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Quote1 Rhodey's right. I know he is. He has a habit of doing that. Telling me a truth I don't want to hear. Quote2
-- Tony Stark

Appearing in "Thou Covetous Wyrm"

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Synopsis for "Thou Covetous Wyrm"

Brief Summary

In Jotunheim, the Dark Elf Malekith the Accursed forms an alliance with the dragon Sadurang to have him kill Iron Man on his behalf. At the Stark Unlimited HQ, Tony Stark has used his robotic assistants, the Smiths, to build a Hulkbot on whom to test a behavior-modifying crown device. Rhodey sees through Tony's pretense that it's meant for Bruce Banner since it's actually to help Tony cure his alcoholism.

Having taken a human form, Sadurang arrives at Stark Unlimited shortly after Tony has left. He turns into his dragon form when guards try to take him down, and kills them. Meanwhile, at his beach-side mansion, Tony contemplates testing the crown on himself. With Tony away, Rhodey tries to use the Manticore to take down Sadurang, and is joined by the talking cat Doctor Shapiro, outfitted in his own battle armor. Iron Man arrives after the dragon overpowers both of them, having decided to not use the crown. Tony battles Sadurang until the S.U. staff manages to deploy the different robots in the premise to defend the building, prompting Sadurang to leave. Iron Man tries to pursue, but his armor has become infected by magic.

Detailed Summary

A purple mist courses through the air of Jotunheim. It lands in front of a cave and materializes into the Dark Elf Malekith the Accursed. A voice from inside the cavern acknowledges Malekith's presence, and the Dark Elf presents himself. The teeth of a red dragon emerge from the shadows, and Malekith explains to his would-be ally that only the Earth stands in his conquest, and he has a request to take care of an impediment. Questioning Malekith's reluctance to deal with the issue himself, the Dark Elf reveals his target is clad in iron, the Dark Elves' weakness. Malekith offers motivation to the dragon, revealing his nuisance has mountains of gold, causing the dragon's interest to pique. The dragon agrees to take down Malekith's foe, but warns Malekith against betrayal, using one of his claws to point at an Eye of Agamotto resting in a mountain of coins and varied riches, recalling that Agamotto used to have two eyes. The dragon rises, expressing eagerness to devour the rich king. Towering above Malekith, the dragon asks him where is the golden knight he speaks of.

Inside the Stark Unlimited HQ, Tony Stark and Jim Rhodes are at The Forge. A group of red and gold flying robots are working on bulky golem that vaguely resembles the Hulk and is wearing a golden crown. Rhodey asks what it is, and Tony tries to call it "Hulkbot" and "Gammadroid" before admitting he's trying to think of a proper name. Rhodey brushes off Tony's comments, questioning the robot's purpose and Tony tells him to pay attention to the crown. One of the flying robots, called Smith-1, announces primary testing will commence and warns Tony about being in proximity. Rhodey assumes the name of the robots, the Smiths, comes from "blacksmith." Tony clarifies they're named after the band of the same name, and tells Rhodey the Smiths had a makeover to be more glamorous after coming out of R&D. Before Rhodey can finish asking again, Tony recalls the dilemma that Bruce Banner suffers about being unable to control his actions as the Hulk, which cause damage. Tony picks the crown off the Hulkbot's head explaining it's a prototype for a device that Bruce Banner can wear to regulate his emotions and keep the Hulk in check. Tony offers Rhodey to try the crown, but he refuses and doubts that Tony really built it for Bruce. Tony hesitates before stating it doesn't matter. Rhodey additionally questions when did Tony have the time to build it, to which he tells Rhodey the Smiths created it. A Smith approaches Tony and Rhodey offering coffee and decides to take a picture of them, apparently believing them to be a couple. Rhodey protests using technology to build technology with no human guidance. Tony counteracts pointing Rhodey to a schematic of the Hulk he gave the Smiths that consists of a crude drawing of him and a childish listing of his preferences and dislikes. Tony tries to reassures Rhodey, but Hulkbot beings rampaging after gaining sentience. Tony orders Hulkbot to shut down, but a Smith tells him it has overridden its shutdown procedure. The Smith offers Tony coffee, and Tony insists to be equipped a gauntlet which he uses to blast the Hulkbot's head off after it grabs Tony.

Soon afterwards, Tony concedes to Rhodey's worries, and admits Stark Unlimited is lacking on robotics after Motherboard and Friday were destroyed, and Jocasta left. Because of this, he doesn't have time to build a new sentient program to cover S.U. and is making do, for instance, using a compatibility algorithm from a dating app to partially run the Smiths. Rhodey expresses his worry that Tony is actually using the behavior modifier to help his alcoholic relapse. Tony assures Rhodey that he's fine, and hands over the crown to a Smith, who commends their communication skills as a couple.

At the lobby of Stark Unlimited, a looming figure approaches the building's holographic greeter. An large bearded man with red gloves holding a flaming cane presents himself as Sadurang, and demands to see Tony Stark. The greeter informs him Stark has left for the day, and a security guard approaches Sadurang to make him leave. Sadurang chokes him and asks for Stark's gold. Unable to find an answer, the security guard suggests it's in Wall Street. Skeptical of the guard's words, Sadurang breaks his neck.

Outside, not too far from Stark Unlimited, Stark flies away on his flying car. His inner monologue admits that Rhodey is right, and realizes he might have taken the wrong approach. Tony thinks about having had his body regrown, and whether that means he's no longer the same person he was. As he nears his beach-side mansion, Tony leaves a message in Janet Van Dyne's voicemail asking for a date. Tony gets out of the car at the poolside with the crown in hand, and acknowledges that Rhodey means well, but argues people who are suffering all over the world deserve to have the help they need. Tony rests the crown on a table next to a glass and bottle of alcohol, and undresses before taking a dive into the pool. Tony contemplates that his fortune and possessions didn't stop him from becoming an alcoholic; be it in his current or old body, and that while it was in a virtual world, he drank, and the crown will help him. Tony assumes the crown will probably not work, with the malfunction from earlier being an indicative of a catastrophic program error. Tony gets out of the pool and puts on the crown, having decided that he can't risk asking anyone else to test it.

Back at Stark Unlimited, a group of guards draw their weapons at Sadurang and order him to kneel. Turning into his dragon form, Sadurang declares that he will bow to no man or god or offer them mercy, and sets the guards ablaze with his fire breath. Frenzy ensues at the Command Center. Rhodey enters the room and Bethany Cabe explains the situation to him in the middle of the chaos. Without Stark or Jocasta on the premises, she orders all security to stand down and evacuate. Rhodey determines to take Sadurang down and leaves telling Bethany he's going to fight fire with fire, and myth with myth. Bethany asks if anybody is going to armor up, and Doctor Shapiro reports for duty. Sadurang has climbed the exterior of the building and demands to know where is Tony Stark. Meanwhile, Tony has made use of the crown, but it's causing him pain like he never experienced before. Bethany asks one of Unlimited's staff members, Sandra, why aren't the drones attacking. Sandra points her to a computer screen, revealing it has been corrupted and is displaying Latin words. Sadurang continues demanding Stark's presence, and swats a side of the building. Rhodey comes towards him aboard the Manticore and fires at him. The dragon retaliates with a tail strike, and threatens him. At the Command Center, Bethany asks if anybody speaks Latin. One of the staffers speaks up, and Bethany has him try to get the drones working.

Sadurang is shot again, this time by Doctor Shapiro, outfitted in his own battle armor. Shapiro introduces himself and deploys his armament on the dragon, but Sadurang attacks him with fire. Iron Man arrives, catching Sadurang by surprise, and punches him in the muzzle. As the villain falls on the ground, Tony thinks that he didn't choose the bottle of the crown, since he would not be able to stop Sadurang's slaughter of people who wouldn't have a second chance like he did. Iron Man punches Sadurang again, and the dragon strikes him with his tail, causing him to crash into Stark Unlimited. Meanwhile, the S.U. staffer has managed to access the system, and Bethany tells him to send everything in the building against the attacker. Sadurang threatens Iron Man, and Stark intimidates him recalling having defeated Fin Fang Foom weeks ago, to which the dragon accuses Stark of lying. Tony makes Sadurang look behind him, making him realize the Manticore, Doctor Shapiro, the Smiths and Hulkbot are charging at him. Sadurang admits he underestimated Stark, but promises to return at night with the proper spells. He flies away, stating he put the curse of wisdom on him. Rhodey opens the cockpit of the Manticore as Bethany approaches Tony and asks if they're going to pursue. Tony confirms they will, but his allies notice that his armor has suddenly started emanating a pink mist, and Rhodey tells him he believes the suit is leaking magic, much to Tony's confusion.

Solicit Synopsis

WAR OF THE REALMS TIE-IN!

A war needs weapons — but Tony Stark once vowed that he’d never build weapons again! So why’s he hunkered down with Screwbeard the Dwarf in Avengers Mountain? And what is he making?

Notes

Trivia

  • Tony Stark mentions the robotic Smiths are named after the band of the same name. The Smiths were an English rock band from the '80s.
  • Tony's crude schematic of the Hulk includes beans among his "likes." The Hulk's love for beans was established in Incredible Hulk #182.
  • Among the Hulk's "dislikes" is Canadians, most likely referencing the Hulk's rivalry with Wolverine.
  • When deciding to test his behavior-modifying crown device, Tony compares himself to Orville Wright, the first of the Wright Brothers to make a powered flight.
  • Sadurang is called several nicknames based on pop culture:
  • Jim Rhodes states that he is going to fight "myth with more myth" because his vehicle, the Manticore, is named after the manticore of Persian legend.
  • When Sandra points to her screen which is only speaking in Latin the word "dēditiōnem" appears, which is the accusative singular form of dēditiō, meaning "surrender."
  • In his monologue when fighting Sadurang, Tony makes a reference to the short story The Lady, or the Tiger?, which is also an allegorical expression for a problem that is unsolvable.

See Also

Footnotes



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