Writer: Tom Taylor
Artists: Yildiray Cinar & Felipe Watanabe
This issue opens with Tony Stark looking up at the Mark II armor he created long ago. Stark quickly figures out that the consciousness driving the Mark II is a version of himself from eight years ago that Stark preserved as a contingency plan after temporarily losing his mind, giving Pepper Potts the directive to initiate the contingency in the event of emergency. The Mark II then informs Tony that he will be going inside his mind to try and replace him due to his erratic, selfish behavior (My apologies if that didn’t make sense. It’s been a while since I’ve tried to explain a conversation between two versions of the same person.). The new Tony attempts to summon his armor to his aide, but the Mark II and Pepper thwart that plan, at least for the time being, as the Mark II armor encompasses Tony and takes off toward outer space with the Superior armor not far behind.
Tony soon finds out that the Mark II armor has undergone some upgrades, and soon has traveled beyond the Superior armor’s reach. Once the Mark II has disposed of the Superior armor, it takes Tony to a satellite orbiting the earth in order to complete the process of taking over his consciousness. Unbeknownst to past Tony, however, a bit of the Superior armor has made its way onto the satellite and climbs up the Mark II’s leg. As the Mark II’s consciousness enters Tony’s mind, we see two Tony Starks stand face to face. The past version of Tony and the new, “superior” Tony argue over the latter’s methods since becoming inverted as part of the Axis event. Ultimately, only one Tony Stark “lives” through this exchange. (Spoiler alert: It’s the superior one, but you already knew that.).