With the battle against Korvac and his cult of supervillains growing increasingly desperate, Iron Man has risked his life to undergo a cosmic upgrade.
WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Iron Man #13, on sale now from Marvel Comics.
Iron Man has largely been focusing on stopping the twisted supervillain Korvac from obtaining omnipotence and planning to use pending godhood to unite all intelligent life into a hive mind under his dominion. This freewheeling feud has led both figures to create their own superhero/supervillain teams before racing through the far reaches of the Marvel Universe towards Galactus’ worldship Taa II. And as the battle is joined on the abandoned, but still quite deadly, spaceship, Iron Man decides to give himself the ultimate, cosmic upgrade to prevent the ship’s immense power from falling into Korvac’s hands.
Ahead of claiming the Power Cosmic that has fueled Galactus and the Silver Surfer’s spacefaring adventures for millennia, Tony Stark was brought the lowest he had been in years. Suffering critical injuries from an earlier skirmish against Korvac and his cadre of overzealous supervillains, Tony needed to stay in his Iron Man armor for its built-in medical systems to constantly treat him. And with his body broken, Tony began to quietly dose himself with the armor’s supply of painkillers, reawakening ancient demons of substance abuse that had haunted him for most of his life. This led to a more desperate and cognitively impaired Tony facing off against Korvac for their rematch inside of Galactus’ ship, resulting in Tony seizing the raw Power Cosmic himself and undergoing a dazzling transformation in order to prevent a wounded Korvac from grabbing it himself to enact his master plan to reshape sentient life in his image as Iron Man #13, by Christopher Cantwell, Cafu, Frank D’Armata and VC’s Joe Caramagna, reaches its cliffhanger ending.
This stunning turn of events comes after Tony initially attempted to go back to a more old-school methodology in his superhero activities rather than constantly refining and redesigning his Iron Man armors with the latest technological advancements available to him. This came after Tony was resurrected at the end of the crossover event Iron Man 2020, which saw a marked rise in artificial intelligence on Earth. The reborn Tony carried over this new outlook to his personal life, moving from a gaudy mansion or penthouse to an unassuming New York City brownstone as he consciously kept a lower profile.
Advance solicitations for the next phase of Iron Man’s comic book series indicate that Tony has truly ascended to become a cosmic god from bonding directly with the Power Cosmic. More tellingly, the Power Cosmic will distort Tony’s perspective on the natural laws of space and time while physically transforming him into something radically different, resembling a synthesis of his organic body and signature Iron Man armor. And for a character that has something of a noted messiah complex at times, this upgrade will eschew any sense at the quiet life Tony was hoping for and catapult him to become one of the most powerful superheroes in the Marvel Universe.
Korvac’s reintroduction saw him seek the means to become a literal god and erase the perceived injustices he saw plaguing the Marvel Universe, planning to eliminate free will as a major crux in his overarching plot. Instead, it was Iron Man that quite literally beat Korvac to the punch, claiming the immense power for himself and ascending into something unrecognizably omnipotent. Tony Stark was in a place in his life where he wasn’t looking to fly further, farther and faster, making it the perfect time for him to receive a cosmic upgrade.
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