Divested of his armor, doubting his own humanity, can Tony Stark defeat Ultron?  Your Major Spoilers review of Tony Stark: Iron Man #19 awaits!


Writer: Dan Slott and Christos Gage
Artist: Francesco Manna
Colorist: Edgar Delgado
Letterer: VC’s Joe Caramagna
Editor: Tom Brevoort
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: December 18, 2019

Previously in Tony Stark: Iron ManWhat if there is no Tony Stark?  What if there is only the Iron Man?  At the end of 2019, the boundaries between man and machine are blurred and broken… and the Marvel Universe will be a very different place in the year 2020.

A new Iron Age is coming…


Having been merged with his own armor, Tony Stark has barely managed to save himself from cyborgization and get back into his old-school analog suit in time for Ultron to attack!  One by one, his allies fall: First The Wasp, then Jocasta, then Machine Man, before Iron Man strikes.  Overpowered by Ultron’s cyborgs, he is forced to listen to the merged Henry Pym/Ultron creature rant and rage about his plan for humanity and how Tony is responsible for killing his cyborg minions.  That’s when Machine Man revealed the truth.  “You were making simulated beings…  Dead flesh.  ZOMBIES.”  Ultron/Pym is shaken, but Machine Man reminds him that his process only worked on The Vision because of the synthezoid’s phasing powers, and as for Tony Stark?  “The real Tony Stark never came back.  He died,” replies Iron Man, finally admitting that he’s an artificial simulation of Tony Stark.  That’s where Sunset Bain and Arno Stark come in, moving quickly (with a little help from the senators in their pocket) to take control of Stark Unlimited.  After all, Tony himself admitted that he’s not the CEO, but in fact a product of StarkTech…


As 2020 dawns, things are looking dim for our heroes, with Tony missing, Arno merging with Baintronics and debuting his “new” armor, based on the armor from his first appearances waaaay back in 1984.  Machine Man is possibly insane and everything we know about Iron Man’s life has changed and it’s all remarkably unnerving.  The story here has some elements that remind me of the notorious ‘Superior Spider-Man’ swerve when Slott was writing that book, which is a bit worrisome, but all in all, it’s a very strong issue that hopefully will hold ramifications for the entire Marvel Universe, but the second half ot the issue feels a little bit rushed to me, with Ultron surrendering, The Avengers arriving and Arno taking over (with their resurrected parents?) in the space of a few whirlwind pages.  Francisco Manna’s art is very disturbing this issue, which is great when dealing with zombie cyborgs or the misshapen Ultron, but less so when the twisted faces belong to Captain Marvel or Machine Man, which undermines the storytelling a more than one point during the issue.


All in all, though, the art is more distracting than the pacing issues, but neither completely destroys the potential setup in this issue, with Tony Stark: Iron Man #19 making me want to come back for next month’s Iron Man 2020 #1 and successfully earning 3.5 out of 5 stars overall.  As one of the old guys who remembers the stories this is referencing, the nostalgia factor is strong, and the potential is here for a whole new take on Iron Man, for as long as it lasts.

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A New Year,

A New Iron Man

This is clearly what we've been building to since #1, and it has potential, but it feels a little bit rushed, with some art

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Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture! And a nice red uniform.

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