Comic Browser:


Iron Man 2020 #3: Review

Mar 2020
Dan Slott, Pete Woods

Story Name:

(no title given)

Review & Comments

4 stars

Iron Man 2020 #3 Review by (March 14, 2020)
It's the Dan Slott & Christos Gage writing duo again.

I still think Dr Shapiro is the *real* Ghost In The Machine mole, and Andy Bhang is covering for him.

There's been a long-running thread in the Tony Stark: Iron Man series about whether the current Tony was the real deal. Initially he just worried that because he'd changed his own body so much over the years that there might not be any of the real him left. (I don't think he ever mentioned that also his mind was reloaded from an old disc backup at the end of Dark Reign.) However in #18 he discovered that the cells of his body were artificial with Stark Foundation trademarks, and it was suggested that Arno Stark created it. But now we are told that AI Tony created his own body, and Arno just used the same method for *his* experiments.
Real Tony was mortally wounded in Civil War II and his body was stored in a hopefully-healing coma but then 'stolen'. The current Tony staggered into our view from a similar situation in the Legacy #593-600 issues and we were lead to believe that he was the real guy returned for the TSIM series. But in #19 Tony admitted to being an AI in an android body. And now we are told that the Tony AI (which might not even be a copy of Tony's mind) created his own body.

The solicit for our #5 suggests that the 'real' Tony Stark will be back. In the 2020 Rescue mini-series Pepper Potts will try to get DNA samples from Tony's biological parents to grow a new Tony Stark body. Maybe to put AI Tony's mind in.
But I prefer a different suggestion. Since AI Tony's body isn't real Tony's, maybe real Tony is still in a healing pod since CWII and will emerge in #5?


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Iron Man 2020 #3 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
Last issue Mark 1 (the AI Tony Stark) and some of his robot revolutionaries invaded Baintronics HQ to stop Iron Man 2020 (Arno Stark) from broadcasting a virus that would remove the free will of all AIs and make them his slaves. But Arno was ready for them and foiled their plan.

HERBIE sends out a distress call saying IM2020 has killed Quasimodo and Mark 1 is now fighting him directly. Their secret 13th Floor HQ is inaccessible (due to Arno renumbering the floors in the building!) and he wants to know what to do. He is rescued by Awesome Andy, some Nick Fury LMDs and others, led by Machinesmith in Andy's display tablet. (He explains that the virus started to corrupt his android body last issue so he had to transfer his consciousness into this tablet.) Andy grabs HERBIE and creates an escape route by smashing through a wall to the outside, many floors up. As they fall Machinesmith tells him to mimic HERBIE's thrusters on a larger scale, and they successfully land. Free of the building's jamming signal Machinesmith broadcasts to all AIs in New York warning them of Arno's planned virus. They all respond to the call even if they weren't previously part of the Resistance.

Meanwhile Tony and Arno are still going (Iron) mano-a-mano. Arno is wearing the Godkiller armour that Tony designed and his brother stole from eScape (in the Tony Stark: Iron Man series). Tony now reveals that this was what he planned and flips a switch. But nothing happens because Arno was 1 step ahead of him again. He boasts that he was always smarter than the real Tony, and Mark 1 is only an inferior copy. Then he shows us that the giant cog wheels he added to the armour's shoulders weren't just for show. He grabs Tony in a bear hug and the wheels start whirring and shredding the Mark 1 armour.

Sunset Bain is in her private helicopter with Andy Bhang and the cat who was Dr Shapiro. Andy looks out a window and reports that the robots of New York are converging on Baintronics Tower. Ms Bain blames him and says she knows he's a mole who's been passing info to Bethany Cabe who's been relaying it to the Rebellion. (Ie between them they were the Ghost In The Machine last issue.) Andy shows his true colours (he never really hid them!) and her bodyguards throw him out of the copter ... which is now just hovering a few feet above a rooftop.

AI Tony recovers consciousness in the remains of his armour in a Stark family reunion for the 1st time with Arno and his parents. Arno explains how he created new bodies for them just as AI Tony created 1 for himself after the real Tony Stark was mortally wounded in Civil War II. And he reminds Tony that *he* put Howard and Maria's minds in eScape as Avatar and Motherboard. Arno just rescued them and gave them proper bodies (more stuff from TSIM).

Arno also explains the motivation behind his masterplan. There's something coming that is a danger to all life, biological and AI. He wanted them to work together to face this threat, but Tony has divided the 2 sides so now Arno's only option is the obedience virus. He describes the Extinction Entity on its way here from space, which Tony remembers as the story Recorder 451 told (in the Secret Origin of Tony Stark arc in IM(1012)#9-17). (The Recorder wanted him to use the original giant Godkiller armour but it didn't work. However this was because the armour was compatible with the Starks' real son Arno, not the secretly adopted Tony.) The parents of course confirm the story.

Just then Arno is notified of the mass attack by robots, when he thought he had the rebellion on its knees. Tony uses the distraction to escape through a window and fly up to the transmission dish on the roof of the building. Arno fires repulsors at him which cause the shattered armour to fail. But Tony clings to a strut and drags himself to a control box. Iron Man 2020 flies up behind him ...

... Meanwhile HERBIE has flown to where Machine Man was supposed to be ready with a rocket launcher to take down the transmission dish if Tony's plan failed. (But last issue and in his own tie-in mini-series his Arno-brainwashed lover Jocasta lured him away.) He finds the abandoned weapon and fires it. He misses the dish but hits IM2020, giving Tony just enough time to knacker the dish.

In a fit of pique Arno fires at Tony, destroying the dish in the process. But he says he can always build another 1. And AI Tony falls to his death to be found by Awesome Andy and others. (I see Albert in the crowd, who will get his own tie-in mini-series 2020 iWolverine.)

Pete Woods
Pete Woods
Pete Woods
Pete Woods (Cover Penciler)
Pete Woods (Cover Inker)
Pete Woods (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Joe Caramagna.
Editor: Tom Brevoort. Editor-in-chief: C. B. Cebulski.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Andy Bhang, Awesome Andy, Dr Shapiro, HERBIE, Howard Stark, Iron Man 2020, Machinesmith, Maria Stark, Mark 1 (Tony Stark), Sunset Bain (Madame Menace).

> Iron Man 2020: Book info and issue index

Share This Page