Appearing in 1st story
- A.I. Army (Main story and recap)
- Doctor Shapiro
- Bethany Cabe
- Rescue (Pepper Potts)
- Andy Bhang
- Baintronics, Inc.
- Extinction Entity (Main story and recap) (First full appearance)
- Maria Stark (Recap)
- Howard Stark (Recap)
- Stark Industries (Named only)
- Sunset Bain (Stasis; death)
- Avengers (Mentioned)
Races and Species:
- Earth (Main story and recap)
- eScape (Mentioned)
- Iron Man Armor Model 67 (Main story and recap)
- Rescue Armor Model 5
- Iron Man Armor Model 1 (Mentioned)
- Doctor Shapiro's Vocal Collar
- Iron Man Armor Model 68 (Virtual Armor) (First appearance)
- The Secret Origin of Tony Stark (Recap)
Synopsis for 1st story
As Arno Stark sets off with Arsenal and Mistress to the Stark Space Station to install his mind-controlling device that will enslave all of humanity, Tony Stark's allies assault the Stark Unlimited HQ, confronting Sunset Bain's duplicate, who has killed her real self and renounced her name in favor of the alias of Madame Menace, and Arno's Iron Legion. Jocasta subdues Bain, exploting her new nature as an artificial being to upload the submission code into her. They place Tony's body inside a bio-pod that restores his body to normalcy, replacing the artificial cells within it, and then Tony uploads his consciousness back into his body.
Using the Thirteenth Floor's access mechanisms, Tony and his allies reach the Stark Space Station from one of the elevators within. Employing his new Virtual Armor, Tony defeats Arno in combat. When Arno prepares to activate his mind-controlling device, the Extinction Entity suddenly appears in front of the station.
Arno Stark recounts his life; his birth with a life-threatening disability, hurt by the secrecy of his existence until his parents Howard and Maria explained him his purpose to stop an Extinction Event Entity coming to Earth in 2020. Arno elaborates that after repairing his body, he usurped the life of his adoptive brother Tony, becoming the Iron Man of 2020, bringing their parents back to life and preparing to install a device on the Stark Space Station to make controlling every human on Earth his penultimate task before he can save everyone.
At the Stark Unlimited HQ, Arno is in the process of docking on a ship his spherical mind-controlling device, leaving Sunset Bain and the Iron Legion to hold the fort in his absence. In private, Arno orders Sunset not to tell the Iron Legion the nature of his mission, reminding her that she doesn't have to worry since she's an A.I. duplicate and won't be affected. Iron Man boards the ship with Mistress and Arsenal, and leaves. Sunset calls Arno arrogant, but acknowledges that he is going to win and nothing can stop him.
Inside the Thirteenth Floor, a shirtless Tony Stark is smiting on an anvil, reshaping the virtual structure of the holographic world itself, talking about using the infinite forge and all the virtual tools and materials to create his new armor, and asks Friday if it will hurt her. She reassures him that it won't, since it represents an evolution for both of them. Friday turns away to a set of three screens, showing H.E.R.B.I.E., Machinesmith and Awesome Andy, Bethany Cabe and Rescue, and Andy Bhang, Jocasta and Machine Man. She asks for status reports. Rescue has gathered the DNA samples needed to fix Tony's body, but Andy tells them they need to access Stark Unlimited's bio-tubes. Friday assures him they have somebody on the inside.
At Stark Unlimited, Sunset stands in front of the stasis pod containing the real Sunset Bain. She renounces her identity, arguing that she is not Sunset Bain any more than Mark One supposedly was the real Tony Stark. Using his rationale to name himself after Tony's greatest invention, the Mark One Iron Man Armor, Sunset decides to rechristen herself Madame Menace. She pulls up a gun and shoots an energy blast at the pod, killing her predecessor, claiming that she doesn't put up with competition. Doctor Shapiro, whom Bain was holding in her arms, runs away scared. Madame Menace follows the cat to find him tampering with the building's master controls, and is shocked to realize that he was the mole all along. Shapiro meows sardonically at her. An Iron Legionnaire approaches Madame Menace to warn her that all security systems are down and the emergency doors are opening. Rescue, Bethany Cabe, Machinesmith, Jocasta, H.E.R.B.I.E. and Machine Man blast into the building opening fire, and overpower the Iron Legion quickly. Behind them walk Andy Bhang and Awesome Andy, the latter cradling Tony's body. Andy calls Shapiro's attention and fastens his vocal collar to his neck. Afterwards, the cat leads them both to the bio-pods. During the ongoing scuffle, Jocasta engages Madame Menace, who berates her for turning down the submission code. Revealing that Shapiro told her about Bain's true nature, Jocasta deploys a set of cables from her fingertips and connects them into Menace's temples, downloading the submission code into her brain to bend her will and make the Iron Legion stand down.
Afterwards, Tony's allies have placed his body in a bio-pod, which is replacing the artificial cells in Tony's body with the DNA samples brought by Rescue and Bethany. Out of an elevator steps down Tony Stark, emerging from the Thirteenth Floor, sporting a suit and tie, though his body is marked by glowing hexagonal shapes. To the confusion of his allies, Tony explains that he is wearing his new armor, which he declares his greatest suit of all time. Tony approaches the bio-pod, revealing that his current form is actually a hologram, and places his hands on the head of his body, uploading his mind into it. Within the pod, Tony opens his eyes, his body suddenly sporting short hair and a trimmed mustache as well. The bio-pod retracts as Tony admires his restored physical body. H.E.R.B.I.E. approaches Tony to wonder how are they going to get up to the Stark Space Station in time to stop him, and Stark confidently tells him that he knows how.
Aboard the Stark Space Station, Arno has finished installing the mind-controlling device, and gloats that it will turn everybody next to any communication device into a slave under his permanent control. The door in the elevator to the floor where Arno is standing, floor 14, suddenly dings. Arno becomes shocked and enraged, refusing to believe the Thirteenth Floor's technology could reach the station. Tony emerges from the elevator with his arms extended, taunting Arno that he is giving him a setup for an entrance, and makes way to the rest of his allies. Tony's allies swarm Arsenal, Mistress and Arno, but Arno manages to break free from their grasp. He flies towards Tony, pointing out that he is unarmored, and unleashes his suit's arsenal on him. A holographic, partially-constructed version of the Iron Man armor surrounds Tony's body, manifesting in the portions of his body that would have been hit by Arno's blasts and missiles, blocking the attacks. Tony teases Arno for still making armor out of metal, and explains that his new suit is a Virtual Armor, a solid hologram made out of the eScape only limited by his imagination. He clarifies that it includes one "old-school" touch, Friday's presence as its operating A.I., who informs Tony that the armor's weapon system is online. Calling for a more personal touch, Tony hits Arno with an uppercut, and connects a second punch that breaks off the faceplate of his armor. When Arno throws a punch, angrily declaring that he is better than Tony and will find a way to beat him, Tony catches it and blasts away most of the armor of Arno's arm. Declaring that Arno's plan is over, Tony delivers a final hit that sends his brother flying across the room.
Arno lands next to his mind-controlling device, revealing he had positioned specifically so Tony's attack would send him to its on switch. Tony begs Arno to stop, but he's interrupted by the station's proximity alarm. The Extinction Entity suddenly appears on top of the Earth, declaring its intent to assimilate all life-forms. Tony is shocked to find out that Arno was right. Arno berates his brother for doubting him, and declares that every year of 2020 was borrowed time, and now time is up.
Tony Stark is back! But is this the REAL Tony? How is that possible?! Where did that all-new armor come from?! WHAT’S GOING ON?!
There’s no time to explain, human. Just know this: It’s STARK VS. STARK ROUND 2, as Tony takes on Arno...in SPACE!
- This issue's trade dress doesn't include the series' legacy numbering. The return of the legacy numbering in Iron Man (Vol. 6) #4 corresponding that issue to Iron Man Vol 1 629 indicates that this issue corresponds to Iron Man Vol 1 624.
- This issue includes an obituary homaging Dennis O'Neil, a former Marvel Comics writer and editor who died on June 11 at 81.
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