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Sunday, July 20, 2014 

Tony Stark will become an Iron Madman

Mashable reported that Marvel's staff is going to corrupt Tony Stark's personality, while forcing him into a series with a name much like the one given to the series starring Doctor Octopus in Spider-Man's body:
Tony Stark has always possessed an inner darkness — now he's unleashing it on the world.

Marvel is on a character transformation tear, first announcing a female Thor, followed by the revelation late Wednesday of a black Captain America. Now, as Mashable can exclusively reveal, Tony Stark's massive ego is about to boil over, causing Iron Man to unleash a version of his volatile Extremis technology on the entire population of San Francisco.
It sounds vaguely similar to the setup from Inferior Doctor Octopus, and probably is more so than this suggests. Obviously a continuation from the premise used in Original Sin, and another effort by the staff to abuse and tarnish a fine creation. What do they even mean by "massive ego"? That he's some kind of crazy capitalist and a greedy millionaire?
Beginning in November, Superior Iron Man will take the place of Marvel's Iron Man comic book for an indefinite run, with Stark relocating to the City by the Bay. The storyline has Stark releasing a mobile app — a version of his Extremis tech that was largely the basis of the film Iron Man 3 — which offers users the promise of beauty, perfection ... and possibly immortality.

Those things will, of course, come at a terrible price — and throw Stark's status as one of the good guys into question. In fact, Stark's mad-genius move will pit him against Daredevil, also a recent transplant to San Francisco, as the "Man Without Fear" won't take kindly to Stark's vision.
What's so great about SF anyway that they have to set the story there? Yeah, I know they have a few notable technology firms there like Twitter, but so do Texas and Florida, so why not set it over there?
"What we’re doing here is a little different — it’s Tony Stark, the one and only Tony Stark — and in the aftermath of the Axis event, he will surrender to his id and his legendary ego," Marvel editor-in-chief Axel Alonso tells Mashable. "You’ll see Tony in a new place spiritually and intellectually."
Marvel's staff already surrendered Tony's true ego - which was nothing like what they say - on the alter of contempt for classic storytelling. And he's already been to these new places Alonso speaks of for over a decade now, and it didn't help one bit.
And this new Tony Stark isn't an "alternate universe" creation, nor is he being replaced or mind-controlled, like Spider-Man was (by arch-enemy Otto Octavius in the book's spiritual predecessor, Superior Spider Man, the 2013 title that was initially met with nerd-rage but lasted a whopping 31 issues.)

"Yes, this is Tony," Alonso said. "What you're seeing in Superior Iron Man is a Tony Stark who’s seen both his worst and best impulses all let loose. It is Tony, but he’s going to be in a zone now where he’s never been. He's more ambitious, cunning, egotistical ... all of those quantities are unharnessed. He has a vision for the world. I like to think his position is defensible — controversial, but defensible."

And this new, hubrissed-out Tony Stark won't just be confined to Superior Iron Man — he'll show up in crossover Avengers titles, rub shoulders with Captain America and make his special brand of trouble all the other Marvel titles with which he's involved.

"Don’t look for anything to contradict this Iron Man for the foreseeable future," Alonso said.
On the contrary, this take on IM contradicts everything that made it such a fun, admirable adventure decades ago. They've already set a new status quo, where Tony is no longer the true son and heir to Howard and Maria Stark, and this looks to be their direction for as long as people like Joe Quesada and Alonso are pulling the strings. Now, they're going beyond the pale and turning Tony into a rich madman, probably to make him look unworthy as heir to the company, yet at the same time villifying millionaires all for the sake of it.

One of the page commentors said:
I don't like it. Tony Stark is a hero, and turning heroes into the "dark" side of themselves is terribly old-hat in comics right now. Talk about major uncool 1990s-think. Come on, Marvel, you can do better than this.

Added to that, Tony Stark is a good guy to MILLIONS of kids around the world, and yes, he's turned "dark" before (in the "Civil War" universe, which I like to think of as an "alternate universe"), but this seems a bit too much - endangering millions of people's lives just because of his supposed ego?

If anything, Tony Stark's portrayal by Robert Downey Jr. in the movies has given him an endearing and engaging humanity and deep-down goodness, not to mention vulnerability -- and Marvel has to recognize that THOSE are the qualities audiences and readers want to see. Not hubris and egotism - that's not the core of what Tony Stark is all about. Or not any more.

Ah, well, this will be a storyline in a few comic books that won't sell a lot, and then Marvel will slap it the "Superior Iron Man" run into a hardcover book or two, which will languish on a few fanboy shelves. And it will never make it into the movies.

And then Marvel will keep wondering why comic-book sales continue to decline. Really, folks. You wonder?

And the Marvel Studios Avengers movie series will continue bring in billions of dollars because they portray our heroes as we all really WANT to see them - positive, complicated, vulnerable, recognizable, flawed yet human (aside from the occasional god or alien), GOOD exemplars that kids can admire and look up to, and adults can enjoy as our modern mythology.
What's ironic is that some of the very same people working in the movies may the same ones denigrating all that was great back in the comics too: Quesada's been elevated to a higher rank in the production outfit built for making movies out of their comics, and Brian Bendis has some involvement with the Guardians of the Galaxy film. I'd say the disconnect between approaches for comics and movies have something to do with a decision they've made that when it comes to movies, they'll go a more commercial route, at least on the surface. But back in the comics, which they clearly hold a possessive view over, they see perfectly fit to wallow in reprehensible plots that'll please none but the most obsessive collectors.

I agree that turning heroes into villains is definitely a 1990s mentality that never left, and is still prevailing. Tony was already put through the wringer in a similar tale that saw him replaced by a teenaged version of himself, and look how far that got. Unfortunately, unless more people are willing to vote by wallet, I've got a grave feeling they'll keep this new setup in place out of spite while laughing at all the mindless collectors they're taking advantage of.

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"What's so great about SF anyway that they have to set the story there? Yeah, I know they have plenty of technology firms there, but so do Texas and Florida, so why not set it over there?"

Have you ever been to SF?

I guess I was thinking of companies like Yahoo, Google and Twitter having prominent offices there and assuming that actually counts as tech centers. You're right, that was a bit of a stretch to say "plenty". I guess I'll alter that part.

Plus you have to take into account that SF has a certain "mystique" to it as well Avi.

I've been to SF. Nice enough place to visit if you avoid all the weirdos, but I can't imagine anyone in their right mind would want to live there.

Sort of says it all that the Bay is one of the most beautiful natural views on earth, IMO, but they stuck Alcatraz in the middle of it, put Oakland on the other side, and then turned the park into a dumping ground for the mentally ill and addicted.

Sounds like fan fiction at it's worst, much like Gillen's(?) run was. Please bring back Kurt Busiek!!!!

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  • From Jerusalem, Israel
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