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Quote1 My bride. My wife. And all they care about is that pretender! I see it now. Machine Man was right. Even merged you'd choose him over me! So be it, then... you can all die together! Quote2
-- Ultron Pym

Appearing in "The Ultron Agenda - Part Two: Heart of Steel"

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Synopsis for "The Ultron Agenda - Part Two: Heart of Steel"

Brief Summary

At the Avengers Mansion, Rhodey keeps gunning down Ultron Pym's horde of brute cyborgs while Bethany Cabe takes the Ultron-infected Jarvis to Stark Unlimited to cure him. Tony Stark continues fighting Ultron, still horribly fused to his Ultronbuster Armor. He is joined by Jocasta, to whom Machine Man lent his limbs to replace her missing arm and leg. Meanwhile at the Baintronics Headquarters, Arno Stark announces to Sunset Bain that his technology has advanced to the point he could bring back his parents, Howard and Maria Stark, back to life.

Ultron and Tony's fight takes them outside the Avengers Mansion, endangering bystanders who are targeted by Ultron's cyborgs to be assimilated. After Andy Bhang and Dr. Shapiro find a way to reverse Ultron's process of molecular fusion, Jocasta takes Tony away from the fight since his life is in danger due to the merging. Rhodey overcomes his phobia of suiting up and calls the War Machine Armor in order to stand his ground against Ultron.

Detailed Summary

In the near past, a woman sitting at a waiting room is called in. A doctor introduces her to Ultimate Makeover Spa, promising to present her with exactly what their name entails. The lady eagerly accepts the offer, exclaiming that she's ready to be completely made over. Jumping to the present scene at Avengers Mansion, the woman is one of the many victims transformed into a mindless cyborg by Ultron Pym. She's part of the mob attacking and being gunned down by Jim Rhodes aboard the Manticore. Bethany Cabe tries to get him to stop; however, referring to his time as a cyborg, Rhodey argues too much of them is gone, and continues firing crying out that there is no going back. Jarvis becomes distressed because the Ultron implant in his head begins to take over again. Bethany tases him and knocks him out before he can pose a threat. Rhodey tells Bethany to take Jarvis to Stark Unlimited to see if they can cure him. Cabe argues that if S.U. can cure Jarvis, they could also cure the cyborgs, and tells Rhodey to resort to lethal force only if necessary. He assents, but once she leaves he continues firing, thinking to himself that since Ultron needed Jarvis to pass for normal, he could be returned to his regular self, whereas the mindless cyborgs were stripped away of everything, and killing them is merciful. The floor suddenly trembles, and Tony Stark and Ultron burst out from underground fighting. Ultron praises Tony's new form, merged with his Ultronbuster Armor. But Tony tells him he can feel the fusion slowly killing him, to which Ultron replies Tony needs to let him fix it. Wasp rushes to Rhodey to tell him what happened while helping him fight the cyborgs, prompting Rhodey to ask where is Jocasta.

In the tunnels below, Jocasta crawls in her mangled body towards Aaron Stack, who lays torn in half from the battle. Jocasta checks up on him, but Aaron tells her to worry about the fight above, and offers to lend her his own limbs to replace her missing leg and arm. Jocasta expresses her reservations, but Aaron assures her if there is one thing he knows is that they're compatible. The plan works, and Jocasta stands ready to fight, with Aaron cheering for her.

In Arno Stark's laboratory at the Baintronics Headquarters, Sunset Bain berates him for the attack they suffered at the hands of Ultron, drawing special attention to the scar in her cheek, calling it a horrible disfigurement for life. Arno comforts her, asserting that he has conquered both life and death. He reveals his experiments with Jocasta where the groundwork for the creation of living humans with brain engrams electronically restored. The technology involves what he used to remove his congenial disease, and is what allowed Tony and Rhodes to come back from near death. Arno claims that know that he has perfected it, he can use it to bring back Howard and Maria Stark to life. After a moment of pause, Sunset asks if it can be used to fix her scar.

Back at the Avengers Mansion, Iron Man and Ultron continue fighting, but Stark's unibeam is ineffective against the combined protection of Ultron's Adamantium body and force fields. Machine Man's arm suddenly wraps Ultron from behind. The villain taunts Aaron, but is instead retorted by Jocasta. After delivering a powerful punch at Ultron, Jocasta turns to Tony and approaches him. She's joined by the Wasp to try to resolve how to proceed to help him. Jealous and enraged by Jocasta and Janet's concern for Tony, Ultron declares that they can die together, setting off an explosion that tears down part of the Avengers Mansion. Once outside, both Rhodey and Tony try to control the panicking crowd of onlookers, but some of them show fear towards Tony. Stark calls Andy Bhang to see if there is any progress in the cure and hurries him.

At Stark Unlimited HQ, Andy is exasperated because he is having no progress in splitting Wonder Man and Vision or curing Jarvis. He points out that as a robotics expert, he can only help with Vision, since Wonder Man escapes his area of expertise, and laments they lack a super-scientist in their ranks. Dr. Shapiro steps in, perplexing Andy, and explains that he is actually a real doctor, and his field is superhuman biology. He brings up that Ultron shapes his Adamantium body with a built-in molecular re-arranger which he is now using on flesh, and requests all files on this device, as well as milk.

The fight against Ultron has moved to Fifth Avenue, with Rhodey flying on the Manticore to take down the cyborgs while Tony, the Wasp and Jocasta fight their mastermind. Ultron blasts them all away with an energy blast, and calls out Tony on his lack of plan. Ultron deduces that Tony is stalling until the Avengers arrive, and reveals he had intercepted the Avengers' signal frequency and mimicked Captain America's voice when Tony tried to reach out to him. The villain had also faked a distress signal to lure the Avengers far away, with the team currently having arrived at Alpha Centauri and being told by local Centaurians that they didn't ask for them. Ultron comments that since his base of operations has been burned, he has no need to be subtle, and commands his cyborg army to abduct suitable human specimens he has scanned for upgrading. Tony tries to plead with Ultron to no avail, and orders his allies to focus on civilian rescue. Stark coughs blood, which worries Rhodey. He explains that all this time he has been reconfiguring his armor on the fly to work alongside his internal organs to postpone any fatalities. Andy communicates with Tony to tell him he and Dr. Shapiro have reversed the process on Jarvis, alleviating Tony. At the news of the cure, Rhodey looks behind at the Avengers Mansion, where several maimed cyborg corpses lay on the floor by his hand.

Jocasta tells Rhodey to back up the Wasp while she takes Tony to Stark Unlimited. Noticing Rhodey, Ultron attacks the Manticore, gloating while he cracks its windshield open. Rhodey tells Ultron that he's only keeping him occupied. Ultron reiterates that the Avengers are not coming, but Rhodey assures him one is, and he has called him personally. An object launches from the Stark Unlimited HQ. While Jocasta is carrying Tony towards the building, he tries to apologize for his behavior towards her. The projectile from S.U. suddenly flies past them. Tony identifies what it is, and laments that Rhodey resorted to it.

Back at the scene of the fight, Ultron blasts the Manticore to pieces, and Rhodey barely jumps away. The Wasp stings Ultron and tells Rhodey to get out since he has done all he could. With the projectile approaching from behind, Rhodey stands firm and responds that he had not, but he will. The projectile reveals itself to be the War Machine Armor as it encases Rhodey. He explains that the armor brings back his worst fears, of being maimed or dying, but states that there are worse things than that. Standing his ground, War Machine tells Ultron that it's time to go to war.

Solicit Synopsis

“THE ULTRON AGENDA” continues! Chapter 2: Compatible Parts

Is Tony Stark dead? Is he alive? Who can tell? Whatever he is, he IS Iron Man. And he’s all that’s standing in the way of Ultron Pym and everyone that Tony Stark loves. Or loved. Because Tony might be dead.

2020 is coming. The robot revolution has begun. So suit up, fleshbags. Suit up or die.

Notes

Trivia

  • When Rhodey is gunning down Ultron's cyborgs, crying out that there is no going back for them and that what is dead is dead, several stray bullets hit a framed picture of Iron Man, Ant-Man and the Wasp, symbolizing the destroyed relationship between the three heroes.
  • Tony compares re-arranging his merged armor on the fly to work with his internal organs without a cure on the horizon to re-arranging deck chairs on the sinking Titanic.
  • Ultron compares Rhodey using the six-months old Manticore, deeming it outdated, as if he were trying to attack him with an iPhone X, which was released in 2017 and at the time of this issue had already been discontinued and superseded by three new models.

See Also

Footnotes



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