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Monday, May 28, 2018 

Brian Bendis continues the damage wrought during Kieron Gillen's Iron Man run

For his last act on Shell-Head's stories before he departed to work full time at DC, Brian Bendis chose to continue what Kieron Gillen set up when he was working on IM, with Howard and Maria Stark's parenthood of Tony retconned away for no good reason, and now, we're told to believe who Tony's "real" father was, and even before that, who his mother was:
For years it was presumed that Tony Stark was the son of industrialist Howard Stark, but Marvel has now revealed the full truth about Iron Man’s parents.
The way they act as though this is real life is simply loathsome, and no way to treat the audience's intelligence, let alone Stan Lee's own developments.
Years ago, it was revealed that Howard and Maria Stark are not Tony Stark’s biological parents. The mystery of who Tony’s biological parents were wasn't resolved until much later, during Brian Michael Bendis’ run on the Iron Man titles.

Tony Stark’s mother is actually Amanda Armstrong. Armstrong was a popular rock star in the Marvel universe. She was contacted by SHIELD, who recruited her as an undercover agent. Armstrong’s global touring schedule gave her the perfect cover for crossing international borders to achieve her SHIELD missions.
Umm, it wasn't that long ago, just about 5 years ago, so why don't these clowns be a little more specific? And the "revelation" his mother was a rock star not unlike Dazzler only makes me doze off. It gets much worse though:
The truth about Tony’s father is a bit more complicated. Amanda gave Tony up for adoption. It was only relatively recently that Tony and Amanda met for the first time. However, that reunion was brief since Tony was put into a coma by Captain Marvel during the events of Civil War II.

Before Tony was put out of commission, the only thing Amanda told him about his father was that he was a SHIELD agent who died. It turns out that’s was only half of the truth.

Tony’s father’s name was Jude. He and Amanda had a romantic relationship. Jude was an agent of SHIELD, but the part Amanda left out of the story was that Jude was also an agent of Hydra. He used his position within SHIELD to bring vital, secret information on SHIELD’s operations to Hydra.
Yet another demonstration of the mentality that led to Captain America as a Hydra/nazi agent, I see. His "real" father was, as seems to be the modern belief how things should go, a villain in the worst sense, and the name appears to be an allusion to Judas of the bible.
Amanda left the Hydra double agent part of the story out and figured it would never be an issue because Jude was dead. How did she know he was dead? She killed him by stabbing him in the neck while she was still pregnant with Tony. She did this so that Jude would never show up trying to recruit Tony into Hydra himself.

But Jude, it turns out, is as hard to kill as Hydra itself. He’s been alive all of these years, watching from the shadows. In Invincible Iron Man #600, he finally reveals himself. His reunion with Amanda goes about as well as their last meeting. They have a tense standoff while waiting for Tony to return until Mary Jane Watson shows up and shoots Jude in the shoulder. Jude responds by calling in the Hydra agents he had in waiting. Luckily, Iron Man arrives in the scene, along with Leonardo da Vinci and the Brotherhood of the Shield, and stopped Hydra pretty easily.
Could this get any sillier? Not to mention that putting Mary Jane in a spy-thriller role that might've once gone to Pepper Potts and worked better with her is also quite laughable.
What this means for Tony’s future remains to be seen. Jude is back on the board, if not directly in Tony’s life, and Iron Man is about to go in an entirely new direction when Dan Slott takes over as the writer for the upcoming Tony Stark: Iron Man series. Whether Tony’s biological parents play a role in the new series remains to be seen.
Whether anybody in the audience still cares remains to be seen, and I'm certainly not interested. It's also a clue Mary Jane's still going to be stuck in an atrociously retconned role, all for the sake of some dumb direction that defies Lee's original premises for the sake of "coolness" and "boldness". The commeters weren't impressed either, and one said:
This is stupid, and I hate when creators opt to "leave their mark" on a superhero or that character's series by pulling some "everything you thought you knew was wrong!"

You can leave your mark by telling good, memorable stories. No need to say "psych, Iron Man's real mom isn't who you thought she was and his real dad isn't who you thought he was and he's a Hydra agent." It's one hell of a lame stretch for some poorly manufactured drama that will inevitably be undone or cleaned up by someone else later on.
And we have to hope that'll be possible in the future, because right now, Marvel's fortunes don't look good, no thanks to the hacks they've hired. Another said:
This is one of the most idiotic things Marvel did. Just give it back to Howard Stark please.
And Maria Stark too, let's not forget. Here's another:
If I'm being honest, I don't love this storyline. Marvel spent so much time pointing out how similar Tony and Howard Stark arc, both visually and personally, that this adoption curveball doesn't feel believable to me.
See, this is precisely why what Gillen and Bendis etched out completely defies logic and the original premise of Lee/Heck. Here's one more:
Yeah, I'm not feeling any of this. The adoption bit makes zero sense considering the various ways Marvel has shown Tony to be like Howard Stark. Just seems like a cheap and lazy storytelling choice that will get swept away later on.
Again, you gotta hope it'll be, because again, Marvel's fortunes look pretty dim, and C.B. Cebulski clearly hasn't proven much of an improvement over his predecessor Axel Alonso, let alone Joe Quesada, who's still very influential in his role as a "chief creative officer". Bendis' stories should not be financed by anybody, and no one should put money into Slott's pockets when he takes up the writing assignments either. It's just more hack work by people with no love for famous literary creations, coupled with sugary apologia by "reporters" who don't love the creations either.

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