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Tony Stark: Iron Man #4: Review

Oct 2018
Dan Slott, Valerio Schiti

Story Name:

Self-made man: Part 4 - Love bytes

Review & Comments

Rating:
4 stars

Tony Stark: Iron Man #4 Review by (October 7, 2018)
The Controller and Sunset Bain sub-plots continue to bubble along while the personal lives of Stark Unlimited personnel continue to dominate the foreground.

Originally the Avengers' civilian IDs were all secret, but gradually most became public knowledge including Wasp's. Iron Man and Thor still maintained their anonymity even from their teammates, but along the way they sussed each other out and Captain America learned their secrets later. When Tony Stark dated Jan Van Dyne in Av#224 (after her divorce from Hank Pym in Av#217) Cap and Thor urged him to tell her his secret, which he did.




 

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Tony Stark: Iron Man #4 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
There's a new website created by Baintronics called Make-A-Match which claims to use a revolutionary Matchmaker AI to find you your perfect partner. Stark Unlimited's Andrew Bhang has used it hook up with someone named Jin, and now the perfect couple are sharing a meal in the company Commissary. The AI Friday in her new robot body asks Amanda Armstrong how she feels about this. Amanda says that she and Andy only went on 1 date (last issue) and it was awkward because he was a besotted fan of her music. Other people in the firm try the site and are astonished to get immediate matches. Because Sunset Bain tells Matchmaker to go all out on this 1.

A week later Tony Stark has hooked up his brain to that of the robot Jocasta. Now each can relive the other's memories of the day. The recurring theme in this storyline is that Tony is worried that all the changes he has made to his brain and body have converted him from a human to an AI like Jocasta. He wants to know if she feels the same way he does. She pretends to think he's flirting with her, and points out that such intimate contact is inappropriate for a boss and employee, or even 2 beings who used to be in the Avengers together (most issues from Av#170-211). And he doesn't get an answer to his question.

Stark has recorded Jocasta's brainwaves and wants to compare them with those of Janet Van Dyne, on whom the robot was based (by Ultron in Av#162). As if on queue Jan walks in. Tony and Jo are still brain-linked, and images of Iron Man and Tony Stark with Wasp and Janet appear on monitor screens. 1 in particular shows Tony and Jan kissing, which Jocasta relates to Avengers File #224 (ie Av#224 where they had a whirlwind romance). Tony thanks Jan for agreeing to help here, and Jocasta suggests he could repay her with a lunch date - which Jan quickly accepts.

It seems loads of Stark employees have found soulmates via Make-A-Match, and Security Chief Bethany Cabe tells Amanda she's concerned about all the visitor passes she's been having to hand out. Tony and Janet (and Jocasta) join them, and Tony introduces Amanda to Jan as his mother. They have to explain to confused Jan that he was *adopted* by Howard and Maria Stark, and Amanda Armstrong is his birth mother. Amanda introduces *herself* as a British ex-pop star and ex-Agent of SHIELD. Jan trumps her credentials with:- fashion designer, heiress and founding Avenger whose ex-husband (Henry Pym) built an evil robot (Ultron) who created Jocasta and used Jan's brain patterns for Jo's AI. Tony invites Jo and his mom to join him and Jan for lunch, but Jocasta tactfully says she and Amanda have stuff to do (which is news to Amanda). And she congratulates herself has she sees the pair nip off on Tony's Vespa.

We see a montage of their date as Tony explains how he's rebuilt himself, so everything seems different now. Jan suggests he look on the positive side, as she did when she came back (Av(2010)#32) from being lost in the microverse after Secret Invasion. Take the opportunity to put the past behind her and start life anew. She also reminds Tony how he messed up their previous relationship (Av#224). She was publicly known as Wasp but Iron Man's civilian ID was secret then, even from his teammates. He dated her as Tony Stark without telling her he was the Golden Avenger. And when he 'fessed up she was furious.

Back at the firm even initially-sceptical James Rhodes has got himself a match, named Raquel. Bethany still thinks it's all too good to be true. She orders security checks be redone on everyone involved. At Baintronics Sunset and Matchmaker realise the jig will soon be up. They order all the 'matches' to grab whatever they can steal and get out now. Beth contacts her boss to tell him they're being attacked by killer robots. Tony's Vespa converts into his Iron Man armour (as his motorbike does in Hunt For Wolverine: Dead Ends). Jan shrinks out of her dress and flies after him as the costumed Wasp.

Back at SU again everyone is fighting their robot soulmates to stop them taking any Stark Tech. Iron Man and Wasp arrive and Beth briefs them on the situation. Stark gives the order to take out the robots, but the firm's robotics ethicist Jocasta objects that they're AIs who are only following programming. So Tony changes his order to disable not kill. Andy tries to talk Jin round but she says her program will make her kill him. And Amanda has to knock him out of the path of the shot, until Shellhead scrunches the robot Jin.

The robots' next command is to use the image inducers that gave them the perfect match looks, and now use them to duplicate Stark employees so they can sneak out. But Jocasta and Bethany have devised a strategy against such a thing, and Beth causes all the image inducers to fail. It's now just an all-out battle. But Andy attracts IM's attention and points out that the robots always switch tactics at the same time. They're drones controlled from elsewhere - the dating app. Tony's tactic is then to upload is own dating profile. Everywhere enthusiastic daters immediately respond, and Matchmaker is overloaded with dating requests. And the robots collapse, their strings cut.

Amanda is impressed by Andy's perceptiveness and says she's becoming a fan of *his*. So they arrange another date to try again. Rhodey compliments Bethany's actions. But she's surprised to find an image inducer in her locker. (She doesn't know that she used it last issue while under the control of the Controller.) Sunset Bain shuts down Make-A-Match but claims that the system was taken over by a rogue AI. Tony and Jan continue their date back at someone's place and share a kiss.


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

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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.

Characters

Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)
James Rhodes
James Rhodes

(Rhodey)
Wasp
Wasp

(Janet Van Dyne)

Plus: Amanda Armstrong, Andrew Bhang, Bethany Cabe, Friday, Jocasta, Sunset Bain (Madame Menace).