Comic Vine News

103 Comments

Iron Man's New Origin (Spoilers!)

IRON MAN #17 hit us with a massive reveal and brings a major change to Tony's life and history.

Kieron Gillen's latest story in IRON MAN, The Secret Origin of Tony Stark, wrapped up with yesterday's issue and it certainly lived up to the story's name. The writer set out to alter the Avenger's origin and IRON MAN #17 absolutely accomplishes that. So, what exactly went down? We have a basic recap for you, but before moving forward, we want to remind you this is obviously loaded with spoilers!

While exploring space and getting into all kinds of trouble, Tony Stark is saved by a Rigellian recorder named 451. Eventually, it's revealed it was no mere coincidence the android bumped into the popular character and has elaborate ties to the hero's parents, Howard and Maria. Despite their best efforts, the couple was unable to produce a child and 451 offered to give them the technology they would need to finally have one. It turns out 451 is fascinated with Earth and believes it holds the potential to bring peace to the universe. However, it knows the rest of the cosmos doesn't exactly have an optimistic opinion of our little planet, and if they wanted to, they could destroy us with little effort.

Humanity simply didn't have the means to stand up to the civilizations out there who could mean us harm and 451 wanted to rectify that. The android aimed to give Earth an individual who could greatly accelerate Earth's technology so it could defend itself from potential attacks. 451 wants this individual to be Howard and Maria's child. After thinking it over, the two agree to have their offspring modified by the alien android and in doing so, we're lead to believe everything Tony Stark has done is thanks to genetic modifications. This apparent change was met with mixed reactions and understandably so. No longer were Stark's great accomplishments due to his own wit, intellect and drive. Instead, he was allegedly programmed to serve this greater purpose.

Later, 451 also reveals that Iron Man's fascination with exoskeletons and armor stems from another purpose in his life: to pilot a 25,000 foot tall armor called the "Godkiller." Even though the hero has improved Earth's weaponry by leaps and bounds, it still needs a nuclear deterrent on a cosmic level and it doesn't get more impressive than this nearly 5-mile tall war machine. Much to 451's surprise, Tony is unable to control the Godkiller and because of this failure, a planet is destroyed by the towering armor. Long story short, 451 thinks Tony needs more motivation, so the android aims the Godkiller at Earth. Naturally, Tony is able to save the planet, but not by eventually taking control the armor. Instead, he makes the behemoth undergo a warp jump to a far away dimension and in turn, defeats 451. Although, 451's remains don't go with the huge armor -- Tony keeps them.

So, if Howard's child was programmed to control the Godkiller, why couldn't Tony? Well, the reason behind that is the massive bombshell in the story: Tony's not the biological child Howard had -- Tony's adopted. When Howard agreed to work with 451, he found something in the alien's work that he couldn't quite understand. Eventually, he reached the conclusion it was a "genetic clock" which would kill his son at a certain age. Howard worked to counter this and injected a biococktail into his wife, hoping to interfere with this "suicide gene." Unfortunately, it had a negative impact on the child and shortly after birth, he was unable to breathe without medical aid. Howard knew this was because of his interference and finally told his wife the truth. Knowing 451 would one day return, the couple knew they had to hide this from the technologically advanced 451. To keep his interference a secret, they adopted a child -- a child who would one day become Iron Man. Yes, this means all that concern over Tony having "genetic modifications" was for nothing and Stark ultimately remains a self-made man when it comes to his life's feats.

After putting together all of the pieces, Tony finally visits his brother in the Maria Stark Foundation Hospice. His brother, Arno Stark, is hooked up to a variety of equipment but can still communicate through typing (which he does at a very fast speed). After a much needed heart to heart, Tony claims that 451 is no longer in the picture and Arno's existence no longer needs to remain a secret. Together, they can now work to fix some of the world's biggest problems.

The next issue begins a story called "Iron Metropolitan," so it's clear the intelligent duo will aim to change every day life in cities. How? Well, we'll just have to read the story to find out. But will Arno develop an armor of his own which will support his vitals and in turn, serve as a nod to Iron Man 2020? We have no idea what Gillen will throw our way from here, but it certainly looks promising and is loaded with potential. This will give the writer a chance to set aside the cosmic grandeur and instead focus on giving this book a whole lot of heart.

Viners, what do you think of Tony Stark's new origin? Are you pleased with the final twist or were you hoping for something different? Share your thoughts with us below!

111 Comments
  • 111 results
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
Posted by doombot890

wow, sorry I missed this now

Posted by Trevel8182

Clearly, Tony Stark is the third Summers brother.

(Okay, technically he'd be the fifth after Adam X the X-Treme and Vulcan, and Sinister said that Scott Summers had "brothers" without giving a number, but you know what I mean.)

Posted by Teerack

The new Iron Man series is really striving to be the most boring and uninteresting marvel book.

Edited by moviegeek17

This sounds completely unnecessary, why add on to Tony's origin? It was fine the way it was...

Posted by CaptainGenisVell

I'm so glad I stopped reading this. The writing became sub-par in my opinion as did the artwork, I would have hated myself if I kept on reading for this bomb shell to hit.

Edited by Dernman

How long before they can retcon this stupidity?

Posted by AndyPhifer

I really like that this in NOW WAY changed Tony's origin, but just provided some interesting flavor to his family and introduced new characters. But there's not one single tiny change in the reality of how Tony grew up and became who he is now. I'm a huge fan of stories like this.

Posted by jwalser3

@teerack said:

The new Iron Man series is really striving to be the most boring and uninteresting marvel book.

@dernman said:

How long before they can retcon this stupidity?

Posted by k4tzm4n

I really like that this in NOW WAY changed Tony's origin, but just provided some interesting flavor to his family and introduced new characters. But there's not one single tiny change in the reality of how Tony grew up and became who he is now. I'm a huge fan of stories like this.

Well said.

Staff Online
Posted by BR_Havoc

Huh sounds pretty interesting. I like the fact they did not use this as some way to make Tony depressed to make his book darker just to show there is other things you can do to shake up a character that does not result in changing history or killing supporting characters (looking at you Remender)

Posted by Onemoreposter

Clearly, Tony Stark is the third Summers brother.

(Okay, technically he'd be the fifth after Adam X the X-Treme and Vulcan, and Sinister said that Scott Summers had "brothers" without giving a number, but you know what I mean.)

haha, clearly.

Sounds like a neat story. Generally I'm not big on the Iron Man stuff (at least not much from since the 90s).

What they ABSOLUTELY need to do, is make a legitimate nod to Iron Man 2020. 616 Tony has met the evil Arno Stark before and the wiki says Arno Stark has been alluded to being involved in a dark future in the main 616 universe. Finding out he has a long lost brother named Arno should be setting off some red flags.

In any case, it should be an interesting showdown eventually.

Edited by V_Scarlotte_Rose

So the change in origin is that he's adopted, but his brother got a fancy interesting secret origin?

Posted by Netshyster

So the change in origin is that he's adopted, but his brother got a fancy interesting secret origin?

Making him adopted was a cop-out. The author got scared of the changes, and at the least minute pinned them on another character, making the whole thing pointless.

Posted by V_Scarlotte_Rose

@v_scarlotte_rose said:

So the change in origin is that he's adopted, but his brother got a fancy interesting secret origin?

Making him adopted was a cop-out. The author got scared of the changes, and at the least minute pinned them on another character, making the whole thing pointless.

That sounds possible. Do you know that for sure or is it a theory?

Edited by k4tzm4n

@netshyster said:

@v_scarlotte_rose said:

So the change in origin is that he's adopted, but his brother got a fancy interesting secret origin?

Making him adopted was a cop-out. The author got scared of the changes, and at the least minute pinned them on another character, making the whole thing pointless.

I'd recommend reading the "afterword" in the issue. Gillen elaborates on how he came up with the basic premise/twist while waiting to board a plane. Additionally, he says he didn't want to change Tony's origin. Not out of fear, but out of respect for who the character is. Again, I'd recommend reading it for his complete thoughts on the matter.

Now, I suppose one could speculate he's lying, but I see no legitimate reason to believe such.

Staff Online
Edited by superior_prime_maybe

Edited by Lvenger

(Sigh) Well done Marvel, you've managed to ruin another of your top characters and change things unnecessarily for absolutely no reason whatsoever. Tony's now no longer a biological Stark and all the changes meant for him have been dumped on a new character. Man what an absolutely stupid move by Gilleon, a writer who I had respect for on his Thor run. I guess being in the limelight thanks to a few movies can have some costly price.

Edited by iceslick

@g_man: This was a cool origin story for his brother. But can they retcon that Tony was ever adopted? Because his face is too closely similar to Howard Stark. The adopted part sounds absolutely terrible in my opinion.

Edited by k4tzm4n

@lvenger said:

(Sigh) Well done Marvel, you've managed to ruin another of your top characters and change things unnecessarily for absolutely no reason whatsoever. Tony's now no longer a biological Stark and all the changes meant for him have been dumped on a new character. Man what an absolutely stupid move by Gilleon, a writer who I had respect for on his Thor run. I guess being in the limelight thanks to a few movies can have some costly price.

Would you have actually been pleased if those changes were indeed about Tony, though? If anything, I imagine that would generate more outrage because it totally diminishes his accomplishments. I'm perfectly fine with him not being Howard's biological son because it doesn't change his upbringing, who he's become, and especially important, what he's accomplished. It doesn't ruin the character at all for me.

Staff Online
Posted by Or35ti

Doesn't Tony look a little too much like his dad?

Edited by k4tzm4n

@iceslick said:

@k4tzm4n: I kind of disagree with you

And you're allowed to :P

Howard adopting an infant with black hair and blue eyes doesn't change Iron Man for me. He's still a self-made dude whose accomplishments are his own. If he was genetically enhanced from birth, this was a pre-programmed destiny and reduces the impressive nature of what he's done. It was no longer his accomplishments and feats -- it was 451's.

But yeah, I did also remark on the visual resemblance in my review because they totally do look a lot like, but again, that doesn't really bother me all that much.

"I can't help but wonder... what are the odds that Howard would adopt a child who grows up to look just like him and also has an incredibly gifted mind?".

Staff Online
Posted by kid Apollo

oh those crazy Stark boys, what trouble will they get into next?

Edited by tikhunt

Can someone who actually read this give me a quick run-down please?

Posted by iceslick

@k4tzm4n: I kind of disagree with you Gregg. Because Howard Stark and Tony Stark were very similar in terms of intelligence, character and genetics. To take all that way seems to strange me and doesn't work at all in my opinion. I had read a lot about Howard Stark in the S.H.I.E.L.D. series and a particular issue I can't seem to remember what title is it (thank you ADHD. lol) from really showed how similar they truly were.

Posted by kriminal

i got every one since 9 but wasnt enjoying it so stopped reading after 11. i think im going to try and get through it.

Posted by flazam

I like the Arno bit not the adopted bit

Edited by daredevil21134

Wow I can't believe Marvel let this happen.

Posted by Extremis

Wow, so all that just to make it so he was adopted? Glad I don't read that book.

Posted by iceslick

@k4tzm4n: Oh God, you replied to my half messaged reply. -____- lol I'm really starting to hate this message going blank or half blank? error I keep getting. Anyways, I had to retype the message (including this one) so I hope you will you get to read what was I really saying in the message above.

Posted by JetiiMitra

Tony should be a clone. Of Arno, Howard, whoever. Then everyone would be happy, I think.

Posted by evilvegeta74

This sounds completely unnecessary, why add on to Tony's origin? It was fine the way it was...

Exactly, I'm really angry!

Posted by Novemberx2

Completely unnecessary, adds nothing to character, its pretty funny it completely fails to explain why Tony and Howard stark look alike.

Probably a desperate attempt to boost sales. I like Gillen but his ironman run has been shocking poor.

Between Marvel Now and the joke that was Iron man 3 its not been a good year for iron man fans

Posted by Mutant God

Don't care much about the adoption twist

Posted by dondave

Awesome

Posted by TheAmazingImmortalMan

really? I should have read this, sounds pretty good. I decided not to because I was complaining about the genetic mod lol

Edited by KnightRise

@k4tzm4n said:

Howard adopting an infant with black hair and blue eyes

Oh my Zod, Howard Stark is Batman!

Posted by The Stegman

Snyder should make Batman adopted by the end of Zero Year. Just to see people's heads explode.

Online
Posted by bunkerbuster05

I get wanting to add new things to spice it up, but this was very unnecessary. It didn't change a thing except that Tony was adopted.

The scariest thing is how similar he looks to his adopted Dad. That's the mystery!

Edited by cameron83

@k4tzm4n said:

@lvenger said:

(Sigh) Well done Marvel, you've managed to ruin another of your top characters and change things unnecessarily for absolutely no reason whatsoever. Tony's now no longer a biological Stark and all the changes meant for him have been dumped on a new character. Man what an absolutely stupid move by Gilleon, a writer who I had respect for on his Thor run. I guess being in the limelight thanks to a few movies can have some costly price.

Would you have actually been pleased if those changes were indeed about Tony, though? If anything, I imagine that would generate more outrage because it totally diminishes his accomplishments. I'm perfectly fine with him not being Howard's biological son because it doesn't change his upbringing, who he's become, and especially important, what he's accomplished. It doesn't ruin the character at all for me.

I agree. Him not being the biological son of Howard Stark means absolutely nothing to me. In fact,Howard is still his (adopted) father. I mean,he's technically still a father to him in every way besides DNA,so.....

But I can see why it would cause confusion...I mean,Howard and Tony are similar in terms of intelligence and they DO look a bit similar.

Posted by OmgOmgWtfWtf

I think it would have been cooler just to have left him as an intelligent person. Without all the unnecessary drama. Sounds like an episode of the Days of Our Lives lmao. Next thing you know, Tony is actually not Tony, but Tony's evil twin brother, who secretly replaced Tony during the last Secret Invasion in order to enact a long convoluted plan to destroy the world :/

Posted by Blackdog2009

It all sounds messy, convoluted, and pointless.

Posted by Thatlyn Yoaeg'ill'rymmin
Edited by CaptainHoopla

Oh my. Instead of launching a new Iron Patriot series with Ales Kot writing it, Marvel will you please put Kot on a relaunched Iron Man series and immediately retcon Gillen's entire run? It's amazing how quickly and far a great A-list character can fall in the wrong hands.

Posted by God_Spawn

Tony is still Tony to me. Everything he's done is still everything he has done. So I agree with @k4tzm4n

Moderator
  • 111 results
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3