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Quote1.png Now? I'm done with 2020. I don't live in the now. I'm Tony Stark. And I'll always be... the Iron Man of the future. Quote2.png
Iron Man

Appearing in 1st story

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Synopsis for 1st story

Brief Summary

With the revelation that the Extinction Entity is real and has arrived, Tony Stark offers Arno his help in defeating it, encasing his brother in the Virtual Armor to repair his own suit. Arno rallies Tony's allies to engage the invading monster, and they are quickly joined by Earth's heroes, as well as Baintronics and robots alike. Arno ultimately defeats the Extinction Entity by willingly assimilating with it, causing it to explode and disappear due to Arno's paradoxical nature of being a human who is more A.I. at heart.

Following the Extinction Entity's defeat, Arno and Tony are suddenly back at the Stark Space Station. Tony has actually used the Virtual Armor to submerge Arno in a simulation within the virtual realm that used to be the eScape. The Extinction Entity that had appeared was an advanced hologram, with the actual monster not being anything more than a delusion caused by Arno's relapse into his congenital disease, which was going to kill him at the end of 2020. Tony explains that he couldn't stop Arno from enslaving all of humanity before he could convince him that he was wrong, so he decided to play up to his delusion to give him the happy ending he could not find in reality, and to prevent him from realizing that he was confined to a new life support system, this time the Virtual Armor taking the place of the iron lung he had used his entire life. Tony also convinced Mistress and Arsenal to download themselves into Arno's dream to keep him company and prevent him from learning the truth.

Afterwards, Jocasta uses the submission code to force Sunset Bain's duplicate to confess all of Baintronics' crimes, also claiming responsibility for tricking Tony into thinking he was an artificial intelligence and pulling the strings of the A.I. Army, putting an end to the robot revolution. Tony then uses a restorative pod to have Jim Rhodes a similar cleansing process using DNA from his relatives, doing away with his phobia of suiting up, which had turned out to be caused by minor deviations in his genetic code when he was brought up. Now believing Stark Unlimited to have too much baggage due to its association with Baintronics, Tony decides to bequeath the company's building to Bhang Robotics. After revealing this to Andy, Tony flies off in a new armor, reasserting himself as Iron Man.

Detailed Summary

Tony Stark and his allies stand in disbelief as the Extinction Entity looms in front of the Stark Space Station, processing the fact that Arno Stark was right about its impending arrival. When Tony turns to Arno, the older Stark brother points out that his suit is damaged, so it's up to Tony to stop the monster. Tony interrupts him, insisting that it's Arno's fight, and extends his hand to offer to fix his armor. When Arno takes Tony's hands, he becomes encased in the Virtual Armor, which repairs his own suit using particles of solid light. The tendrils of the Extinction Entity breach into the station, almost swallowing the occupants into the void of space before they can secure themselves to the surface. When Machine Man wonders how are they supposed to fight the monster, Arno commends him for asking the right question, and boasts that the answer is himself. With his armor refurbished, Arno rallies Tony and his allies and they fly towards the Extinction Entity.

As they approach the monster, some of Iron Man's allies are killed when they are struck by the Extinction Entity's tendrils. H.E.R.B.I.E., Awesome Andy, Machinesmith and Doctor Shapiro are the casualties. Arno orders the survivors to engage their boot jets to full power as soon as they make contact with the creature, directing it towards the Earth. Arno observes that the friction of re-entry will only distracting, and that they could have used the bigger army he intended to build. Tony assures him that he has sent out a few calls, and Friday alerts him that reinforcements are on the way. In the ground, numerous heroes including the Avengers, Ironheart, Spider-Man, the Hulk and Force Works attack the tendrils of the Extinction Entity, which are penetrating the ground causing humans and robots alike to become infected by its influence. Madame Menace and the Iron Legion, as well as different robots from the A.I. Army also join forces against the invading threat.

Arno and Tony fly past the Extinction Entity, blasting it with repulsor rays. Arno comments that Tony's "big guns" will only buy them a few seconds. Tony interjects to point out that his big guns are a giant-sized Controller being commanded by Bethany Cabe, Ultimo under Jim Rhodes' control, and the Fin Fang Foombuster Armor piloted by Andy Bhang. All three engage the Extinction Entity in the middle of Manhattan to stop its influence from spreading. When Tony asks Arno what is his next move, Arno laments that he won't like it. Arno blasts Tony with a repulsor ray and flies directly into the mouth of the Extinction Entity. The giant monster dismisses Arno, but as he is being assimilated, Stark explains that he is the perfect poison pill for the Extinction Entity; a paradox of a human who is more A.I. at heart, and an A.I. cursed with human ego and frailty. As the Extinction Entity explodes in a flash of light, Arno proclaims that the Godkiller was never a suit of armor. It was Arno himself.

Tony rushes to Arno as he plummeting, and catches him by the hand. After Tony assures him that the world has been saved, Arno exclaims that everything he did was worth it, and apologizes to Tony for deceiving him and making him believe he was an A.I.. Arno explains that he needed Tony's resources at his disposal, and asks for forgiveness. The scenery suddenly changes, and Tony is holding Arno's hand through a holographic net, no longer floating in the sky. Tony points out that Arno did what he thought was necessary to save all life on Earth, and assures Arno that he forgives him. Tony is holding Arno's hand while both are still at the Stark Space Station, and Arno floats unconscious inside a holographic sphere. Tony elaborates that doing what he thought was necessary is too what he has just done, and hopes that someday he can forgive himself.

Tony's allies are still gawking at the Extinction Entity, which remains unmoving outside the station, confused as to what Tony is doing. Tony turns to his allies and orders Friday to shut down enhanced viewscreens, and the Extinction Entity disappears in a blip. Tony apologizes and clarifies what they had been observing was an augmented-reality hologram projected on the glass of the station made to fool both humans and machines. He reveals that the Extinction Entity was a delusion caused by Arno's relapsing congenital disease, and a manifestation that it was going to kill him at the end of 2020. Tony elaborates that there was no way to convince Arno that he was wrong before he took mental control of everyone on Earth, so he played into his delusion to give him the happy ending the real world could not. He explains that his holographic armor -- the virtual realm that used to be the eScape -- is now Arno's world and his life support system where he can continue to survive and thrive. When Arsenal and Mistress object to this, Tony points out that it's better than Arno learning that he is in a new version of the iron lung that made his childhood a living hell, and convinced both of them to join Arno in the virtual world to keep him company and prevent him from discovering that he is in a simulation. They agree, mentioning that they can give Arno a life where he fulfilled his destiny and where both can be the family he always should have had. Tony assures Arsenal and Mistress they can give Arno whatever life they wish they had, now that they have all the virtual time in the world.

In Washington, D.C., Senator Miles Brickman goes over the confession of Sunset Bain's duplicate, who is sitting at a hearing claiming responsibility for making Tony Stark think he was an artificial being, causing the robot rampage at Stark Unlimited and hacking the eScape. She admits to this, also claiming to have pulled the strings of the Robot Resistance, all part of a plan to make Baintronics a world power. She ponders what is the point of pulling off the ultimate plan if no one knows she did it, and asks to be locked up as a testament that she had won. Sunset's final words are shared by Jocasta, who is revealed to have been controlling Bain through her phone from the Uncanny Valley. Machine Man applauds her, but expresses doubt if forcing Bain's duplicate to confess doesn't violate her beliefs on A.I. free will. Jocasta brushes off his concerns since it's Sunset Bain who they're talking about, and leans towards Aaron for a kiss.

At the Stark Unlimited HQ, Tony Stark, Captain Marvel, Janet Van Dyne, Doctor Shapiro and Andy Bhang surround Jim Rhodes, who is inside a bio-pod. Shapiro announces that the restoration process is almost complete. Carol wonders if one of these pods really did restore Tony, prompting her to ask if that absolves her from almost killing him. Tony points out that Carol did kill him, but agrees to let it go since he came back. Rhodey emerges from the pod, and Andy informs him that the DNA samples obtained from his living relatives corrected previous aberrations. Tony explains that Rhodey's phobia of suiting up was caused by deviations in his genetic code, and he should now be okay. He also warns Rhodey that both of their bodies now have a resistance to the restoration process, meaning they can't use it again. Tony walks away with Janet and Rhodey and Carol embrace, and wonders if they are together. Janet asks him about their own relationship; and what will happen next now that Tony is cured. Stark admits that he has no idea, but assures that he is looking forward to finding out.

Later, Tony has suited up in new armor, and asks Friday for her opinion to take it out for a spin. Tony and Friday are on top of a rooftop across Stark Unlimited, revealing that she has returned to a physical body. Friday eagerly observes that both Tony and her can do whatever they want and walks away, having ended her shift. Andy Bhang approaches Tony to inform him that everything is ready for Stark Unlimited's re-opening, and asks him when does he want to have the public unveiling. To Andy's confusion, Tony tells him that the decision is up to him. A pair of drones lift off a fabric on top of the S.U. building, unveiling the Bhang Robotics logo. Tony explains that despite Sunset's confession, the company has too much baggage to be viable, and gives the building to Andy. Still perplexed, Andy thanks Tony and asks him what does he plan to do now. Stark points out that he is done with 2020 and he doesn't live in the now. Tony flies away proclaiming that he is Tony Stark and will always be the Iron Man of the future.

Solicit Synopsis

Throw out the rest of your stupid, worthless flesh-bag calendars. 2020 is over, man! The moment Arno Stark has been preparing for is here: the end of all human and artificial life as we know it! All this time you thought he was just some egomaniacal jerk; well, who’s laughing now? one really. We’re all about to die.



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