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Superior Iron Man #5: Review

Feb 2015
Tom Taylor, Laura Braga

Story Name:

The origin of Teen Abomination

Review & Comments

4 stars

Superior Iron Man #5 Review by (March 1, 2015)
Laura Braga was supposed to doing the next 2 issues but she's turned up a month early. The cover design is based on Iron Man's original appearances in Tales of Suspense, especially #53-58. The shadowy background figure is the Black Lama. Gamma knife surgery is a real treatment for brain tumours. The flashback with Black Lama and Whiplash is to #72 of the original IM title. Happy and Pepper Hogan were back working with Tony Stark, and both knew he was Iron Man by this time. Tony's company *was* correctly known as Stark Industries at this time. It got changed to Stark International in the next issue. I don't think he was portrayed as neglecting the company at that time. And his drinking hadn't yet been highlighted as a problem, but probably already was. Happy's 5-year old son Jamie must (according to Marvel time at least) have been conceived in the original Happy and Pepper era in Tales of Suspense, before they got married and left in ToS#91. Tony refers to the flashback as the *day* the Lama returned. He was introduced in #52-53 but then wasn't seen for a while. But he actually returned in #70, so Tony's memory is a *bit* faulty. Also at that point Iron Man didn't know that Lama was looking for someone to replace him as ruler of his alternate Earth-7511, and that crossing to another timeline had driven him mad. Tony doesn't discover this until accompanying (not sending) Lama back to his home in #80.

Tony has a missing day after the fight with Black Lama. The last thing he remembers is telling Happy to get Pepper because they need to do something unspecified. I'm guessing that this missing time will include the creation of the armour/AI Pepper was talking to in #1 and #3. And it probably has something to do with BL infecting Stark with his madness which is described here. (In the original comics Tony went mad like Lama when he crossed to the other timeline in #80.) Ie the old armour/AI is a failsafe to be used if Stark's mind is ever affected as it has now been in Axis.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Superior Iron Man #5 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
On Stark Island Tony Stark is examining Teen Abomination, restrained in a chair so that he doesn't instinctively lash out when Tony tries to take a blood sample. What Stark hasn't told him is that to get through his ultra-tough skin Tony's going to use to a special needle and an armour-assisted jab. And TA does react by breaking the chair and attacking his tormentor.

Armoured Stark holds Teen A off until he calms down, and then explains that an automatic analysis of his DNA will show what's happened to his body. But while they wait for the results he asks the boy to describe how he got this way.

TA says his mother was a scientist in Stark Industries, but now she's unemployed and dead. One day Katrina Carlson had to bring her 5 year old son Jamie to work because she couldn't get a babysitter. Her team was working with gamma rays and today was a critical experiment, even though they hadn't been allowed to install the extra shielding they needed. Katrina thinks this penny-pinching is indicative of Stark's attitude to his company. A view that is fuelled when Happy Hogan arrives to tell them that Tony won't be attending their demonstration - he's busy elsewhere. Katrina just asks what woman is he busy with.

The experiment blows up in their faces.

Tony remembers the accident, December 13th 8 years ago. The project was intended to find a new cancer treatment, like the gamma knife. In those days he was neglecting SI due to a combination of drinking and being Iron Man. At the time he was fighting Whiplash in a contest the insane Black Lama (Teen A thinks he's referring to a llama animal) was organising to find someone to be his champion and take over his other-dimensional kingdom. After whupping Whiplash Tony had to resist the Lama's psychic attack and send him back to his own universe. Battered Iron Man only just made it back to SI and Happy. And Tony can't remember what happened for the next 24 hours.

Jamie was caught in the blast but didn't turn into Teen Abomination until 2 weeks ago. Katrina was fired and they have been poor since then. Jamie also got bullied at school. 1 day he got angry with his mom, became Teen A and wrecked his home, killing Katrina. Which his when he came to Tony Stark for help/revenge.

Tony figures that it is Jamie's continued anger that keeps him from transforming back to human. The kid says he doesn't know who his father was, so Tony checks the DNA analysis which tells him that Happy Hogan was the dad. But he has tell the boy that Happy died (IM(2005)#14).

Stark now admits that he had actually been studying TA with an eye to finding something about his condition to make a profit out of. He hadn't really cared about curing him. But now that he knows Jamie is the son of 1 of his few close friends, seeking a cure is raised to equal status with making money. He's going to get right on it tomorrow. (He doesn't have to waste time patrolling the city as Iron Man these days because the spy drone system he unveiled last issue reduces crime by itself, and will alert him to anything he needs to worry about.)

But when he's alone Tony worries about something else. All recordings in his armour and SI files have been deleted for the day after the Black Lama incident - the day he can't remember. And he wants to know why.

Preview Pages
Click sample interior pages to enlarge them:

Laura Braga
Laura Braga
Mike Choi (Cover Penciler)
Mike Choi (Cover Inker)
Mike Choi (Cover Colorist)


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)

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