday reminds us on the opening page) he was put in a medically induced coma (to recover from his injuries in Civil War II). Amanda asks her to check that the orphanages are still OK. And she wants to make her son's good deeds public. But the AI goes quite for a long time, and then says Tony Stark has gone - not dead but gone.

Next issue starts the search for Tony Stark. It also switches to #593 which presumably reflects where the original series would have reached if it hadn't kept restarting with new #1's.

Elektra


Brian Michael Bendis
Marte Gracia
Jesus Saiz (Cover Penciler)
Jesus Saiz (Cover Inker)
Jesus Saiz (Cover Colorist)
Tom Brevoort

Characters

Listed in Alphabetical Order.


Amanda Armstrong, Friday, Ironheart, Mary Jane Watson.