Iron Man Annual #1: Review

Feb 2014
Kieron Gillen, Alvaro Martinez

Story Name:

Two cities

Review & Comments

4 stars

Iron Man Annual #1 Review by (February 22, 2014)
Comments on story 3:- The 1st 2 scenes happen while Iron Man is away in space with the Guardians of the Galaxy and Recorder 451. The last scene must happen before Marc was introduced as he fiancé in #16. Pepper hires Marc as freelance PR man for Resilient, which she runs as CEO. Later in #19 Stark also hires him as PR for the separate company which is building Troy.

Comments on story 2:- In this tale the Troy geostationary satellite is up and running, which was 1st physically seen in IM#21. Eli Warren and his people 1st appeared in #5 of the current Iron Man series. They had used a sample of Extremis they bought from AIM to modify their bodies to live normally in their space station. They intended to do further modifications to allow humans to survive on other planets of the Solar System. Iron Man destroyed their sample, as part of his campaign to keep the dangerous process from falling into evil hands. But he let them retain their existing enhancements, so they could live in space but not colonise planets. Eli and gang featured heavily in Fatal Frontier. And they aren't happy that Tony Stark scuppered that chance for Mankind to colonise the Moon (and their own stake in the project). Eli's followers were referred to as the New Modernist Army in FF. I don't know if his space-station was called High Quartermass there. (I also don't know if this is a joke because Prof Quatermass of the multiple TV series and films is sometimes erroneously referred to as Quartermass.)

Comments on story 1:- Tony Stark says here that he's building his futuristic city Troy. This probably places the story within #19 of the current Iron Man series. This also means that the Fatal Frontier series occurred before #19. According to FF#3 Phlogistone was created by the effects of a succession of cosmic energies. The current story suggests that it was the arrival of the Phoenix Force in Avengers vs X-Men that finished the process, but FF#3 said that the White Event of Avengers #7 that did the job. Needless to say Yinsen's lab is from Iron Man's origin story in Tales of Suspense #39, most recently reimagined in IM: Season One.

The Annual is given an overall title 'Final frontiers'. 2 of the 3 stories here form an epilogue to the 12-issue Fatal Frontier digital series, but the 3rd story is independent. But more significantly all the tales connect to the ongoing storyline in the main Iron Man title.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Iron Man Annual #1 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
On the Moon Iron Man confronts Udarnik the humanoid Soviet probe that had used Phlogistone, the new metal found on the Moon, to fuel his city Tranquility Gulch. IM had in the end destroyed Phlogistone, dooming the city, because it was deadly to human souls. A side-effect of Phlogistone is that Tony Stark is haunted by a hallucination of Prof Yinsen who died helping him create his 1st armoured suit.

Angry Udarnik doesn't understand Iron Man's action because he was unaffected by Phlogistone. As Stark claims because he has no soul. And now the Armoured Avenger is here to ask for his help. The last remaining trace of Phlogistone still contaminates his blood and he wants the android to remove it.

Stark explains that he is building Troy, a city of the future on Earth. And he needs his mind clear of the influence of the metal. Udarnik finds it offensively ironic that Iron Man destroyed his city and now wants him to help with Stark's own city. Tony says that a vital part of the future he envisions is Mankind's expansion into space. And then Udarnik will have his Moon city.

Stark then suffers an all-encompassing hallucination/dream as he floats naked into space and sees the Moon remade literally in his own image. Next he is in the makeshift lab in the terrorist stronghold where he and Yinsen built the original Iron Man armour. His body has been sliced into (bloodless) pieces. Yinsen says that here is where Tony's heart started beating. (Ie I guess where he learned the consequences of his weapon-making.)

He awakens to what seems to be another vision - Udarnik's city alive with light. The android explains that he has siphoned the Phlogistone from Stark's body and used it to power his city for 1 last brief time.

Udarnik still hates Iron Man, but sees Stark's plan as his only hope for the future. As Shellhead heads back to Earth he promises to bring people back to the Moon sometime. And Udarnik will be patiently waiting.

Story #2


Writer: Kieron Gillen. Penciler: Agustin Padilla. Inker: Scott Hanna. Colorist: Val Staples. Letterer: Joe Caramagna.

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Tony Stark flies a shuttle to High Quartermass, the space-station home of Eli Warren and his New Modernist Army. He sends brother Arno in his mobile iron lung to communicate with Eli, warning him not to reveal his close connection to Tony. Warren hates Tony after their last 2 encounters.

Arno explains about the city Troy Tony is creating on Earth, and its geostationary orbital platform above it. He asks Eli and his team to run the platform, promising them they can have it for their own uses when Troy is finished. He tries to counter Eli's anger and suspicion by telling him that they will be working for him not Tony Stark.

Warren counters by suggesting that they just hold Arno for ransom. Arno gives him several reasons why that wouldn't be as good an idea as the deal he's been offered. And finishes by remarking that he has a large gun underneath his bed which can destroy the station.

Eli agrees to the deal. But adds a parting remark that if Stark wasn't keeping Extremis to himself he could use it to repair Arno's body. Arno deliberately doesn't mention this to Tony later.

Story #3

By moonlight

Writer: Kieron Gillen. Penciler: Marcos Marz. Inker: Marcos Marz. Colorist: Esther Sanz. Letterer: Joe Caramagna.

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

This story charts the growth of the relationship between Pepper Potts and Marc Kumar.

9 months ago Pepper is at a conference when Marc rescues her from the attentions of a drunk attendee. She asks him out for a meal.

8 months ago they're having dinner. Marc is a freelance PR man. He says that words can change the world, but claims he wants to change the world for the better.

3 months ago Marc asks her to marry him, at the same time as Pepper asks him to do the PR for her company.

Alvaro Martinez
Raul Fernandez
Chris Sotomayor
Paul Rivoche (Cover Penciler)
Paul Rivoche (Cover Inker)
Nolan Woodard (Cover Colorist)


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)
Pepper Potts
Pepper Potts

(Pepper Hogan)

Plus: Eli Warren, Marc Kumar/Liar, Udarnik.

> Iron Man Annual: Book info and issue index

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