This is the worst event of the 1990s. And that’s saying something. It was intended to reboot Iron Man as a teenager, and although it made major changes it was followed by Onslaught and then by the Destiny event so…It ends up mattering very little. The less I say about it, the better–but given how many comics it took to tell the story, I need to address it.
Basically, we learn that Iron Man is now a bad guy working for Nathaniel Richards/Kang, and the Avengers go back in time to get 19-year old Tony Stark to pick up the mantle of Iron Man, and once the bad-guy version is killed, the teen stays as present-day 616 Iron Man. But as noted above, Onslaught follows and kills just about EVERYONE, and “grown up” Tony returns, having been recreated by Franklin Richards.
Good lord 1995-1996 sucked.
There’s a bunch of stuff that happens along the way that really, REALLY doesn’t make sense.
The issues covered by the event (and this post) are massive:
- AGE OF INNOCENCE: THE REBIRTH OF IRON MAN #1
- AVENGERS #389-396
- AVENGERS: THE CROSSING #1
- AVENGERS: TIMESLIDE #1
- FORCE WORKS #16-20
- IRON MAN #319-325
- WAR MACHINE #20-23
So like I said, the event is bad. I’m not going to do a play by play. But I will point out some things that happened:
Rita DeMara, the new Yellowjacket, returns from the future (where she was hanging out with the Guardians of the Galaxy) only to be killed. After killing Yellowjacket, he sets upu Hawkeye–which leads to the War Machine substory.
War Machine decides to try to clear Hawkeye’s name. He’s been accused in the pages of Force Works of killing Marilla and Yellowjacket. There’s no reason you should know that because Force Works is terrible and nobody should read it.
War Machine concludes that Hawkeye was set up by Tony Stark. He and USAgent go break him out of Force Works jail(!), which is protected by Cybermancer. One pointless fight later, James Rhodes, Hawkeye, and Black Widow are all teamed up and believe Iron Man is a villain.
The Anachronauts try to recapture Hawkeye, but I’m really not sure I understand why. This is all technically related to the Avengers event The Crossing, wherein Tony makes a deal with Kang. So I guess they’re afraid that Rhodey’s realization that Hawkeye was framed for murder by Tony will undo their thing. Whatever.
Of course you see where this is going: Iron Man versus War Machine’s new alien armor.
After they fight, Hawkeye just decides to up and leave and go face Iron Man on his own. So…Yeah. No point to ANY of this.
What else happens? Well, Wasp loses all her money. Black Widow gets little red lines on her costume.
In the butt shot, you can see it’s a spider.
Bethany Cabe becomes a new Madame Masque. Suzi Endo becomes Cybermancer (ugh). Henry Peter Gyrich shuts down Teh Avengers. Iron Man gets kicked out of Force Works by Scarlet Witch. It’s the team he created, and he funds. Fake Swordsman dies (thank God!), and Iron Man kills the nanny Marilla. But he ends up killed in the end, too, so alls well that ends well.