Iron Man #10 – The Secret Origin of Tony Stark.
A guessing game begins, as a rogue robot tries to trick Tony Stark with revelations about his parents. The robot itself is a complex new villain named Recorder 451, who is Ozymandias from Watchmen in android form. He has the perspective that his goal is so vital, so important, that the killing of thousands of innocent lives in fair in pursuit of attaining his goal. What he wants, however, is not clear. Leading Tony through a web of what might, or might not, be lies is his goal in this issue. Despite hosting a grand set of ideas in one comic, such as a casiono heist, a last-minute-rescue, and name dropping several vintage Marvel Characters, Iron Man #10 does feel short and brief, reaching the final page, and generating a sense of being stalled, as though nothing of significance happened.
Spoilers for the comic begin below:
- 451 claims to be like a third parent for Tony, since he ensured that Maria could safely carry Tony to the full term of the pregnancy without any complications. Howard Stark struck a bargain with 451 – as a reward for freeing him from captivity in a collector’s vault, Recorder 451 would recruit his advanced medical technology for the Stark family.
The comic moves across a variety of different locations on Earth such as London, Tibet, The Eternal city, Wundagore Mountain, and The Last Chance Bar. It’s a flashback scene, and Howard Stark, Tony’s father, becomes the veiwpoint character. We witness his journey through the Marvel Universe in the distant past.
When opening the comic, the first image that I saw was a close up image of Tony saying “I don’t believe this”. The facial expression is strong here, and matches the dialog, giving a sense of sound to the comic. I can hear Tony’s voice as he says this. Moments like this occur consistently throughout the comics. A set of wrinkles on a Doctor’s forehead says volumes about his worry and consternation. The pose and raised chin of a demolition expert named “The Bear” convey her confidence and poise under pressure. Tiny details are meshed seamlessly together to form the complete picture.
A Bit More on Iron Man #10.
Even though it felt short, Iron Man #10 brought to life the shocking new villain. Recorder 451 was originally designed as a robot to collect information, and pass it on – nothing more than a part in a large machine. Having liberated itself from its original service, Recorder 451 has a sense of being ordinary, but also intimidating. The Recorder 451, being an artificial intelligence, has the option of a conscience after all, and no sense liveliness that artificial intelligence such as The Vision have, or other robotic characters such as Megaman and Astro Boy for example. This comic ties closely to the Marvel Now initiative of telling stories where anything can happen to familiar characters.