The future is a golden arc of peace and tranquility (mostly). Thanos has been dealt with for good. The galaxy, hell the entire fucking universe is a place of resounding harmony. While the situation in space tells wonders, the one a little south of there has a different story. Tony Stark is 126 years old, long-haired, wise and wears a cape. And oh he is no longer the leading man of science of the planet. Neither is he the Iron Man anymore. He has become the current Sorcerer Supreme.
Tony Stark’s life has been imploding since he came to know about the fact that Howard Stark is not his real father, Rhodey/ War Machine died, Starks Industries almost bankrupt, and his personal life is a train wreck. Moreover, he is not trusted by several members of Avengers particularly Captain Marvel.
At the end of comic-book title Civil War II, Tony Stark stepped out of his Iron Man suit and a character named Riri Williams who is a black teenager took over the mantle. She is a science prodigy who went to MIT on a scholarship at the age of 15, reverse-engineered Iron Man suit in her dorm room and came to the attention of Tony Stark through an AI. Among the new crop of superheroes in Marvel comics, Riri Williams was declared as “smartest person in the whole world” by Amadeus Cho after she quickly completed a competency test which not even Dr. Bruce Banner was able to do it.
The honor of inheriting the mantle of the Iron Man now belongs to Riri Williams. Mike Deodato Jr., the co-creator, and artist behind Riri Williams revealed that the new female superhero is based on beautiful young actress Skai Jackson. She goes by the name “Iron Heart”.
But then another character claimed Iron Man’s mantle, in subsequent issues Marvel revealed the identity of a new Infamous Iron Man and he turned out to be the most dangerous villains of Marvel comics – Doctor Doom. He had a brief stint as God during “Secret Wars”, but he returned in Brian Michael’s Invincible Iron Man for possible redemption. Marvel’s text for the first issue said that “the greatest villain of the Marvel Universe will try something new. Where Tony Stark failed, Doom will succeed. What is Doom’s Master Plan?”
Doctor Doom became the new Iron Man in the Infamous comics which is reminiscent of Norman Osborne during old civil war pillaged Iron Man facilities and became Iron Patriot. Fans believed that Doctor Doom has turned a new leaf and wants to do good to the world post secret wars. But can Doctor Doom really become Doctor Do-gooder? You know the answer.
The biggest question that the fans had in mind was if the push does come to shove and Tony Stark relinquished his Iron Man suit to a teenage girl, Can she really handle it? It’s one thing to be a science genius, it’s another to fight super-villains and save the world. ManyMarvell fans are comparing this transition to Falcon donning the mantle of Captain America, but I totally disagree with them. Falcon is a trained fighter who was totally ready to be the successor, but she is a nerd who doesn’t know a thing about real world. Can she fight Doctor Doom who is also announced as the Infamous Iron Man? She would have to demonstrate her mettle to win the trust and confidence of people, S.H.I.E.L.D, and the government. Was she able to do that? Let’s find out.
Brian Michael Bendis pens the Generations: The Iron with a team of artists which includes Marco Rudy, Szymon Kudranski, Nico Leon, Will Slinet, Scott Tolbish, Dean White and Paul Mounts. The story arc is distinct in the sense that it tells of a one shot storyline set in a somewhat enviable future, a future that the heroes look up to, something they want to achieve. A rarity in the Marvel Comics Universe.
The story starts with Riri flying away on her latest chunk of a prototype Iron man suit. As she whizzes past the skies, her suit malfunctions. The A.I controlling the suit sub systems goes radio silent. Except for the no crash safeguards, all her other sub-systems fail as she come crashing down from the sky in an armored tin can. She activates manual controls and manages to land safely on the surface after a somewhat not-so-smooth landing. As she takes out her helmet and looks up at Chicago, we see a lot has changed with the city.
As she wanders into the city limits, she encounters a group of superheroes that call themselves The mighty Avengers. But in reality they are the Next Avengers of the future, the children of the mighty Avengers of the past. Before Riri passes out from stress, a member of the Avengers literally calls out her name when Riri introduces herself as Ironheart.
She wakes up to find herself in the company of Tony Stark as she lies in the freaking sanctum Sanctorum. It is thn the Riri makes the discovery that not only is Tony alive and kickin it, he is now the Sorcerer Supreme of earth. As magic has taken hold of Tony’s attention, she still sees patches of his past tryst with technology, with autonomous iron man torsos flying around all over the area.
Just so you know Riri doesn’t actually belong to this future. She is very much part of the actual timeline happening just about now. She has been flung into the future somehow. Not being able to explain herself and how shegot there, she turns to the future version of his beloved mentor to help. The now practitioner of the myctic arts gives an equally mystic reply: not to focus on the how and why but to focus on the now. Wowser Tony has become the Dalai Llama!!
The Tony Stark once believed in logic as the supreme being is now the foremost expert in magic and mysticism. And just like the previous Sorcerer Supreme – Dr. Stephen Strange, a skeptic who started believing in magic, Tony has too. He explains why Riri’s suit ain’t working anymore. The suit’s systems are being blocked by Tony’s World energy Shield – whatever that means. And the A.I isn’t responding because Tony switched off the internet and replaced it with…… something better. Oh, and he has also convinced the world to invest their money in saving the world instead of destroying it. He explains that it isn’t just he who did it but ‘we’. Does the ‘we’ here mean Tony and Riri? Is this the reason Riri is having an episode of Future Cop?
A brief encounter with Morgan LeFay leads us to realize the future isn’t all tulips and roses. Evil does exist but in sustainable amounts. A grown-up Franklin Richards is introduced in possession of a time machine. He is reluctant on using it to send Riri back to her original timeline.
The reason for Riri realizing herself in the future is explained here. Tony took a trip back to the past, as far back as to the Courts of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. He saw and realized how a world devoid of technology could lead to chaos. How technology helped the world get back on its feet. Coming to the terms with the fact that magic can’t possibly replace technology, both needed to co-exist together for a better world. Riri gave Tony something he was in desperate need of – Inspiration.
The same way Riri was whisked into the future, she finds herself in the present. Without a clue as to what the hell just happened. Her A.I is back online. It shows no record of something like that ever happening. Riri seems to believe it was all just a dream, a hallucination. But then comes a twist – Riri builds an autonomous Iron man drone she saw in the Sanctum Sanctorum from memory.