Appearing in "Man of the Year"
- Iron Man 2020 (Arno Stark) (First appearance chronologically) (Origin revealed)
- Joe Robertson
- J. Jonah Jameson
- Mary Jane Watson
- Robert Saunders (Earth-616) (Only appearance)
- Dr. "Hawk" Hawkins (Death)
- Cynthia Stark (Only appearance; dies)
- Arno Stark, Jr. (Only appearance; dies)
- Mrs. Muggins
- Candi Muggins
- Randi Cooper
- Richard Saunders (Only appearance)
Races and Species:
- Stark International
- SX-9 (Arno's talking computer)
- Spider-Man's Web-Shooters
- Spider-Man's Belt Camera
- Arno Stark's Time Machine
Synopsis for "Man of the Year"
Nearly 30 years in the future, Arno Stark, the poses for the press in his new suit of Iron Man armor. Stark has been nominated as man of the year, which he explains came as a surprise to Arno, who has been spending most of his time in his lab since he purchased Stark Enterprises from the estate of Tony Stark. His interview is interrupted by a call from with wife Cynthia, who hopes that he is not reneging on the weekend plans with her and her son. Their call is interrupted by his assistant Dr. Hawkins who tells him that there is something he needs to see in lab b. As he flies to the lab, Arno thinks about how his time machine has a few more bugs to work out, and how he has to keep on a good face for the military he develops weapons for. However, he is still thrilled that he invested his late father's fortune into buying Stark Industries so he can establish his own reputation. En route, Iron Man is informed of his itinerary for the weekend. When he meets with military officials, he is asked on the progress on the new planet buster missile that they have been developing to compete with the Russians.
As he is briefing them on the current prototype, Hawk comes into the room and tells him that a terrorist organization led by the cyborg named Robert Saunders is planning on destroying Stark Enterprises and the new bomb as an anti-war protest. Arno tells Hawk not to worry, that he will handle it and heads outside. That's when Arno's wife Cynthia calls again, Hawk covers for him by telling her that he is in a meeting. Furious at being brushed off again, and tired of being trapped in a mansion surrounded by reporters, Cynthia decides to take her son and pay her absent husband a visit. Meanwhile, Arno Stark conducts the latest test of the planet buster bomb, however, the military officials watching over the test are not happy with the estimated fatality rate, demanding that it be increased. While back at Stark Enterprises, Robert Saunders is busy working to destroy the facility in protest to the munitions work that Stark has initiated. Mistaken for a technician, he is interrupted by Arno Stark Jr., who is asking him if he has seen his father. As Cynthia drags her son away, Robert decides to take advantage of the fact that Arno Stark's family has just hand delivered themselves to his clutches. Soon a red alert is sounded, and Hawk contacts Arno. He tells him that Saunders has activated the bomb in lab b and taken his wife and son hostage. In his Iron Man armor, Arno speeds back to his facility.
Meanwhile, the facility is going on lockdown, with a massive dome closing around the facility. Robert Saunders tries to escape on a jet bike but runs into Iron Man on the way. Thanks to the armored scientist's interference, Saunders crashes into the dome instead of escaping and is killed in the resulting explosion. Inside, Arno learns from Hawk that Saunders was the only one who could disarm the bomb, using his rental patterns in time for them to free his wife and son. When presented with Saunder's records, the only major entry is an old newspaper article from 35 years in the past about a young Saunders being injured in a superhero battle involving Spider-Man. Arno decides to use the time machine to find Robert's younger self and tells Hawk to fire up the device.
In the past, Spider-Man is attempting to prevent Blizzard and his thugs from committing a robbery. With his automatic camera taking photos for the Daily Bugle, Spider-Man quickly incapacitates Blizzard's minions so he can focus his energies on the villain alone. Spider-Man manages to end the battle quickly by using his webbing to drop a chunk of Blizzard's ice slide on the crook's head. The Blizzard is then webbed up for the authorities to pick up. As Spider-Man web-slings toward the Daily Bugle, he worries that the ever critical Kate Cushing will reject his photos, and just when his rent is about due. On the roof, Spider-Man changes into his civilian identity of Peter Parker. Downstairs, he learns that Kate isn't in the office and will have to deal with a very busy Joe Robertson instead. This works against Peter as the banks are closing soon. That's when he notices a young boy imitating his nervous pacing around the office. Peter learns from a co-worker that the boy is Bobby Saunders, the son of Richard Saunders, a Daily Bugle shareholder who is being shown around the office by J. Jonah Jameson. Much to Peter's surprise, Bobby is a fan of Peter's pictures of Spider-Man. That's when Joe comes out of his office. When Peter tries to get him to okay the pictures, Joe passes off the job on Kate Cushing, even though she isn't in the office. As he leaves, Joe tells Peter he hopes that. That's when J. Jonah Jameson comes out of his office and tells Parker he needs a photographer to go to Geneva to photograph the peace talks happening there and promises the job will be very lucrative. As this solves his money troubles, Peter thanks, Jameson and bolts out of the office.
Peter is so excited, that he changes into Spider-Man and races to Mary Jane's apartment to tell her the good news. He is so excited that he leaps in through her window still wearing his costume, scaring Mary Jane half to death. When he tells her the news, she tells him that he can't go because it is his Aunt May's birthday. This deflates Peter's excitement because he thought that his aunt's birthday was the following week. Still, Peter needs the money and the next day he hopes his Aunt will understand that he couldn't be there for his birthday. Popping his head out the door, he spies his landlady Maimie Muggins sweeping outside his apartment. Knowing she will hound him for rent, he changes into Spider-Man and tries to climb out the skylight in his bathroom. However, his neighbors Candi and Randi are on the roof sunbathing. Peter then comes up with a crazy idea and decides to go out his front door in costume. He figures the Muggins isn't paying enough attention to notice which apartment he came out of. Unfortunately, his cover is almost blown by Bobby Saunders, who managed to track down Peter Parker's address through his father's connections. Spider-Man then quickly rushes Bobby outside.
At that moment, the Blizzard -- who was just bailed out of prison -- is riding in a van with his minions gloating about how ineffectual the justice system is. As they pass the Daily Bugle building, they witness Spider-Man drop, Bobby Saunders, off there. As Spider-Man swings away, the Blizzard orders his driver to pull over so he can snatch the child. Before they can leave, someone lands on the roof. At first, they think it is Spider-Man, but are shocked when the future Iron Man, Arno Stark, rips through the roof of the vehicle. Arno grabs Bobby and flies off. Thinking that this is his old for, the Iron Man of this era, the Blizzard is left fuming that the hero has interfered with his plans yet again. Getting out of the vehicle, the Blizzard unleashes a freeze blast at Iron Man. This causes Iron Man and Bobby to land on the roof of a city bus. When the Blizzard comes after this, Iron Man uses his built in weapons to kill the villain, as he has no time to deal with his ancestor's foe. With the danger over, Iron Man pulls a device out of his armor that will allow him to take the rental scans of Robert Saunder's eyes he needs to deactivate the bomb in his own time. Before he can complete this task, Spider-Man snags the scanner with his webbing. The wall-crawler had come back to make sure that Bobby got into the building okay.
Also confusing this man for the Iron Man of his time, Spider-Man asks what he is doing. With time occurring concurrently in the past and in his present time, Iron Man can't stop to explain everything and attacks the wall-crawler. Spider-Man leaps out of the way and is forced to drop the retinal scanner in order to save people from falling debris. The scanner shatters when it lands on the ground. With no time to rig up a new one, Iron Man has no other choice but to bring Bobby Saunders with him back to the future. By this point, Spider-Man has snatched up the boy and is trying to get him to safety. The wall-crawler is confused as to why Iron Man isn't trying to explain his actions, still unaware that he is dealing with one of Iron Man's relatives of the future. Iron Man continues to try to attack, and during the battle, Bobby's face is struck by flying glass when one of Iron Man's blasts shatters a window. Seeing the injuries sustained to the boy, Spider-Man becomes enraged and strikes Iron Man as hard as possible, sending the armored warrior crashing into a nearby construction site. Spider-Man then lays into Iron Man, relentlessly beating on him, refusing to stop long enough to listen. Soon enough, Iron Man's window into this era and the time-shift returns him to his own time.
Bobby's injury becomes the news story that Iron Man saw in the distant future. as the disfigured boy heals in the hospital, Spider-Man checks in on the kid. After this whole episode, he has to pass up the Geneva assignment and worries about his impending eviction. As he mulls over who to call first, his Aunt or Jameson, Spider-Man is approached by Richard Saunders, Bobby's father. He wants to thank Spider-Man for saving his son's life and offers to pay him a reward. Unwilling to accept a payment, Spider-Man asks for a loan instead, for the exact amount of his upcoming rent. While back in his own time, Iron Man discovers that not only is he too late to save his wife and son, the new enhancements to the bomb also eliminated several blocks, leaving nothing but a massive radioactive crater.
It's the movie "Terminator" with an even harder-hitting twist when the Iron Man of 2020 takes a blast into the past to catch a terrorist! Not only does Spidey encounter a bad case of future shock, you also get the amazing origin of the Iron Man of 2020!
- This story was broken up into seven parts and re-printed in the United Kingdom-exclusive Transformers (UK) #119 - Transformers (UK) #125 because it contained a robot-like character.
- The song Spider-man sings, missing the lyrics by his own admittance, is "The Gold Diggers' Song" composed by Harry Warren, lyrics by Al Dublin, from the movie Gold Diggers of 1933 (1933, Mervyn Le Roy).
- This story states that the events taking place on Earth-8410 happen during the year 2015. This should be considered a topical reference per the Sliding Timescale. All alternate futures where the date has already been surpassed in the modern age shift forward. Modern readers should interpret the future events occurring roughly 35 years in the future of the modern age, instead of a fixed date.
- Peter states that his rent costs him $275.36 a month (or that he is missing $275.36 to pay his rent). This also should be considered topical, especially given that the cost of rent in New York City has increased anywhere between 800 and 1000% given the average rent in New York City is no less than 2500 a month as of 2018.
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