- Ignorant Superstitious Savages! You repulse me.
Appearing in "Technical Difficulties"
- Kearson DeWitt (Mentioned)
- Unnamed Barbarians
- The Stark
- The Programmers
- Sysop (First appearance)
- Various unnamed members
- The Programmers
- Reed Richards (Mentioned)
- Albert Einstein (Mentioned)
Synopsis for "Technical Difficulties"
Back from deep space, Tony tells Rhodes that the stresses from his recent heavy armor usage is burning out his neuro-net, and that he doesn't have long left. Seconds later he is snatched through time, and brought to the 28th century of reality (of reality-691) by the Programmers, a peaceful cast of the Stark species, an extraterrestrial race who found the Iron Man armors after they were launched into space, who adopted and adapted the technology, and worship Tony Stark as their god. Sysop begs for Tony's help in bringing peace to his people, who are overcome by violence and famine. Tony stays with them for some time, trying to solve their problems and wondering what caused the catastrophe that led him to fire his armor off to the Stark world, but when violent Stark barbarians find the Programmer's bunker, Sysop arranges to send him home, lest his presence lead to temporal disruptions. As Tony is being sent home, barbarians burst in and threaten to kill him; Sysop destroys them all to ensure that Tony returns home safely, but Tony arrives back in his own time moments after he left, desperately trying to hold on to the memory of where he has been so he can prevent the disaster that caused the Stark's future, and collapses in front of a shocked Rhodes.
- The main timeline of Earth-616 had at this point already diverged a number of ways from the Stark's timeline of Earth-691, so there is no actual threat of causality connecting this Iron Man's fate and the Stark's history.
- Iron Man spends a significant portion of the story being skeptical of the premise of time travel despite having experienced it several times, including in one of his earliest adventures and regularly as an Avenger with time-traveling adversaries like Kang the Conqueror and Doctor Doom.
- This issue contains a letters page "Printed Circuits". Letters are published from R. Coates, Patrick Coutre, Hassan Galaclari, Rol Hirst, and Seth Richardson.
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