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Tony Stark: Iron Man #11: Review

May 2019
Dan Slott, Valerio Schiti

Story Name:

Stark realities: Part 6 - End of service

Review & Comments

4 stars

Tony Stark: Iron Man #11 Review by (May 25, 2019)
Jim Zub joins Dan Slott in scripting this issue again.

The membership of the Champions here is a bit confusing. Next issue will be part of War Of The Realms, as are Champs#5-6. So the absence of Brawn in the team here can't be explained by him quitting to join the Agents Of Atlas because that doesn't happen until within WOTR. Spider-Man effectively quit in #4, and Ironheart and Wasp haven't been active members since #1. So on the face of it that places this issue before the current Champs series, with Brawn absent for unspecified reasons.
However Champs #5 indicates that Ironheart and Wasp are both still on the team and have been away for various reasons of their own. And Ironheart #6, set after Champs #4, has Ms Marvel contacting Ironheart to look for Spidey who's gone missing from home, not just from the Champs. IH and Miles team up, which could explain why they were together last issue. And then in this issue they could have called in other team members they could contact. Which would put this issue between Champs#4 & IH#6 and the WOTR issues (IH isn't having a WOTR issue of her own).

It's a running theme of this series that Tony Stark thinks he's no longer the real deal.
His mind *was* reloaded from an old backup after he deliberately destroyed his own mind during Dark Reign. Which Jocasta here claims would make Friday no longer the same 'person'.
Amanda Armstrong here says her son physically stopped being the real Tony when he died in Civil War II, suggesting that the Tony who was revived in the Legacy issues was a clone or something. But a clone (in Marvel's terms) would still have the same DNA as the original, which Motherboard suggested was otherwise last issue. Previously Tony only talked about his frequent alterations to his own body, eg in Extremis.
This seems to me a tactic I've seen used in some other comics - gradually change the way something is described (eg someone's powers) to mold it to fit plot requirements.

For the next 2 issues WOTR will get in the way of the ongoing plot lines.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Tony Stark: Iron Man #11 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
Stark Unlimited released their new virtual reality eScape, but Controller took it over and has been leaching energy from the players. Tony Stark got sucked into the VR by the AI Motherboard that runs it, who had her own plans. Meanwhile Andy Bhang managed to disconnect Controller from the system.

The robot Jocasta is overseeing the disconnection of all the users worldwide. Her robot boyfriend Aaron Stack/Machine Man reports back from inside the VR that Stark defeated Motherboard but then he left. Aaron's the only 1 still there, and now he too logs out.

Wasp (Janet van Dyne) also reports in from the New Jersey Baintronics factory where she and James Rhodes (in his Manticore vehicle) have been helping Baintronics' security chief Gauntlet and his security staff fight the giant-sized Controller. He's stopped growing since he was cut off, but he's still a formidable foe. Iron Man was with them before Tony's mind went into the VR, but now they need his might again. Jocasta says the armour's GPS says it's there with them, but they can't see it. Help does arrive in the form of some of the Champions (Ironheart and Spider-Man (Miles Morales) who we saw last issue, joined by Ms. Marvel, Viv Vision and the other Wasp (Nadia Pym)).

Meanwhile Sunset Bain and Tony's 'brother' Arno Stark are busy stealing data from SU's network. Arno has also worked out where Tony is. His armour is in a geostationary orbit directly *above* the Baintronics factory. The armour has no AI to control it (since Motherboard erased Friday in #9), and Tony's unconscious because it's run out of air. Contrary to Sunset's expectations Arno takes remote control of the armour and sends it down to Earth - after all Tony *is* his brother.

Sunset makes the best of it by claiming brownie points by alerting SU to the problem. Rhodey takes the Manticore up to meet the plummeting hero and catches him. Stark rapidly regains alertness and Jim brings him up to speed on the Controller situation. Tony contacts *his* security chief Bethany Cabe to get the Baintronics access codes she 'borrowed' (#2). And he sets the factory's 3D printers to building a real copy of the VR Iron Man armour he created last issue to beat Motherboard.

The other heroes are still battling Controller. Jan-Wasp sees the Manticore enter the factory. She follows it and finds Iron Man overseeing the creation of the giant Godkiller armour. Then normal-size IM climbs inside giant IM and heads out to deliver a power blast which puts Basil Sandhurst down for the count. Gauntlet relays the scene to Ms Bain. Tony asks Ironheart to build something to siphon off Controller's excess energy. He then exits the giant armour and destroys it by crashing it into the evacuated Baintronics site, taking the whole factory with it. It was too powerful to keep in the real world.

Later Bethany Cabe tells Stark it's a disaster. She'll have to completely redesign the SU security system. Controller caused many deaths by supplying eScape users with the same weapons in the real world as they had in the VR, and SU will be sued for damages. Tony says he'll pay for it by inventing something even better. (We get a replay of #1's bit of Dr Shapiro the talking cat suggesting blaming the dog.)

Aaron and Jocasta are mourning the death of the Friday AI, beside the robot body she abandoned to resume her old role as AI for the Iron Man armour in #7. Tony says it's OK because he's got a backup of Friday's mind from a few days ago. The robot ethicist Jocasta is angry because *that* Friday would be a different 'person', not the 1 who just died. This stings Tony because of what he learned about himself in the VR (see below).

Sunset Bain isn't fazed by the loss of 1 of her factories. Stark has shouldered the blame for what Controller was able to do, even though he used her 3D printer system to create the weapons he distributed, and her drones to deliver them. Meanwhile that acted as a prime demo of the capabilities of her Instant Production Pipeline. Gauntlet also reports that their techs have managed to retrieve some data from the New Jersey site. Arno thinks he may be able to recreate the Godkiller armour. But 1st he's interested in something he got from SU - the specs for the VR Maria and Howard Stark, otherwise known as Motherboard and her enforcer Arsenal.

Tony is with his lover Jan, both pretty banged-up from the fighting. He repeats his concern to her that he's no longer the real Tony Stark. His body is a replacement with none of the original DNA, and his mind was restored from a backup. She repeats what she said in #4 - he's a self-made man with a 2nd chance.

Tony's birth mother Amanda Armstrong has a different view of what Motherboard told her in the VR. Tony *isn't* now the son she gave birth to. She tells *her* lover Andy Bhang that she's leaving SU, and she asks him to come with her.

It seems Jocasta has quit SU too, and returned to the apartment she used to share with Machine Man. She mourns the loss of eScape. She used to 'sleep' in the VR while her robot body was recharging overnight. It helped her to feel human, like the unnecessary clothes she wore during the day.

Tony leaves Jan sleeping and goes for a walk, which 'happens' to take him to a bar. But Rhodey stops the alcoholic from going in. Tony explains that Motherboard caused him to go back to drinking in the VR. The alcohol wasn't real, but it *felt* real. Jim says he'll help him through this as always.

Valerio Schiti
Valerio Schiti
Edgar Delgado
Alexander Lozano (Cover Penciler)
Alexander Lozano (Cover Inker)
Alexander Lozano (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Joe Caramagna.
Editor: Tom Brevoort. Editor-in-chief: C. B. Cebulski.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)
James Rhodes
James Rhodes

Ms. Marvel
Ms. Marvel

(Kamala Khan)

(Miles Morales)

(Janet Van Dyne)

(Nadia Pym)

Plus: Amanda Armstrong, Andy Bhang, Bethany Cabe, Champions, Controller (Basil Sandhurst), Friday (Friday Stark), Gauntlet, Ironheart (Riri Williams), Jocasta (Jocasta Pym), Sunset Bain (Madame Menace).

> Tony Stark: Iron Man: Book info and issue index

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