Iron Man Annual #1: Review

Jun 2021
Jed MacKay, Ibraim Roberson

Story Name:

Infinite Destinies

Review & Comments

Rating:
4 stars

Iron Man Annual #1 Review by (June 4, 2021)
The Infinite Destinies story will play out over 8 Annuals this year. 6 of them will feature the new bearers of the Infinity Stones. The other 2 should feature 2 other new(ish) chars.
This issue features Quantum and the Space Stone. He has appeared previously with Assessor in Miles Morales: Spider-Man #7-9 (Assessor also appeared without him in #18-19).
The other Annuals in order will belong to Captain America, Black Cat, Amazing Spider-Man, Thor, MM:SP, Guardians Of The Galaxy and Avengers.
Cap's Annual will feature the already known Time Stone bearer Overtime. ASM will meet Star who has the Reality Stone. Readers of GOTG will already know that the Prince Of Power in their Annual has the Power Stone.
2 other chars have already been seen. Tiger Division in Black Cat's Annual was in Taskmaster (2021) #3. If Amulet in the MM:SM Annual is Fadi Fadlalah then he's been in some issues of Magnificent Ms Marvel.
Neither of those sound like Stone bearers, so my money is on the unrevealed chars in the Thor and Avengers Annuals.

The Nick Fury Jr backup story will also continue across these Annuals. I wonder if his opponent will be Nick Fury Sr, newly-freed from being The Unseen (Empyre: Fallout Fantastic Four and FF#25)? We should have all the answers before I synopsise the Avengers Annual.

Iron Man knows Miles Morales' identity from his time in the Avengers.





 

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Iron Man Annual #1 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
The opening blurb tells us that the Infinity Stones have distributed themselves to new bearers (after Infinity Wars), and this story might reveal 1 of them.

Iron Man and Spider-Man (Miles Morales) face a horde of young Moloids in Brooklyn who seem to be here just to enjoy themselves. IM captures 1 who says their leader Mole Man is no fun anymore. They've heard their parents stories about how he used to take them to invade New York City, and they've seen lots of stuff on TV about the wonderful place (mainly from reruns of Seinfeld, Sex In The City and Friends). Tony Stark decides to throw money at the problem. He hires lots of takeaway food trucks and some tour buses.

Afterwards the 2 heroes share some takeaway and Miles tells Tony how he was kidnapped (in his (2019)#7-9) by a hi-tech baddie called the Assessor who put him through dangerous/painful tests until he was rescued by his father and uncle (the semi-villainous Prowler). The Golden Avenger promises to investigate (the story reminds him of his super-origin, being kidnapped by Wong-Chu and forced under threat to create a weapon which became the 1st IM armour). Spidey warns him about Assessor's teleporting minion Quantum. He also tells him about a drone of the Assessor's that he and Bombshell smashed.

Iron Man examines the drone in the Police evidence pound, but he doesn't recognise the manufacturer. However its comms still work and he's able to determine its control source and smash his way into a Brooklyn building. He fights his way through human guards until he's confronted by a glowing blue figure with a large hole through his chest, who he (correctly) assumes is Quantum. 1 of the villain's tricks is to generate a wormhole in space, poke his hand through it and in this case punch Stark in the face inside his helmet. And also of course to teleport out of the way of repulsor blasts. He then grabs our hero and 'ports them both to ...

... the Assessor's test room. Quantum bugs out leaving the big baddie to conduct his tests remotely. Assessor refers to the armour as interesting subject 045-02 and dismisses its pilot as 045-02B. Tony's AI can't determine where they are. The room has no doors so Shellhead creates 1 with a repulsor blast. This leads him to a wind tunnel to test the suit's flight capabilities while dodging laser fire. He uses the room's setup against itself by loosing some micro-munitions which the artificial wind blows to 1 end creating another 'door'.

Iron Man struggles through lots more single-panel trials until he finally reaches a room with the 'real' Assessor in. But the bad guy's speech is glitching, revealing that he's artificial. Stark has to face Quantum's remote blows again until the supervillain tries to teleport. But Tony has temporarily quantum entangled them so the baddie can't leave. And then he KO's him with a surprise blast.

Now he deals with the Assessor himself. Stark had pegged him as an AI from the beginning and had sent out some Alecto units (mechanical spiders) to infiltrate his system. Assessor tries to transfer his consciousness to another avatar but finds he can't. And Iron Man downloads the AI into his own armour's system where it will be trapped for later interrogation.

Later Quantum teleports to another site where a new Assessor materialises from a backup. Unfortunately the backup only contained the 1st 5 minutes of IM's testing, which the 'Board' won't like. He refers to Quantum as subject 002-004, and we learn that Quantum is serving them while they examine his power source, with the promise that they'll free him from it when they're done.

An epilogue lets us know that Quantum *does* actually have the Space Stone, and he joins already known users Overtime (from Infinity Wars: Infinity #1 and the Wolverine: Infinity Watch mini-series) with the Time Stone and Star (from Captain Marvel (2019) #11, her own mini-series and the King In Black: Thunderbolts mini) who has the Reality Stone. It also tells us that this is part of the Infinite Destinies story that will run through 8 Annuals this year, and then spin off into the Infinity Score in Black Cat #8-10. Meanwhile the Annuals will also have a continuing backup story which it calls Infinite Fury but the Marvel Fandom Wiki calls Super-Spy Vs Super-Spy ...


Pencils/Inks/Colours: Juan Ferreyra

Nick Fury Jr blows up a Hydra base, kills some sort of demon and fights an octopus. All the while his voiceover tells us his background. Marcus Johnson was raised by his mother Nia, and only discovered his father was Nick Fury in Battle Scars #6. He since changed his name and joined SHIELD. His mother taught him to focus and seek patterns. Now he sees evidence of a new player in in the spy game in the data he collects.



Ibraim Roberson
Ibraim Roberson
Rachelle Rosenberg
Nick Bradshaw (Cover Penciler)
Nick Bradshaw (Cover Inker)
Morry Hollowell (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Joe Caramagna.
Editor: Nick Lowe. Editor-in-chief: C. B. Cebulski.

Characters

Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)
Spider-Man
Spider-Man

(Miles Morales)

Plus: Assessor, Moloids, Nick Fury Jr (Marcus Johnson), Quantum.

> Iron Man Annual: Book info and issue index

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