What is a machine? Robot? AI? Who is Tony Stark? Does anybody actually know what is going on in this book? Come on in and follow along as we try to figure out all these questions and more in Tony Stark: Iron Man #15.
***WARNING SPOILERS BELOW***
The issue kicks off with Tony once again on Capitol Hill defending the misuse and abuse of his latest tech Motherboard. He is getting a verbal lashing from one Sen. Miles Brickman. Tony, upon getting asked about his tech upgrades to himself over the past few years mentions that he might be an AI himself. To add some insult to the injury of this reveal Sen. Brickman whips out a copy of the actual AI Tony to see if they can distinguish between the two.
During this, we cut to Jocasta who has sought the help of Tony’s smarter adopted brother Arno to make her more human. This is not sitting well with her boyfriend the Machine Man who is very aggressive when it comes to being pro-AI. He begs her not to become more human especially not at the hands of a Stark.
Jumping back over to D.C. and Tony’s predicament AI Tony uses the ol’ Stark quick wit to get a recess on the hearing. This gives Tony some breathing room to not only process what he just admitted but to try to figure out what’s next. The book shifts over to Avengers Mansion where Wonder Man and Vision have been summoned by who they think is Tony. They are greeted by Jarvis where they fall into a trap seeming set up by the once faithful butler for the Avengers. Now he is working for his “Master” and is donning some kind of control plate in his head.
Tensions rise as hundreds of robots are outside of Stark Tower protesting Tony. Inside the Tower, Tony has to let AI Tony run the Iron Man armor as Friday and Jocasta have declined. To get his mind off things Tony goes off on a date with current girlfriend Janet Van Dyne aka the Wasp but before they can get there they are attacked by a now fused Vision and Wonder Man. Distracted from the fighting Wasp is kidnapped by Jarvis. Struggling against WonderVision (see what I did there) Tony hatches a plan to fire off an EMP. That would knock out his current threat but his onboard AI mini Tony would also be killed. Left with no choice Stark launches the EMP and stops the immediate threat. The sideffects of the EMP also killed all of the robot protesters. The book comes to a close as we reveal that Wasp was kidnapped by a returning Ultron fused Hank Pym.
This issue has a lot of moving parts but doesn’t really go anywhere. I don’t get Arno Stark’s sudden heel turn (wrestle speak for bad guy) and hatred against his brother. Dan Slott and Jim Zub’s story seem very rushed to get to the Ultron reveal. The art by Juanan Ramirez and Francesco Manna have lines everywhere and can take you out of the story. All in all, this was an ok read.
I give this 2 out of 5 WonderVisions.