- Prayer? You're going to pray? Who would you be petitioning precisely? Me? God? And what did God say to the people of Paris as you turned them into stone? When they said help me lord as you destroyed one of the greatest cities on Earth. Did God answer them? You know they say in certain rooms that God answers every prayer. Just most days, he says 'no.' ... That's not today. Today, God said something else entirely. Lucky you. Lucky us.
- -- Tony Stark
Appearing in 1st story
- Iron Man (Tony Stark) (Main story and flashback)
- Odin (Only in flashback)
- Antoinette (First appearance)
- Antoinette's mother
- Numerous unnamed Parisians
Races and Species:
- "Unknown location"
- Paris (France)
Synopsis for 1st story
The story follows two conversations, one present and one in flashback, they echo each other.
Tony Stark arrives at the containment facility where Paul Duval is being kept after his attack on Paris. The guard - and probably the world - are wondering why he is not being tried, or punished, for turning all those people to stone. Tony greets Duval in the containment tank, and begins to talk about what Duval did to Paris.
A flashback to Paris the day before, Iron Man is helping workers recover the many grotesque statues. He is visibly appalled, and appalled that Odin could let it happen; those gods (he doesn't believe in) aren't much good. In the afternoon, he eats his lunch on a roof. Odin appears to summon him to Thor's funeral pyre, but Tony attacks him with his uni-beam, to no effect. He begins to equip his armor, telling Odin the two of them need to have words.
With his glove armor on, palm repulsors pointed at Duval, Tony calls him worse than several historical dictators and terrorism too, being beyond normal measures of war crimes, such as trial by the Hague.
Iron Man tackles Odin and throws him off the roof, calling him a monster for not stopping the disaster from happening. Though he manages to hurt Odin, Odin is unimpressed, he overpowers him, saying he came to show him something.
Tony tells Duval of what he saw in Paris, knowing that Duval may not remember it - but Tony too has experienced committing crimes and have no memory of them - and still be held accountable. He admits that killing Duval crossed his mind for several reasons. He tells of his own desperation, and how he realized he drank because he was scared. In his tank, Duval slowly brings his hands together, not in an attack, but to pray. Tony smiles, but still says that God may just answers prayers with "no."
Odin asks Tony if he has any concept of how insignificant he is, Odin has seen the world reborn a thousand times, yet Stark thinks he is the axis around which the world spins. Odin breaks his armor so he can touch his face, saying faith and belief are meaningless. Instead he wants Stark to have an understanding of scale, and shows him a tiny glimpse of infinity. Tony is completely taken aback; meekly turning away, covering his eyes. Odin smiles. He emits a light that envelops the city, transforming the statues, making them come alive again. Tony watches the miracle from the rooftop, friends and family finding each other alive again.
Tony tells Duval that they are lucky; today God answered something else entirely. He leaves.
• Tony Stark squares off against Odin!
• And before it’s all over, Tony’s darkest secret is leaked to the world!
• FEAR IN A BOTTLE?
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