- Tony Stark is in a persistent vegetative state and completely helpless. If I can find him, I want you to kill him... Ghost.
Appearing in "Counting Up From Zero"
- Norman Osborn
- The Hood (Parker Robbins)
- Madame Masque (Giuletta Nefaria)
- The Hood's Gang
- The Ghost
- Howard Stark (Dream)
- Maria Stark (Dream)
- Goliath (Bill Foster) (Mentioned)
- Wasp (Janet Van Dyne) (Mentioned)
- Ronin (Clint Barton) (Mentioned)
- Ezekiel Stane (Mentioned)
- Captain America (Steve Rogers) (Mentioned)
- Happy Hogan (Mentioned)
Synopsis for "Counting Up From Zero"
Tony Stark is digging with a couple named Howard and Maria. He finds a few teeth in the barren ground. Then suddenly, the dig site is attacked by a variant design of Stark's Titanomechs.
Switching to a recorded message from Stark before he stepped down as director of S.H.I.E.L.D., he outlined what he had planned ahead of time. There is a way to "reboot" his brain but there is the problem of whether anyone wants him back or if he dies like a hero. Also, he explains that he made sure that Osborn can't reproduce a repulsor battery or exploit anything else at S.H.I.E.L.D. When it all goes down, it will take Captain America, Thor and himself to clean up the mess Osborn has made when he loses his mind.
This message is played by by Pepper's Rescue armor, in front of Maria Hill, Black Widow, Donald Blake, Captain America and Pepper Potts. Though everyone else agrees that he must be brought back, Pepper storms out in disbelief as to why does Tony Stark have to be revived when so many of his friends can't.
In the desert, Stark is back where he started, digging. But instead, he finds oranges with the teeth. Then suddenly, the site is attacked again and everything goes white.
At Avengers Towers, Osborn tells the Hood and his gang that as Tony Stark is currently vegetative, there is no need to kill him; also he retracts the mounts of golds promised for killing Stark. In an adjourning building next to the Tower, Madame Masque talks off handedly to someone about the situation regarding Stark. Osborn considers killing him a political matter, but Masque is thinking corporate. She is specifically telling the Ghost to find and kill Tony Stark.
Meanwhile, Stark is reliving the same scenario again. He asks his father to help him dig in the spot where he found the tangerines and teeth. Underneath, he finds a glowing circular plate, resembling his repulsors. Then, the Titanomechs attack again. Everything turns white again and Stark wonders out loud his confusion over what is he suppose to do.
The World's Most Wanted is now the World's Most Shattered... how does Tony Stark come back from the events of the last year? How CAN he? Is he even alive? Sort of... The Eisner Award-winning title for BEST NEW SERIES kicks off a new story arc leading into this summer's double-sized 25th issue extravaganza here with STARK: DISASSEMBLED!
- Stark's order to have the Rescue Armor fly Stark Drive X into a volcano coincides with Dmitri Bukharin's suggestion to fly into a volcano from issue Invincible Iron Man Vol 2 #14.
- Ghost last chronologically appeared in Thunderbolts #140.
- This is the last story in the Marvel Index chronology for Iron Man (2010).
Links and References
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