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Superior Iron Man #9: Review

Jun 2015
Tom Taylor, Yildiray Cinar

Story Name:


Review & Comments

4.5 stars

Superior Iron Man #9 Review by (June 13, 2015)
Yildiray Cinar is back again as artist for the final issue, managing to take his contribution to just over half the issues of this series. Pepper Potts wore the Rescue armour from Iron Man (2008) #10 to #526 (after going back to the original numbering), including her 1-shot Rescue issue. Tony Stark said in #1 his Superior Endo-Sym armour was based on a symbiote, but Venom was never mentioned. However the suit's expected vulnerability to sonic attack suggests it *was* the Venom symbiote he used. We don't know what happens to Tony's plans after this. We were told in New Avengers #26 that something motivated him to fight the Cabal in what I now realise was the Endo-Sym armour in Hulkbuster mode as seen here. After that the Cabal kept him captive until the Illuminati freed him in time for the last battle in Avengers #43-44. There he wound up duelling Captain America as the universe died. Secret Wars #3 indicates that he wasn't 1 of the survivors of Earth-616, so allegedly he's dead and all Tony Stark's seen in SW tie-ins are from alternate timelines.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Superior Iron Man #9 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
The conscience-free Superior Tony Stark is facing off against his mind-backup from 8 years ago. The backup has occupied all Tony's old armours. Tony has responded by getting his liquid smart-metal Endo-Sym armour to bulk up into a Hulkbuster-type suit.

As Iron Man takes down his old armours 1-by-1 he says he's bound to win because the backup doesn't want to kill him. The backup considers current Stark a menace who must be stopped. But Tony knows it intends to accomplish this by taking over his mind and body. However Tony has no compunction wiping out the backup.

His liquid metal invades the most vulnerable armour - the original bulky yellow suit. Inside that he discovers the backup's real location - Resilient HQ. His next move is to fly away from Stark Island, saying he doesn't want his property damaged in the fight. So the backup retaliates by deliberately attacking the structure. Plus it sends in the real Hulkbuster armour to deal with Stark.

The pair of huge armours land on the Golden Gate Bridge. But Stark suggests they take it elsewhere - the location is just too cliche. He tries to fly off again but is faced with Pepper Potts in a rebuilt version of her Rescue armour. He takes out his anger at this fresh betrayal on the Hulkbuster armour that has caught up with him.

With the Hulkbuster armour smashed (and landing back on the Bridge), Pepper reveals her armour's new power. Sonic waves cause the symbiote-based liquid armour to dissolve, and Tony collapses.

Later at Resilient HQ captive Tony is surrounded by Pepper, Teen Abomination and the backup in its few remaining armours. They talk about finding a way to reverse the change wrought on Tony in the Axis event. The backup still wants to find a better life than occupying old IM armours. But it claims to not want Tony's body because  of the disgusting things 'Superior' Tony has done with it. Meanwhile they believe their sonic weapons will keep the symbiote armour away.

But Tony's smile tells them their victory isn't as assured as they think. He plugs a USB stick containing a virus into their computer system. Pepper destroys the device but it's too late. The virus spreads through Resilient's system gradually wiping out all traces of the backup Tony. And the remaining armours start to fall.

1 working armour tries to strangle Tony, but Pepper stops it. She says she wants them both to survive. Tony produces another USB stick. He says it contains enough memory to hold the backup, and it's immune to the virus. He plugs it in and says it's the backup's only chance. As the last armours explode the USB drive signals that it's been occupied.

Tony takes the USB as hostage against further attacks by Pepper. He tells his ward Teen Abomination to come with him. But Jamie rebels, breaks Tony's arm and takes the drive.

But Tony hasn't run out of options. The Endo-Sym armour blasts its way in - and the USB drive gets fried in the process. The armour reunites with its master.

Angry TA makes to attack again, but Stark stops him by saying that his mother isn't dead. Jamie didn't accidentally kill her as he thought. Instead she's been in a coma from which she's just awakened. Tony says he didn't want to tell Jamie before in case she died without waking. Pepper thinks this is another example of Tony's ego - thinking he knows what's best for everyone.

Stark intends to leave but Pepper uses her sonic blasts to disable his armour again. But it doesn't work. Tony says it never did. He may have developed it from a symbiote that was susceptible to sonic attack, but of course he solved that problem at the start. He only pretended that his armour failed in order to get inside Resilient HQ to get at the backup.

Pepper accepts that her plan has failed - the plan that she and Tony set up 8 years ago in case his mind was ever subverted like this. But in #6 she bought 1 of the world's largest media corporations to stop him getting it. Now she'll use that corp to turn the world against him by exposing what he's been doing with Extremis (in this series).

From now on he's on his own. The final image is of Tony finding consolation in a bottle.

Yildiray Cinar
Yildiray Cinar
Mike Choi (Cover Penciler)
Mike Choi (Cover Inker)
Mike Choi (Cover Colorist)


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