Appearing in "Megiddo"
- Hellcat (Patsy Walker) (Mental projection)
- Patsy Walker (Referenced)
- Jim "Rhodey" Rhodes (Referenced)
- Michael Korvac (Referenced)
- Unidentified Ultimo corpses
- Avengers (Referenced)
- Wizard of Oz (Mentioned)
- Halcyon (Referenced)
- Wicked Witch of the West (Mentioned)
- Glinda (Mentioned)
- Alan Watts (Mentioned)
- Moondragon (Heather Douglas-616 & Heather Douglas-18897) (Mentioned)
- Ultimo (Mentioned)
- God (Yahweh) (Invoked)
Races and Species:
- Unnamed planet
- Megiddo (First appearance)
- Earth (Referenced)
- Megiddo, Galilee, Israel (Referenced)
- Canada (Mentioned)
- Central Park, Manhattan, New York City, New York, United States of America (Mentioned)
- Hell (Referenced)
- Iron Man Armor Model 70
- The Wizard of Oz (Mentioned)
- Little House on the Prairie (Referenced)
- Stilt-Man's Suit
- Taa II (Referenced)
Synopsis for "Megiddo"
Six days after having been marooned to an unknown planet, Iron Man has settled in a small colony called Megiddo that is populated by other individuals from across the universe who, just like him, were inexplicably plucked out of their lives and into this planet over the years. He has made acquaintances with a Kree soldier who runs the settlement named Yar and Canadian armored hero Avro-X. Tony is bewildered by the Megiddans' embrace of this quiet and simple existence, and their abandon of any hope for returning home. Tony also worries that he is starting to become addicted to the morphine drip that had been installed in his armor to stave off the pain of his neck injury.
Tony analyzes the remains of a long-gone civilization that once populated this planet. The ruins are the inert fragments of giant humanoid robotic bodies that are assumed to have destroyed whoever had created them. Stark charges up his armor with the power stored in one of these, although he is fascinated by its origin. Afterward, Yar takes Tony to see the true mastermind behind Megiddo, and the first person to have been transported to the planet: Wilbur Day, formerly known as Stilt-Man. He disparages Tony's cynical inquiries, insisting that Megiddo is simply a community of people no longer beholden to the responsibilities or expectations of their previous life, who work together to sustain themselves with no ulterior motives. However, Wilbur also hides from Tony the identity of something monstrous threatening Megiddo. After he continues bonding with the colony, Tony is reached out by a mental projection of Hellcat, who is using her newly-unlocked psychic powers. Tony confides that he has found comfort in a simple life where he doesn't have to worry about his image and simply helps.
Megiddo is suddenly attacked by the mysterious threat, one of an entire race of Ultimos that populate the planet, which turns out to be the place of origin of these robots. Iron Man manages to kill the attacking Ultimo with an hyper-charged unibeam from the power he absorbed, but not before it devours many of the patrolmen and Yar, as it is discovered the Ultimos derive their power from the biomatter they consume. Tony declares that Megiddo is too precious to suffer any more loses, and offers Wilbur to take Yar's place and help run the colony.
A panning shot of a meadow during sunset is accompanied by Tony Stark's internal monologue. He thinks to himself that he feels helpless, having been stuck in this alien planet for six days, and that he doesn't know how or why he got there, or how to return to his allies in their race against Korvac to reach Taa II. In a portion of the grassland lies a giant inert robotic head bearing a resemblance to Ultimo, and Tony mentions that there were people in this planet once before they died off. Tony is sitting in a pile of rocks, with his body partially clad in his Iron Man Armor. Overlooking a small colony from the rocks, he explains that the planet is now inhabited by refugees from different parts of the universe who, like himself, were plucked away from their lives into this planet with no explanation. None of them know how to get back, and many don't feel the need to try, having grown to like the place. Iron Man steps into the settlement, earning side glances from its different alien inhabitants. In his thoughts, Tony explains that the community is named Megiddo, after a city in ancient Galilee, and assumes one of the human settles suggested it. He walks towards a hut where a woman is waiting, pointing out with amusement at the fact that the Greek name for the city means "Armageddon." Stark recalls that the Megiddans have shared their resources with him. Identifying the woman as Yar, the leader of the colony, Tony approaches her and shakes her hand.
Tony walks into the hut and ponders on the Megiddans' tranquility and graciousness. As he grabs a cloak and puts it over his shoulders, he thinks that their behavior stems from the belief that none of them are going home. Outside, the colony patrol are surrounding a small fire. Tony comments that they're a close-knit militia who seem to get along better than Tony does with the Avengers. Tony approaches the group, shaking hands with Avro-X, whom he identifies in his inner monologue. When Tony asks him, Avro mentions to have been in Megiddo for over a year. Tony inquires about what's beyond Megiddo, but Avro-X only cryptically tells him that it's not a cakewalk and to first ask the "big man" about it, revealing to Tony that Yar isn't in charge as he thought. Inside the hut, Tony is sitting on his bed writing notes with a map laid out in the floor. He expresses bewilderment that the Megiddans have given up, and refuses to do so, as he is researching an escape plan. Looking at his armored arm, Tony points out that he has found another preoccupation. Stark slides open a panel in his bicep and pushes a button on his palm, revealing a small vial that he connects to his chest with a tube. As he begins to doze off and falls on his bed, Tony recalls that he had Halcyon install a morphine drip into the suit to avoid going into shock from the pain of his broken neck, and that Rhodey included a time-release to stave off addiction. Tony worries since he's found himself craving the medicine, and contemplates that he could hack the time-release on the three months worth of dosage his armor has.
During the day, Tony is fully armored and walking among fragments of broken giant grey humanoid robots. He brushes dust off with his hand and tears apart one of the plates of a torso, revealing underneath cybernetics that he notices are ancient and brimming with stored power. Taking a cable, Iron Man connects it to his armor's chest and charges it. Inspecting the cable, he deduces that this planet's previous inhabitants discovered a potent energy source that was biological and enzymatic in nature, and that they must have destroyed themselves with it. As he looks around the scattered remains, Tony is approached by Yar. She tells him that these machines were likely built by those who ultimately failed to control them, and they're currently used by the colony to power their turbines and generators. She also tells Tony that their leader is ready to see him. The two trade comments referencing The Wizard of Oz as they walk up a set of stairs on a mountainside. They enter a cavernous temple through a tall door, and Iron Man is surprised to see Wilbur Day, the Stilt Man, on his iconic stilts. Wilbur, who is sporting long hair and a beard, descends to normal height. Rebuking Tony's mistrust, Wilbur explains he was the first person to be suddenly plucked into this planet, and that he has helped protect the Megiddans. When Tony asks from what, Wilbur expresses reserve and calls it "the elements." Tony continues inquiring about Day's current condition with cynicism, and Wilbur explains that Yar is acting as the public face due to his infamy. He also reveals he has learned to see living in Megiddo as a gift; a simple and quiet life where people are unchained from any responsibilities to their previous lives or versions of themselves they thought were necessary, with Yar pointing out that she used to be a beholden Kree soldier. Wilbur insists that nobody is trying to save or rule the word, but simply sustain something together. He invites Tony into the community, stating that they could use somebody like him, but also that Tony could use somebody like them. Tony expresses gratitude, but ponders how many times Wilbur tried to kill him, to which he apologizes. Tony inquires about what are "the elements," but Wilbur and Yar only tell him that it's something monstrous and that with his help, they might stand a chance. Stark points out the lack of details, and Wilbur tells him he doesn't want Tony to worry for the time being. Tony awkwardly tells Wilbur that he is glad to see him doing well, and Day replies that he has had a lot of time to think.
Back in the colony, Tony expresses his perplexity at this new version of Wilbur Day to Yar while in the middle of a baseball game with the settlers. He's back to partially wearing his armor. She remarks that it's interesting to see Tony so anxious even on a high dose of morphine, catching Tony off-guard. Avro-X calls Tony's attention and Stark catches a ball lunged by him. He winds up a crude bat and then hits a baseball ball. He runs base while Avro cheers for him. In his inner monologue, Tony wonders if any of it is real. Another voice replies that it is. Tony is now laying on his bed, accompanied by a mental projection of Hellcat. When he asks how is she with him, Patsy explains that Moondragon has helped her unlock her mental powers. Tony jokes that he thought she was a hallucination because of the morphine. Hellcat asks Tony if he's being careful with it, and he confides that it's going to be a problem, but one to deal with later. Tony asks for Patsy's help with it when the time comes, and she confirms she will help him. Hellcat tells Tony that his team needs him first, since they're a day away from Taa II. Tony expresses habituation for his new simple life, where he can do good without it mattering for his image. Tony asks Patsy if she has any idea where he is, but she explains that she can't figure out his actual location, and that reaching him is hard enough. When Tony wonders why is that, Hellcat tells him that it's because before anything else, he feels the need to be Iron Man, but in Megiddo he can be she knew was underneath, a selfless hero and a friend. Tony finds comfort in Patsy's words, and she encourages him to keep being like that for the Megiddans and for the rest of the universe. As her mental projection vanishes, Patsy asks Tony to come back to her, and that she misses him. Tony prepares to leave the bed, reciprocating those feelings.
Tony is alarmed by a thunderous sound. He exits the hut fully armored and tightening his gauntlet. The Megiddans are running in panic, and Avro-X runs towards Tony, telling him that he was just about to get him, and alerts him of an attack on the perimeter. As both heroes take fight, Avro informs Tony that Yar and his patrol are in position and Wilbur is inbound. Tony asks if they're ever going to tell him what they're facing, Avro directs Tony to it as both arrive to see what Tony identifies as Ultimo rampaging. Avro corrects him that it's one of many Ultimos, and that the Megiddans believe they're in their planet of origin. As he arrives fully clad in his Stilt-Man suit, Wilbur explains that they only need to scare it off, since the Ultimos are actually afraid of the Megiddans, whom they perceive as a threat. Tony sarcastically points out that it doesn't seem the case. As Yar and the colony patrol join the charge, Tony expresses that he believed it was something different with their mention of "the elements." Yar argues that they're part of the ecosystem. Everybody attacks the Ultimo, and Stilt-Man notices it appears riled up. The robot kicks some of the patrolmen. This distracts Tony and Avro, and in turn this allows the robot land a punch on them. The Ultimo marches forward and Yar instructs a retreat to the caverns. As he and Iron Man recover from the attack in the ground, Avro suggests that he focuses all the energy he absorbed in the ruins into a unibeam. Tony expresses hesitation since he hasn't fired it in a long time and he is wearing a new armor. Back in the fight, the Ultimo has grabbed Yar and the patrolmen and is bringing them closer to its face, unfazed by Stilt-Man's punches to its head and pleas to let them go. Yar screams at the Ultimo to do it, and the monster sinks its teeth into its victims with a gruesome sound. Avro and Tony watch in shock, and Stark realizes the Ultimos eating people it's the reason their energy is enzymatic. Avro expresses that he is still not used to it. Tony points out that Yar might have bought them some time since the robot ate her rifle too, and at that moment an explosion makes the creature cry out in pain. Iron Man flies toward it and opens a hole in its chest with a unibeam. Tony decides to test his armor's new fist speed for the finishing blow, striking the Ultimo on its jaw. The monster collapses, and Tony lands in front of its body. Both Avro and Wilbur are surprised since they had never managed to kill an Ultimo before. Tony explains that they derive their power from biomatter and recalls that he absorbed plenty on it out of its remains. Tony explains that they mentioned there are more Ultimos out there. He tells them that what they've built in Megiddo is beautiful and declares they shouldn't have to lose any more of it. When Wilbur points out that Yar's loss is immeasurable, Tony offers to step in and help him run the colony. He expresses that he wants to help and that he likes it here.
Tony has been suddenly and bizarrely marooned on an unknown remote planet, and his abandonment doesn’t seem to be Korvac’s doing at all. While his friends continue to pursue Korvac and his allies across the galaxy in a race to Galactus’ worldship, Taa II, Tony must now figure out where he is and if the locals are friendly or dangerous, especially since this small colony of fellow space drifters is run by a powerful old foe who might have reformed his ways. But at least for a moment, Tony has a chance to rest and to not only take stock of where he is, but also figure out how he got here in the first place and who he wants to be moving forward.
- As per its corner box legacy numbering, this issue corresponds to Iron Man #635.
- When Iron Man first talks to Avro-X in this issue and his inner monologue makes reference to their first encounter at a robotics symposium, an editor's note references Marvel Fanfare #44, which was Avro's first and only appearance ever until his final-page appearance in Iron Man (Vol. 6) #7.
- The dialogue between Iron Man and Stilt-Man implies a long-standing rivalry, with Stark wondering how many times Day has tried to kill him. However, the two characters have only fought in two recorded occasions. Their first encounter happened in Iron Man #225 during Armor Wars with Stilt-Man attempting to flee the fight initiated by Iron Man, and their second encounter (which included Spider-Man) was shown in a single panel in Invincible Iron Man (Vol. 4) #2 as part of a news montage during a flashback to Riri Williams' childhood.
- Tony's mention of not getting "that great statue in Central Park" if he were to die in Megiddo to Hellcat is a callback to his dialogue with her in Iron Man (Vol. 6) #2, in which Patsy mentions Tony getting a commemorative memorial statue in Central Park if he were to die.
- When Iron Man and his allies are confronting the Ultimo, Avro-X mentions that the last time he saw Tony, he was shooting his unibeam "all over the place." However, in Marvel Fanfare #44, Tony and Avro never fight side-by-side and Tony never uses his unibeam in the story. Tony also indicates that he hasn't fired the unibeam yet with his new armor. However, he did fire that weapon in Iron Man Annual (Vol. 3) #1, which presumably takes place in a window of time during Iron Man (Vol. 6) #3.
- While dealing the Ultimo the final hit, Tony mentions testing his new fist speed. War Machine helped Tony adjust the strike speed of his fist from 385 to 500 miles per hour.
- As noted by Iron Man, Megiddo is named after the ancient city of the same name, which is a biblical city.
- Yar is possibly based on the character Natasha Yar from Star Trek: The Next Generation. Writer Christopher Cantwell, is a fan of Star Trek.
- When Avro-X teases Iron Man that Yar isn't the person in charge of Megiddo, he asks Tony if he has seen The Wizard of Oz. This is a reference to the eponymous Wizard of Oz being the reclusive and secretive ruler of the Land of Oz. The heroine of the story, Dorothy Gale, embarks in a journey to meet him and seek his help.
- As he is researching an escape plan, Iron Man mentions he has no desire to live in "some version of Little House on the Alien Prairie." This is a reference to the TV series Little House on the Prairie, which focuses on the simple life of a farming family living in the American prairie.
- When Yar is taking Iron Man to see Wilbur Day, Tony mentions that he feels like he "went right to the Wizard and somehow skipped the Wicked Witch of the West." In The Wizard of Oz, the Wicked Witch of the West serves as Dorothy Gale's main obstacle before she gets to meet the Wizard. After Yar jokes that she might be the Witch, Tony points out that she's "more the Glinda type." In contrast to the Wicked Witch, Glinda is a benevolent witch in The Wizard of Oz.
- When Iron Man talks about Stilt-Man's new life, he likens it to "some reformed version of Alan Watts." Alan Watts was a British philosopher known for popularising the Eastern philosophies of Buddhism, Taoism, and Hinduism in the West.