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Iron Man #11: Review

Aug 2021
Christopher Cantwell, Angel Unzueta

Story Name:

Walking away from Omelas

Review & Comments

4 stars

Iron Man #11 Review by (August 20, 2021)
Department of misleading covers:- The fighting between Iron Man, Avro-X and Stilt-Man does *not* take place in a city.

The title Walking Away From Omelas refers to Ursula K Le Guin's award-winning short story The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas (another utopia with a flaw at its heart).


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Iron Man #11 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
The main conflict in this series so far remains with Korvac, but Iron Man has been sidetracked onto an unknown planet populated by Ultimo robots where Stilt-Man leads a small community of 'abducted' people, mostly aliens, in an attempt at an utopia. Tony Stark is helping them survive but his armour is the only thing keeping him alive with a broken neck, and he's getting addicted to the morphine that keeps the pain at bay.

This issue begins with the funeral of Yar and others who died in the latest Ultimo attack. Tony discusses with Colin Richard/Avro-X, another armoured hero from Earth, the possibility of taking the fight *to* the Ultimos instead of just defending against them. He suggests examining the wrecked robot. But Colin protests that the colony needs all its resources just to survive, and the Ultimo is being melted down for scrap.

Wilbur Day/Stilt-Man overhears the conversation and visits Stark in his quarters. Tony tries to convince *him* of his plan but Wilbur points out that they, Avro-X and the deceased Yar were the only real fighters in the place and he's not going to send the civilians out to the deaths. Iron Man suggests a sneak attack but Wilbur claims that the automated source of the Ultimos is on the other side of the planet. And he also suggests that the robot threat is what binds the community together. Moreover Wilbur reveals that he's been working on a way to get a signal out to get them rescued. He asks fellow engineer Stark to help him get it done quicker.

Tony then gets Patsy Walker/Hellcat talking in his head (since Moondragon boosted her mental powers) to remind him that they still have Korvac to deal with, whose plans for the universe will affect even this planet wherever it is. She suggests that 1 of the reasons that he's not doing all he can to return to that fight is that he's turned off the governor that was controlling his morphine dosage, which Tony admits. Then she tells him that the team have decided to face Korvac without him. They'll come find him if they survive.

We then touch base with her, Frog Man, Gargoyle, Halcyon, Misty Knight, Scarlet Spider and War Machine. Their spaceship has reached Taa II, Galactus' worldship, ahead of Korvac and his gang. Hellcat tells them they're going to have to go in without Iron Man.

Iron Man can't sleep and sneaks out of his tent to look at the wrecked Ultimo. But Avro-X follows him and tells him it's a waste of time. Wilbur has examined half a dozen of the things and there's nothing of interest apart from the power storage battery that the colony cannibalises. When IM doesn't stop Avro-X attacks him saying that Wilbur doesn't want anything to upset the fragile balance of the colony.

But Shellhead beats him off and does get a look inside the Ultimo and finds a simple infrared remote control circuit recently attached to it that could have come from RadioShack. And then the pair of them confront Wilbur Day in his lab and accuse him of controlling the Ultimos himself. Wilbur immediately confirms his guilt by going Stilt-Man on them claiming they're going to ruin his grand experiment.

During the ensuing fight he admits that he created this colony and only pretended to have been abducted here when he used an interference beam to bring the others here 1 by 1. He was tired of being repeatedly defeated by superheroes on Earth and wanted to prove that he could create and lead a perfect community. Just like Tony and Colin the others could build a better life once they'd shaken off the shackles of their past. The Ultimos really were here already, created by the planet's previous inhabitants as he claimed last issue. But he used them to keep the community small enough to control, and their threat kept the people united. (But he just couldn't resist bringing Iron Man here to show off in front of 1 of his old enemies.)

Then we see that a crowd has arrived to investigate the commotion, and they heard his confession. They grab their leader and drag him away. Tony and Colin intend to stop them from killing him but then the Living Tribunal appears and tells Stark that the universal balance needs him on Taa II. Tony interprets this as meaning that his friends won't be able to stop Korvac without him. LT then cryptically says Stark has misunderstood, but Tony agrees to go if the Tribunal will send everyone else in the colony home. However Colin says he wants to accompany Tony.

LT agrees to it all and the duo are immediately transported to the worldship. They find it deserted but an intruder alert sounds.

Angel Unzueta
Angel Unzueta
Frank D'Armata
Alex Ross (Cover Penciler)
Alex Ross (Cover Inker)
Alex Ross (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Joe Caramagna.
Editor: Tom Brevoort. Editor-in-chief: C. B. Cebulski.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.


(Isaac Christians)

(Patsy Walker)
Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)
War Machine
War Machine

(James Rhodes)

Plus: Avro-X, Frog-Man (Eugene Patilio), Halcyon, Living Tribunal, Scarlet Spider (Ben Reilly), Stilt-Man, Ultimo.

> Iron Man: Book info and issue index

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