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Quote1 Tony Stark has some secrets. Shock! Secrets I'm not allowed to reveal unless there is some state of emergency. But Tony Stark is in a coma and I do believe that constitutes an emergency. Quote2
-- Friday

Appearing in 1st story

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

  • Iron Man (Tony Stark) (On-screen only in main story and appears in flashback)
  • Riri Williams' stepfather (First appearance chronologically) (Only in flashback)
  • Friday (Appears on a computer screen, TV, or hologram only)

Antagonists:

Other Characters:

Races and Species:

Locations:

Items:

Vehicles:

Events:

Synopsis for 1st story

While watching footage of a battle between Iron Man and the Controller and eating lunch, Amanda Armstrong is approached by Mary Jane Watson, who comments how nice it must be to have so much footage of him. As MJ joins her for lunch, Amanda recalls about a former bandmate who once adopted a child they didn't know anything about, and contrasts it with how much information she has available about Tony. MJ decides to share an anecdote of her first meeting with Tony, one he didn't even remember when he hired her.

MJ recalls her first trip to Milan. As she was walking down the runway, Iron Man crashes through the roof fighting Whiplash. Iron Man immediately steals the show after quickly electrocuting the villain through his own whips. Later that night, while sitting at the bar of a club, MJ is approached by Tony. This happened when Tony pretended he and Iron Man were two different people, so he was being escorted by his armor on auto-pilot. After apologizing for the scene Iron Man caused, Tony tries to hit on MJ. Once she rejects his advances, and while being slightly drunk, Tony opens up to MJ. While asking MJ about her relationship with her father, Tony manifests his frustration towards his father, Howard, followed by a moment of silence and contemplation. MJ points out Tony's drinking habit, wondering if it was due to the stress of being Iron Man. Tony immediately rejects the notion that he was Iron Man, prompting MJ to wonder if anybody really believes that. MJ expresses that if she had a suit that could fly, she would just do that. When Tony mentions he tries not to fly drunk, MJ points out that anybody can drink, but she'd just fly. Before Tony can explain why he drinks, MJ interrupts him to suggest that he does it because he wants to, just like her dad. Tony's visage rapidly changes, and after a brief moment of silence, Tony stands up and apologizes for underestimating MJ. She tells Tony that he doesn't have to be sorry, and that he won't tell anyone. Before leaving, Tony declares that MJ hates him. She simply replies that she doesn't think she's actually met him yet.

Back in the present, Ironheart arrives at the Stark Industrial Complex in Dover, interrupting MJ and Amanda's lunch. Once she learns MJ was talking about her first meeting with Tony, Riri decides to tell her own story. It was the day her stepdad took her to the Water Tower Place in Chicago on his first attempt to bond with her. Once they head out after enjoying the day, Riri and her steppdad find themselves in the middle of the Skrull Invasion. While escaping from a Thor Skrull, Riri and her stepdad are rescued by Iron Man. He drops them off in a rooftop before taking on a group of Skrulls that were on his trail. Riri was speechless, particularly awed by Iron Man's ability to fly while his left boot wasn't working properly. As his stepdad urges her to leave, Riri points out the malfunctioning boot, claiming to know how to fix it. Riri tells MJ and Amanda she never thought of mentioning it because she didn't believe it was something special for him, considering he saves people's lives all the time.

Picking up on Riri's comment, Friday reveals that Tony Stark has secrets. She points out they can't be made known unless there is a case of emergency, but discloses she believes Tony being in a coma does constitute an emergency. At Amanda's request, Friday projects a virtual reality archive of Tony Stark's files, which she presents as the things Tony does that he doesn't tell anyone. She first reveals that Tony anonymously pays for criminal rehabilitation, having almost his entire rogues gallery under some kind of treatment. MJ calls the attention to a recording of Tony hugging a baby in an orphanage and Friday explains that their search for Tony's biological mother had him visit a few international services and orphanages. Ever since then, Tony had put his entire personal foundation towards funding as many orphanages as he could, particularly ones in troubled areas. He additionally liked to visit orphanages, when he had trouble sleeping, and hold the babies.

Deeply moved by Tony's acts, Amanda requests Friday divulge Tony's anonymous acts of charity towards the orphanages; however, Friday appears to be completely frozen, causing Riri, MJ, and Amanda to worry about her. Friday snaps out of it and sorrowfully reveals that Tony is gone. Everybody is shocked, and Riri asks if she means he's dead. Friday reasserts he is simply gone. Riri asks where, but Friday remains as speechless as they are.

Solicit Synopsis

• Riri Williams accidentally causes an international incident that may throw the entire world into chaos!

• So, you know, no big deal.

• The prologue to one of the biggest Iron Man stories in modern history!

Notes

  • This issue establishes that Tony Stark's pretense that he and Iron Man were two different people wasn't entirely believed by the public. In MJ's flashback, Tony cites a New York Times poll that reported 44% of people asked did believe he wasn't Iron Man. MJ herself even asks Tony if he really thinks people believe the pretense.
  • In Riri's flashback that takes place during Secret Invasion, Iron Man is wearing his Classic Armor. This entails the scene takes place around Secret Invasion #8, as Tony had to switch from the Extremis Armor to the Classic Armor in the middle of the final battle; however, the flashback makes it seem as if Riri's encounter with Iron Man happened in the earlier moments of the Skrull invasion.
  • The Black Bolt Skrull appears among the Skrulls Iron Man fights, despite having been killed before the Skrull invasion started.
  • Friday reveals Tony anonymously pays for criminal rehabilitation. Stark is not unfamiliar with giving villains a second chance, including Crimson Dynamo (Anton Vanko) and Blizzard (Randall Macklin).
  • This issue includes writer Brian Michael Bendis' first letter column in his Iron Man run. He specifically talks about his neighbor Richard "Dick" Cheek, who liked to keep it to himself that he was a war hero. Cheek also liked to visit hospitals to hold the babies, a habit Bendis asked permission to incorporate into Tony Stark. Bendis additionally reveals he intended to give this issue to Cheek to read, but he passed away the moring before it went to print.
  • The Stark Tower seen on-screen in this issue is mistakenly drawn as with the design of its version from the Marvel Cinematic Universe. While there have been many Stark Towers in the comics, none of them ever sported that design. The same thing has happened before in A + X #2, Punisher: War Zone Vol 3 #4 and All-New, All-Different Avengers #1.
  • This issue ends with the cliffhanger of Friday informing Riri, MJ and Amanda that Tony Stark has disappeared. However, Invincible Iron Man #593 shows them learning this fact once again. The issue even opens up with Tony Stark's comatose body being briefly still in its place.

See Also

Footnotes



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