If you can imagine a world in which Tony Stark’s ego has gotten the best of him and is now fully in the driver’s seat you already have an idea of what this book is about.
In the aftermath of a battle between the now psychically powered Red Skull, Tony Stark is a changed man. Having relocated to San Francisco and setting up residence on the former Alcatraz island, Stark is a man with a vision for a better, more beautiful world. Stark has gifted the tech savvy citizens of San Francisco with the best versions of themselves, available with a swipe of their finger across their smart phone screen. With the newly improved Extremis 3.0, Stark has given the citizens of San Francisco access to the perfect versions of themselves. While Stark views the surge of super model beauty and ivy league intelligence amongst the populace as a utopia it quickly becomes clear that he has created a two class society when those without access to his “gift” quickly become the targets of newly superior class.
But a man with Stark’s “superior” foresight and intellect already has a plan for this, one that will restore “balance” and make him obscenely rich in the process, because nothing is ever truly free.
It is in that moment, when Stark’s balance is brought to the world that it becomes apparent, beyond being his usual egotistical self, that Stark is the villain of this book. With full on delusions of grandeur and an unchecked ego Stark quite literally views himself as a god
among above his peers and beautiful pulls the strings of the people of San Francisco like the demented, narcissistic deity he would be.
Thankfully Daredevil is on the scene to stop Stark’s madness as is Pepper Potts. Working separately they both seek an end to Stark’s over the top madness as he falls farther and farther down the well of his own ego.
I really enjoyed this book quite a bit more than I thought I would. Seeing this over the top and megalomaniacal side of Stark was a refreshing take on the character and watching Daredevil repeatedly confront him was a nice departure as well. Stark as a want-to-be god, calling his teammates “specks” was both captivating and chilling, knowing that this side of him is truly a part of his character and that when he says he finds it refreshing to not have to hold back you can believe that he is being the most sincere he has ever been.
Stark isn’t truly evil in this book though as he has some fairly redeeming moments (or at least some that feel redeeming until he speaks of his more or less selfish intentions). Introduced in the book is the character known as Teen Abomination (a horrible name that Stark can’t resist poking fun at). Stark has a few touching moments with the kid super villain and even promises to help “cure” him of his mutation. Of course Stark does nothing without benefiting himself but at least the kid will potentially get help.
Also new to this book is Stark’s improved armor, derived from a mix of his own tech and the same alien symbiotes of Venom/Carnage fame. Seeing the suit spring out of his skin and wrap around him is a really cool look and fits the newly unchecked Stark very well.
This book was very entertaining and one that I will definitely be following up on. I want to see how Stark’s newly dickish persona grows from here and how Daredevil’s and Pepper’s efforts to reign him in go moving forward.
Final Verdict: 8 out of 10. A must read for fans and non-fans of Stark alike.