MARVEL ADVENTURES IRON MAN: Two Arcs

Pitched by Fred Van Lente


GENERAL NOTES: I'd like this series to present, in contrast to some recent portrayals, an unabashedly heroic Tony Stark. He's no drunk, technocrat or glory hound, as some have suggested; rather, he is the Man Who Has EverythingˇVand still wants more. Specifically, he wants to help people in a visceral way that his lawyers and shareholders won't let him as Tony Stark, who is crucial to the bottom line of Stark Enterprises; thus the need for the "Iron Man, Stark's Bodyguard" identity. In fact, it's possible that while the general public is highly suspicious of and at times openly hostile to Tony and his sprawling mega-conglomerate (think: Bill Gates and Microsoft), they adore Iron Man, who is both Stark Enterprisesˇ¦ head of security and the company's most recognizable charitable figure, doing good deeds around the world on SE's behalf.

We can still have the whole Tony-needs-to-wear-the-Iron-Man's-chest-plate-or-he'll-have-a-heart-attack thing if you want, but I find it way more interesting (and sympathetic) that he wants to be Iron Man as opposed to him needing to be Iron Man for health reasons.


ARC #1: IRON PLANET

(Mark's memo invoked James Bond, and when I think of Bond, I think of globe-trotting adventure . . . well, and casino gambling, Martinis and sleeping with gobs of beautiful women, but I don't think those last three will make it into an Adventures book.)

"HEART OF STEEL"

Where jet-setting playboy inventor and billionaire TONY STARK goes, paparazzi follow--and, as everybody knows, so does his super powered bodyguard and head of security, IRON MAN. Yet not even the snoopiest tabloid reporter suspects that Stark and Iron Man are the same person. Stark has arrived in the French Riviera to investigate thefts of components at the local Stark Worldwide plant--and immediately falls for an exotic redhead he meets at his lavish hotel, NATASHA ROMANOVA . . . but he doesn't realize she's really Russia's super spy, THE BLACK WIDOW! Turns out Natasha and Tony are tracking the same man: a renegade Russian scientist who's stealing Stark components to build his own suit of armor and become the TITANIUM MAN! Can Shellhead defeat his armored foe with the Widow's help and at the same make sure none of his technology falls into the seductive secret agent's hands?

"RE-ENTER THE DRAGON"

Tony's global tour of Stark Worldwide facilities takes him next to China, where an entire factory of his workers has inexplicably vanished! Iron Man tracks the employees to the forbidding castle of the mysterious MANDARIN. The insane technocrat has discovered what appears to be a gigantic dragon-shaped alien spaceship in a hidden valley and has enslaved the Stark workers to restore it to its original condition so he can attack Beijing with it. (Apparently Early Man's sightings of this ship before the dawn of history is what gave rise to dragon legends in the first place.) Just as an armored St. George slew the first dragon, Iron Man will have to do the same to this mechanical monstrosity!

"THE CREEPING DOOM"

When agribusiness inventor SAMUEL SMITHERS submits a grant application to Stark Enterprises claiming to have refertilized thousands of barren acres of the Australian Outback, Tony has to fly to Oz to see this for himself. Indeed, the creeping kudzu-like vine Smithers has created can grow anywhere, and at a ridiculously unstoppable rate . . . and it's crawling right toward Sydney, to choke the life out of the city with its leafy tendrils! Smithers has adopted the identity of PLANTMAN and plans to use his super weed to end the dominion of animals over the Earth! Can Iron Man defoliate this photosynthetic foe?

"KIBER THE CRUEL"

Among Stark Enterprises' many charitable programs is one that provides advanced technology to improve the lives of rural African villagers . . . but local warlord KIBER THE CRUEL (www.marvunapp.com/Appendix3/kiberthecruel.htm) has pilfered the tech, forcing Iron Man's intervention. Kiber, as the result of a botched teleportation experiment, needs to feed off electric energy in order to remain fully phased within our reality . . . and in Iron Man he may have found a never-ending feast!


ARC #2: THE MANY ARMORS OF IRON MAN

Deep Sea Armor: "PIRATED!"

Tony has designed a special version of the Iron Man armor to survive the crushing pressure of the ocean floor so he can explore the seabed for alternative energy sources. But he's shanghaied by CAPTAIN BARRACUDA and his scurvy TECHNO-PIRATES (www.marvunapp.com/Appendix/capbar.htm) and dragged onto their giant piranha-shaped submarine. They're going to clone his armor and use the tech to loot Hong Kong of all the high-tech gadgets they can carry! Tony has to somehow escape from the brig and foil Barracuda before the sub reaches the island city . . .

Stealth Armor: "LIKE A THIEF IN THE NIGHT"

MONCIA RAPPACCINI, Scientist Supreme of ADVANCED IDEA MECHANICS, has kidnapped Stark Enterprises employees and given Tony Stark an ultimatum: unless he uses his unparalleled mechanical genius to build a machine to her specifications in the next six hours, his friends are forfeit. Fortunately, Tony has figured out the location of the secret AIM Base where his employees are being held. He needs to sneak into the base super-fast and free the workers before Monica realizes he's gone . . . so he'll slip into his sleek, all-black, super-light STEALTH Iron Man armor! The downside: to make it invisible to radar, super-fast, and to add "chameleon skin" that lets him blend into any background, Tony had to make a lightweight, plastic suit of armor with almost no enhancement to his strength and no weaponry! So if he gets caught by AIM at any time as he infiltrates the base, it could spell his destruction!

Space Armor: "DESTRUCTIVE RE-ENTRY"

NASA contacts Stark Enterprises with a desperate request to "borrow" Iron Man to rescue the astronauts and cosmonauts from the International Space Station ( www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/main/index.html), whose orbit has started to decay--which could result in "destructive re-entry," or burning up in Earth's atmosphere. Tony dons his the space version of his Iron Man armor and jets beyond the atmosphere--but nobody realizes that the cause for the panic is that the NANOBOTS the astronauts were growing in zero-G have gone berserk and taken over the station in a deadly swarm! As if that weren't bad enough, the LIVING LASER has shown up to steal the nanobots for himself, which leads to a low-gravity smackdown of epic proportions--and the clock is ticking down to the ISS falling out of its orbit and into the atmosphere . . .

And, because YOU demanded it (didn't you?), Steam Armor:

"THE SIMPLE LIFE"

Stark's corporate enemies have hired new super villainess PULSE to take out his bodyguard, Iron Man. Pulse generates electromagnetic blasts that fuse electronic circuits and in a fierce battle over the Appalachian Mountains she does just that, ruining Tony's armor and dropping him into the woods below. Tony is discovered and rescued by a group of villagers who have abandoned modern life and retreated to a simpler, Amish-like existence that foregoes all technology. Tony, wounded in the fall, is left with completely useless armor and has no way to contact the outside world. Pulse is still looking for Iron Man so she can finish him off. So Tony has no choice but to hunker down with the village blacksmith and forge a new suit of STEAM-POWERED HYDRAULIC ARMOR to defend himself!

Iron Man and all associated characters are the property of Marvel Comics.


Go back to the Iron Man Armory's interview with Fred Van Lente.

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