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Quote1 The Mark I Armor isn't about pretty. It's about power. It's about iron and the man wielding it. Quote2
-- Iron Man

Appearing in "The Starkronomicom"

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Synopsis for "The Starkronomicom"

Brief Summary

The dragon Sadurang attacks the New York Stock Exchange under the impression that Iron Man's fortune is being guarded there. Stark's armor has become infected with the dragon's magic, transmuting it into a medieval suit that allows him to cast spells, but he's unable to control it properly. Jim Rhodes tries to order him to stand down, but Tony is determined to take down Sadurang for his murders. Tony pursues the dragon, but is overpowered and mocked for his failings. Tony manages to scrape by using magic, and retreats to have Hulkbot rip the armor off him.

Wasp arrives, having answered Tony's call for help, and she distracts Sadurang long enough to let Tony change into the Iron Man Armor Model 1. The armor's focus on brute force combined with its lack of advanced technology for Sadurang to corrupt gives Iron Man the edge. He loses control and severely beats up Sadurang since the villain's greed reminds Tony of his own shortcomings, but Wasps makes him snap out of it after the dragon is unconscious. Before Tony can settle down, Bethany Cabe informs him the Avengers are calling for help.

Detailed Summary

In his human form, the dragon Sadurang walks towards the New York Stock Exchange and passes by a blind vagrant who asks for money. Sadurang brushes him off, to which the vagrant advises him against hubris. Intrigued, Sadurang demands the homeless man to explain himself. The man reveals he used to be a broker but the stock exchange twisted him, and explains how much money passes by every day, with a market cap of thirty trillion dollars. The sum takes Sadurang by surprise, but he accuses the vagrant of lying. The man continues elaborating, and warns Sadurang that everyone trying to get it all ends falling. Finding the vagrant's advice of use, Sadurang tosses him a bag of coin and threatens him not to be disturbed again. Sadurang comes closer to the building, catching a guard's attention, and loudly demands him to tell his masters he's awaiting for the thirty trillion dollars.

At the Washington Square Park, Rhodey notices Iron Man's magic leak is getting worse, with his armor still emanating a pink mist. Bethany Cabe explains the staff believes Sadurang infected the rudimentary A.I. that Stark Unlimited is making do with, which passed on to Tony's armor. While Tony's inner monologue explains his aversion towards magic and his discomfort for magicians, and recalls his encounter against Doctor Doom, he explains to Bethany he can't take off the armor and that in the inside the infection is manifesting worse. Rhodey and Bethany stare in awe as Tony's suit begins to transmute into a medieval-like armor projecting symbols of magic, much to Tony's chagrin. Rhodey wonders if Tony can still function. Tony tries to find a familiar ground, comparing magic to a system with a code, and confidently waves his hand, releasing a bolt of magic. However, he makes it rain countless of frogs. Rhodey decides Tony has become a liability and orders him to stand down. Tony agrees for a split second before catching sight of paramedics bagging up the scorched body of one of Sadurang's three victims. He cites Sadurang's motive being nothing but greed, and sets out to capture him. Before that, Tony snaps, complaining for somebody to sweep up the frogs.

Iron Man has taken flight, projecting energy wings from his transmuted armor. In his mind Tony contemplates that he used to be Sadurang once, and that his addiction for money turned into alcoholism which made him hurt people. Recalling once again that he died and came back to life, Tony reflects on his current predicament. He expresses that nothing feels like himself anymore, or that he's not sure he is himself anymore; and worst of all, he wants to drink. Tony continues making his way and leaves Janet Van Dyne a voicemail asking for help, pondering that he needs to tell her about falling off the wagon.

Inside NYSE, the NASDAQ screens glitch out and display text announcing Sadurang's arrival. In his dragon form, Sadurang rips crashes into the building. As everybody inside panics and flies away, the dragon declares his intention to kill everyone and "the king's gold." Back in Washington Square, Rhodey informs Tony via phone that he's alone since Sadurang damaged both the Manticore and Dr. Shapiro's armor. Tony tells him to have Bethany send over the Smiths of emergency repair and have the Hulkbot 3000 at the ready. As Tony approaches the stock exchange, Rhodey doubts Tony's decision. Stark jokes that he needs a rematch against the robot and announces he's going in. Iron Man enters through a hole in the wall and finds NYSE's trading floor covered in darkness, and ponders that in a regular suit he'd have no problem illuminating it, but his current armor is unpredictable. Tony blurts out with uncertainity, "Illuminatus Gigantus," finding to his surprise that it works, casing a spell that illuminates the floor with his unibeam. Tony sees that Sadurang has melted everything and all the people inside. Thinking to himself he declares that despite not knowing if he really is Tony Stark, he is going to hurt the villain.

Tony calls Sadurang's attention and exclaims "Shazam," admitting to himself it's the only magic word he knows, and causes lightning to strike the dragon. Surprised, Sadurang wonders if Tony is also a wizard, causing Tony to realize that it was Sadurang's sheer presence that unwittingly caused the magical infection. Sadurang taunts Tony, saying that he smells his weakness, and strikes him with his tail, which sends him flying across the trading floor. Tony tries to get up and shake off the realization of Sadurang's level of power, but the villain crushes Iron Man under his claw. Sadurang belittles Stark, calling him out for betraying Jocasta's trust and being a relapsing alcoholic. He dismisses Tony's importance to Malekith, and threatens to turn his loved ones into his vassals after devouring him. Iron Man acknowledges that he continues making mistakes, but asserts that he's trying improve. Pointing out that his hands are free from Sadurang's hands, Iron Man directs his arms at the dragon's mouth. Tony summons countless frogs to overflow Sadurang's mouth, and manages to break free. With the dragon occupied coughing them up, Iron Man flies away. Tony thinks to himself that he can't fight Sadurang in his current condition, and that any backup he calls will be just as infected as his armor is, and states it's time for plan B.

While Sadurang threatens him in the background, Iron Man alerts Rhodey he's rushing to his location and tells him to be ready. The Smiths are repairing the Manticore, and Rhodey asks for what he needs to be ready. Tony tells him they need to stop everything, and contacts Bethany to order her to shut down every piece of electronics in Stark Unlimited, with the exception of Hulkbot. Sadurang burst out of NYSE in pursuit. At the Command Center, Bethany orders the staff to evacuate. The staffer that previously deciphered the corrupt interface, named David, stutters and asks Bethany for a date, shocking her. Tony arrives at Washington Square Park, thinking to himself that when he looked at Sadurang in the eyes he saw who he used to be, and who he could be again if he lets his guard down. Rhodey awaits with Hulkbot on the ready, and Tony tells him to get rid of all pieces of tech. He turns to Hulkbot and orders him to tear the armor off him without hurting him. Despite Rhodey's protest, Hulkbot rips the chestplate off the armor while Tony explains that his technology is endangered by Sadurang. Wasp arrives on the scene, and Tony embraces her. Tony asks her to give him four minutes and nineteen seconds, and she jokingly brushes it off. Wasp kisses and reassures Tony, and he runs away while she shrinks down and flies towards Sadurang's looming silhouette.

Sadurang approaches Wasp, calling out to Stark. Wasp taunts and attacks the dragon, enraging him. Sadurang pursues Wasp, but she evades him. Sadurang questions why does Wasp defend Tony since she knows his weaknesses. Janet retorts that everybody has weaknesses, and that nobody knows that more than Tony himself, and Sadurang dismisses her words. Four minutes and eighteen seconds having passed, Tony's looming figure approaches Sadurang. The dragon turns to see him clad in the Iron Man Armor Model 1, and mocks Tony's decision to use a less impressive armor. Tony explains that while it's not pleasant, the armor was make-do at the time that favors strength and durability. Stark proceeds to beat up the dragon, elaborating that the suit is also technologically limited. Sadurang retaliates with his fire breath, crying out he won't be defeated by a drunkard in a dusty armor. Iron Man shrugs off the attack, reiterating that the Mark I isn't about pretty, but power. Iron Man continues striking Sadurang repeatedly, losing control after reminiscing about the dragon's murders and threats and greed. Wasp pushes Tony aside with worry, telling him Sadurang is out cold. Tony apologizes and thinks about how Janet helped him without hesitation, for which he says he needs to tell Janet something. He hesitates, and even though he thinks that he needs to tell her that he relapsed, Tony simply quips that he hates magic, but chastises himself in his mind. Janet hugs and comforts Tony, but Bethany and Rhodey come running. Cabe tells him the Avengers have called, and wonders if Tony doesn't happen to have an elfbuster armor, prompting Tony to ask if the day can get any worse.

Solicit Synopsis

WAR OF THE REALMS TIE-IN!

HOW TO FIGHT YOUR DRAGON!

The concluding chapter to this special WAR OF THE REALMS story, as Iron Man finds himself struggling against the ancient mystical forces he has the LEAST power to resist. Tony fights an ancient winged calamity AND his own technology with the lives of everyone at STARK UNLIMITED hanging in the balance!

Notes

Trivia

  • The name of this issue's story is a reference to the Necronomicon.
  • Tony states metaphysics is his kryptonite, an alien mineral in DC Comics that has the property of depriving Superman of his powers. The word kryptonite is commonly used as a a byword for something that represents a weakness to a particular person.
  • After Tony's armor changes into the mystic suit, Stark invokes "Dumbledalf," amalgaming the names of the fictional sorcerers Albus Dumbledore and Gandalf, from the Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings franchises, respectively.
  • Sadurang is called several nicknames based on pop culture:
  • Iron Man references the Burning Man annual music festival.
  • In order to attack Sadurang, Iron Man exclaims "Shazam," the magic word used by DC Comics character Billy Batson to transform into the super hero Shazam.

See Also

Footnotes



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