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Quote1.png I have so many ideas. I could fix everything. Starting with myself. But that's just the beginning. I promise you, it would all be so beautiful. Quote2.png
Iron Man

Appearing in "Through the Mirror"

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Synopsis for "Through the Mirror"

Brief Synopsis

Having been subsumed by the Power Cosmic, Tony Stark endures a trip through his subconscious. Initially sleeping adrift in the void of space, Tony leaves his unconscious body as an specter and passes through a mirror, finding himself at the Stark Mansion where his younger selves are crying due to the neglect in his youth and his parents' death. He grows in size, bursting through the mansion as he becomes taller than skyscrapers, reflecting his desire to do drastic things to be seen. He suddenly shrinks down to miniature size and falls into the kitchen of the mansion, where Captain America hands him over a phone through which the voice of Tony's father Howard berates his son. A pair of Iron Man hands block Tony's way and swat him away into a heap of Iron Man suits. A manifestation of Korvac representing what Stark is afraid the villain is spots Tony and fights him with a sword. Tony defends himself using a needle, overpowers Korvac, and throws him into a black whirlpool in space. Tony is displeased with the traumas and issues he's finding through this exploration that are his motivators and that he was unable to run away from them to try to just help people, and declares that he is done feeling sorry for himself.

Tony embraces the Power Cosmic and contemplates using it to change himself and the world for the better, and briefly fantasizes about destroying his super hero allies if they don't see his way. As he senses that the cosmic transformation process is nearing its completion, Tony passes through the mirror and returns to his body before he wakes up in the real world. In the real world, Korvac reconstitutes himself and sets out to encat his vision of a perfect universe, however, he is interrupted by the new cosmically-empowered and ghastly Iron Man.

Detailed Synopsis

Tony Stark is asleep, still clad in his armor, tucked into a bed floating in the void of space. His voice asks B.O.S.S. to start recording and explains his understanding of the Power Cosmic as the primary substance of omnipresence and the collapse of space and time into a singular energy. Iron Man emerges from his own body as a glowing apparition, looks back to his unconscious self and propels himself upward. Explaining that he never had a chance to study the Power Cosmic up close until now that he has subsumed by it, he states that he will note the transformation process, so his recording should be considered a scientific log of sorts. Tony flies away and wonders if B.O.S.S. is still recording as he stumbles into a giant mirror. The mirror's glass stretches when Tony dips his fingers into it and sticks to them when he pulls out. While initially confused, Tony immerses his full arm into the mirror and surmises what he's experiencing might be caused by his brain's synapses going haywire as the Power Cosmic binds to every molecule of his body and his suit. As he realizes that he didn't even think of the consequences of touching the Power Cosmic while still in his armor, Tony begins emerging, no longer as an specter, from the other side of the mirror, which is placed on top of a fireplace. Tony falls on his behind and wonders where he is.

He realizes that he's on the lobby of the Stark Mansion, his childhood home. Tony notices a child version of himself sitting on the floor, holding his knees with his head down and crying. Approaching the kid, Tony thinks to himself that he was all alone in the house and that no one could hear him since his parents were nowhere to be found and Jarvis was overworked. Stark contemplates whether this is a memory being played out or a manifestation of his emotions back then, of feeling like he didn't exist. Sitting at the bottom of the stairs there is also now a teenage version of Tony, leaning on the handrail and crying. Noticing him, Tony figures it must be from when his parents died in the car accident. Tony voices that both everything changed, and nothing did, as he looks back to his child self. Standing between his two younger selves, Tony thinks that he must have sat there for hours, ignored, and that no one ever saw him.

Stark thinks to himself that even then he knew that if he wanted to be seen, he had to do something drastic that everyone would notice. Iron Man's feet turn giant and then his head and the rest of his body follows suit. As he bursts through the roof, Tony thinks that even if they didn't want to, they would see him. Dwarfing every building in Manhattan, Tony asserts that now he is seen and looks down on the city with satisfaction. Stark suddenly shrinks to a miniature size and plummets downward. He crashes into a table in the kitchen of the mansion, grazing a bowl of fruit in the process. Captain America is standing in the kitchen at regular size with a bowl of cereal on one hand and a phone on the other. He puts the phone down on the table for Stark. When Tony answers, it's the voice of his father, Howard. He reproaches Tony for not having changed the world, cutting off his son every time he tries to speak. Tony walks away from the phone, wondering what is he supposed to do and what does Howard want from him. Tony comes across a giant pair of his own hands blocking his way from above, each with their index and middle finger extended and placed on the table. Tony interprets it as a manifestation of himself being always on his own way and sardonically compliments the metaphor. One of the hands flicks Tony, sending him flying into a heap of parts of Iron Man suits. As he crawls upward, Tony sees a giant-sized Korvac resting on top of a planet. He is dressed in a robe with a bitten apple on his hand. Unicorn is crouched behind him and points to Iron Man, warning his master of Tony with urgency. Korvac is enraged when he notices Tony, so he stands up and draws his sword, ordering Tony to leave his universe. Tony remembers that Korvac had accessed the Power Cosmic too, but realizes he's not facing the real deal but rather what Tony is afraid Korvac is. Wielding a giant needle, Tony trades blows with Korvac. Tony points out the different things that have manifested in this voyage, his father issues, his childhood traumas, phallic imagery and Korvac as "some scary alpha Lothario idiot." Stark wonders if this is truly what percolates in his subconscious, and expresses disappointment as he swats Korvac with little effort. Tossing Korvac into a black whirlpool, Tony states that he hates it, and that he hates himself. Korvac falls into the whirlpool's black liquid and sinks. Tony proclaims that he hates that after all this time, the things he has seen are still the kind of "basic crap" that's motivating him inside. As he crouches on top of a planet, Stark voices that he tried to strip it all away and just wanted to be a guy who helps people, a hero and a friend like Hellcat said. Tony notices that it's the same old story and that the pattern never changes. Punching into the planet and obliterating it, Tony declares that that ends today.

As the debris of the planet floats around him, Tony states that he is done feeling sorry for himself. Tony clenches his fists and they glow with the Power Cosmic. Tony asserts that with it he can change not only himself but also everything from the better. The Power Cosmic flares out of Tony's eyes and he contemplates that it's his chance for that to happen. Tony pictures a group of heroes standing guard, including the Avengers, the Fantastic Four and the X-Men, and mentions that they will freak out if he tries to take it too far. Tony's recent allies, the "Space Friends," lunge forward. Tony expects that they will try to stop him and will believe it's just another one of his bad ideas. Asserting that it's time for him to be in charge for a while, a giant-sized Iron Man disintegrates all the heroes with a blast of energy. Tony snaps himself out of that scenario, stating that he doesn't think it needs to come to that. A portion of Iron Man's helmet breaks down, and so does Tony's face, revealing the flesh underneath and a myriad of equations that extend from where his brain would be. Tony proclaims that it's his time, that he has many ideas and could fix everything, starting with himself, but that's just the beginning. He promises everyone that it would all be beautiful. Tony rockets through the mirror at the mansion and expresses his excitement. He rushes to the bed where his unconscious body was lying, and affirms that he can feel the cosmic transformation process nearing its end. Tony approaches his own body, asserting that when he wakes up it will be a brand new day. He slips back into it and states that he will make sure to reconstitute himself next to his allies to assure them that he is fine, and anticipates that they won't be worried about him once they see him, since he will be himself, their friend Tony, but also somewhat different. As he plans to smile and tell them "good morning," Tony's eyes open.

In the real world, outside Taa II, Korvac reconstitutes himself, whirling the strands of matter into body and changing from his android self to a glowing humanoid appearance. He declares that he is once again God. As he rejoices in his return to godhood despite his tribulations, he states that he won't waste more time. He expresses that his new vocation awaits and that he must acquaint himself with every facet of the universe he intends to beatify. Korvac's different appearances, from his human to his cyborg to his android forms, manifest by his side while he proclaims that while the work is vast the healing can begin almost immediately, and that his role as a savior begins now. A voice interrupts him from behind. Korvac turns his head in anger to see the cosmically-powered Iron Man. Tony appears to have merged with his armor, which has transmuted into a ghastly silver appearance with more organic contours. He tells Korvac good morning.

Solicit Synopsis

BEHOLD THE BIRTH OF COSMIC IRON MAN!

Iron Man has tasted a higher power and is forever changed. Moments before, he was locked in mortal combat with his worst adversary in years — KORVAC — but now he finds his very existence altered beyond recognition. Indeed, fundamental concepts like space and time have taken on a new meaning. But what does this portend for Tony Stark, a man who even when stripped bare feels he knows best? What happens when his ego — often challenged, condemned and even derided by both foes and friends — is suddenly given a limitless avenue? It could certainly mean radical and drastic change for the entire universe…and reality itself.

Notes

  • As per its corner box legacy numbering, this issue corresponds to Iron Man #639.
  • This issue's artwork is credited as "CAFU with Ángel Unzueta." Pages 1–14 (from beginning until Iron Man envisions himself killing his allies) appear to be drawn by CAFU while pages 15–20 (from Iron Man's face being deconstructed until the ending) appear to be drawn by Unzueta.
  • In this issue, when Iron Man sees the teenage version of himself crying, he deduces it corresponds to his reaction to his parents' deaths. Previous comics offer conflicting details about the Starks' death:
  • Tony's reaction to acquiring the Power Cosmic contrasts his previous actions when he obtained omnipotence through the Infinity Gems in Avengers (Vol. 4) #12. In that issue, Tony renounces the power of the gems, believing that they shouldn't be used to force the world into perfection, believing it would be ultimately detrimental.

Trivia

  • This issue is based on the 1936 Mickey Mouse short film Thru the Mirror.[1] In the animated short, Mickey Mouse exits his sleeping body as an specter and passes through a mirror above a fireplace into an alternate reality. Among the different things he experiences in the parallel version of his house, he grows in size body part by body part until his head hits the ceiling, then suddenly shrinks down. He also plays with a sentient telephone that answers itself, dances with a pair of gloves on a table, has a sword fight with a sentient king card using a sewing pin, whom Mickey dunks into an inkwell, and confronts an army of playing cards. The Mickey Mouse short was in turn based on Lewis Carroll's Through the Looking-Glass, and it has Mickey having fallen asleep reading that book.
  • When Stark is thrown into a pile of components of Iron Man suits, all of the defined armor parts correspond to Iron Man suits from the Marvel Cinematic Universe with the exception of the Iron Man Armor Model 1. These suits include the MK XLIV (Hulkbuster), MK V, MK VII (several times) and MK XXXIII (Silver Centurion). The Hulkbuster does have a comic counterpart in the Iron Man Armor Model 52.
  • In the scene in which Iron Man envisions his fellow super heroes turning against him, the Fantastic Four and the X-Men appear with costumes that don't correspond with their concurrent outfits at the time of this issue's release. Penciler CAFU has explained that since the scene is of a dream/premonition, he chose to play a little with some of the designs, mixing some new suits with the classic ones.[2]

See Also

Links and References

Footnotes

  1. Cantwell, Christopher (3 December 2021). Christopher Cantwell on Twitter: "For real, when I saw “Thru the Mirror” .... Twitter. Retrieved on 6 December 2021.
  2. CAFU (26 November 2021). CAFU Comic Book Artist on Instagram: "🔴 The AVENGERS, Th.... Retrieved on 29 Novermber 2021.
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