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Tony Stark: Iron Man #6: Review

Nov 2018
Jeremy Whitley, Valerio Schiti

Story Name:

Stark realities: Part 1 - The rollout

Review & Comments

4 stars

Tony Stark: Iron Man #6 Review by (November 24, 2018)
This is the start of the 2nd arc of this series.

Dan Slott scripts the issue with Jeremy Whitley as well as plotting it.

This is the 1st time we've seen the Raiders in the post-Secret Wars III universe. Tony Stark seems familiar with them so they are presumably they are the group dating back to Iron Man #145 (not counting IM(2008)#3 where the Chinese were sold their technology). The current team has 3 members, the same as when the armoured foes appeared in several Iron Man and related issues. But they don't appear to have the same weaponry.

The virtual reality Arsenal is based on a couple of robots that menaced Iron Man in IM#114-115 and IM(1998)#84-85 respectively. The 1st of them made a few other apps too. The robots dated from WWII and the Cold War, and Howard Stark was involved in the project.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Tony Stark: Iron Man #6 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
Amanda Armstrong and Andy Bhang greet the day at her apartment with coffee. Amanda confides in Andy that her recently-discovered (International Iron Man #5) son Tony Stark hasn't spent any quality time with her since he died (well, went into a coma, Civil War II #8) and came back (IM#593-599). He's been too busy with Stark International, various events and his big Project eScape.

And a TV reporter tells us today is eScape day, the big release of the eScape Interface headsets, and people have been queuing all night hoping that the stores have restocked. (Presumably there's been a previous public beta test release with limited availability.) The Interface gives you access to SI's virtual reality where you can be and do anything you want.

Stark himself doesn't have time to talk to the reporter because he's busy as Iron Man with Wasp and James Rhodes in his Manticore battle vehicle stopping the Raiders from hijacking a truck full of eScape Interfaces. Tony's girlfriend Janet Van Dyne is expert at flirting while fighting, and the trio stop the heist and prevent injury to innocent bystanders.

The SI AI Motherboard is overseeing all activities within eScape, including several simulations of this hijack with alternative protagonists. In 1 of these an avatar in Silver Centurion Iron Man armour is repeatedly swearing in a family-friendly zone. So after warnings the system sends an Arsenal avatar to eject him to his home in California. The teenage boy is furious that the Interface Mask he's paid for won't let him back in.

The SI robot Jocasta is using eScape to live a human life outside of work. But now she's still tired after a night's human sleep because she forgot to recharge her robot battery. She meets Tony with Amanda, Andy and Security Chief Bethany Cabe as he steps out of his armour back at the office. Beth complains as usual that eScape is a security risk. Amanda asks to talk to him but he's concerned about the *extremely* high ejection rate and puts on his eScape mask to enter the system.

Cabe is quite happy about the ejectees who she believes are all breaking their contract. But then the Controller takes her over (as he has been doing all series) and makes her send him a list of those ejected. Afterwards as usual she doesn't remember what happened, but *is* aware that *something* happened. She continues to wonder if it's connected to the image inducer she found in her locker in #4 (after Controller had her use it in #3). She asks Jocasta if she confiscated *her* inducer in the commissary incident (in #2). But before Jo can answer she's called away to deal with her ex-lover Aaron Stack, Machine Man, who's protesting his love for outside. She's still angry with him after #3 and tells him to go away.

Tech-genius Andy modifies an eScape Mask so that Amanda can home in on her son in VR. She appears before him as an avatar based on her old rock star image. He tries to brush her off but she objects. The system doesn't take kindly to someone disobeying the sysadmin and sends Arsenal to deal with her. Tony tries to stop it but the system takes *this* as a hostile act and Arsenal attacks *him* too. The blow hurt, which it shouldn't. And Arsenal's violent ejection of Amanda gives her convulsions in the real world.

Jocasta tries to shut eScape down but it won't let her. Bethany notices that all the ejected players are being reinstated. And we see the Californian boy log back in, thinking he's successfully hacked the system, only to find himself in a white space as himself facing the Controller who shows him a back door into the VR.

Valerio Schiti
Valerio Schiti
Edgar Delgado
Alexander Lozano (Cover Penciler)
Alexander Lozano (Cover Inker)
Alexander Lozano (Cover Colorist)
Plot: . 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


(Janet Van Dyne)

Plus: Amanda Armstrong, Andy Bhang, Bethany Cabe, Controller (Basil Sandhurst), Jocasta (Jocasta Pym), Motherboard, Raiders.

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

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