Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Artist: David Marquez
Tony Stark’s first story in the All-New, All-Different Marvel Universe begins in Beijing, where his longtime nemesis Madame Masque is receiving a briefcase from an unnamed former A.I.M. employee. After verifying the contents of the briefcase, Masque summarily shoots and kills its courier.
Back in New York, Tony is at work building a new Iron Man armor, which describes as an amalgam of all the best qualities of his previous armors, when he is interrupted by his artificial intelligence personal assistant, Friday. Friday reminds Tony of his date that evening with Dr. Amara Perera, a biophysicist. During the course of their date, Tony asks Amara if she has ever invented anything that she has kept to herself because she is afraid of what people will do with it. Amara reveals that she does have such an invention – a cure for the mutant gene.
Friday once again interrupts Tony, informing him that Madame Masque has broken into Castle Doomstadt in Latveria. Seemingly unbeknownst to Tony, Masque has also broken into Stark Tower in Osaka, Japan. Tony suits up in his new armor and flies to Latveria to investigate the break in, where he is greeted by a group of armed Latverians. Before they can attack Tony, however, they are knocked out with a sonic boom. Tony turns to find that his rescue has come from a very unlikely source, but one I won’t spoil for you here.
This was a solid start for Iron Man in the new Marvel universe. Bendis does a great job of capturing the combination of sarcasm, self absorption, and humor that fans have come to expect from the character. This is a sharp contrast to how Tony was portrayed in his most recent solo comic, Superior Iron Man, as this version of Tony, though full of himself, is actually quite likable. It seems as if Bendis and/or Marvel is making a deliberate effort to bring the version of Tony we see in the comics more in line with Robert Downey Jr.’s portrayal of him in the movies.