Movies & TV / Columns

Who Will Be Revealed as Iron Man’s Mother?

July 6, 2016 | Posted by Steve Gustafson

I’m Steve Gustafson and thanks for stopping by. Don’t forget to check out 411mania’s Comic Book Review Roundtable, every Thursday! Read up on the best reviews and let us know what you’re reading as well. Click to read the latest Comic Book Review Roundtable! Detective Comics #935, Wonder Woman #1, Doctor Strange #8, and more!

Now, on with the show!

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Last week we asked, “What Did We Learn From Captain America: Steve Rogers #2?” Here’s what you all had to say:

Benjamin J: “Meh, predictably enough, it wasn’t what Marvel repeatedly said it was. The bait and switch feels more obnoxious to me because I saw it coming a mile away.”

redraptor: “I dont understand how people were suckered in by issue one. Everyone went nuts. “OMG! I cant believe Cap was a bad guy all this time! How did we miss it? How could they do this?!” Silly people.”

Matthewdubs: “Marvel went on about how this development was real, was true, not a twist, not a boat and switch. Yet it is another meaningless plot point that ultimately has no long term value or impact. Boring stuff surrounded by hyperbole, lacking true storytelling, all to get a cheap pop and some buzz. This is why I haven’t bought a comic in years.”

cheesus rice: “As a lifelong comics fan I knew right off the bat that this is a STORY. A number one issue. Marvel is gonna Marvel so just watch it unfold before you take a shot gun over to Stan Lee’s house[of ideas]. It boggles the imagination to think about what the online community would have done with something like the death of Superman or that god awful spider clone crapfest where we find out that Peter Parker is the clone..oh sweet evil jesus that was bad.”

Jeffrey: “Frothing fanboys and girls jumped the gun. Then again, the controversy and attention is exactly what Marvel wanted. Mission accomplished.”

Hyde: “The detractors of the twist are still there. It’s just that it’s changed to how it was a pointless twist and still going on about it being a travesty. People had a knee jerk reaction and it seems that the story had its legs cut out because people just wouldn’t let it breathe. I’m sure they’ll say that was the plan all along, but something like that resolved in one issue? No.”

Mark of Excellence: “I guess we’ll know by issue 3, but I have a feeling issue 2 was meant to be issue 5 or 6. I’m assuming the original plan was to let things stew a bit before it was shown to be Red Skull and Cosmic Cube shenanigans. But the fan outrage was too much and they had to push the revelation issue up a bit.”

Shawn S. Lealos: “I wonder if the people who complain about the first Captain America issue and threatened to never read another Cap comic also walk out early in a movie when something happens that turns out to not be as it seems instead of watching the rest of the movie to see how it all works out?

And to the people who stupidly think that Marvel changed things due to the complaints, it takes a lot longer than a couple of weeks to write, draw, ink, shade, and complete an issue. This story was planned out ahead of time. The complainers are just either (a) people who don’t really read comics anyway, (b) people who just live to complain about things, (c) people who consider this lazy storytelling, or (d) idiots

I do like one thing that I read somewhere – a lot of people hated Sam Wilson becoming Captain America because he was black and Captain America shouldn’t be black. I hated it because I hate changing developed characters just to change them and feel that making Falcon a stronger character would have helped Sam Wilson more than making him Cap. But, for the people who hated Captain America being a black man, they bring back Steve Rogers and seemingly make him a Nazi, which makes him at heart a racist, just like the fans who can’t accept a black Captain America.”

Rafe Antonio Ruiz: “Millenial nonsense….”

Mike Watson: “People were less mad about Cap dying because only Uncle Ben stays dead.”

Jenny Says..: “People need to learn that this is a comic. Times change, retcons occur.

Prime example: Frank Castle taking over the mob, and later becoming an avenging Angel. He isn’t either one of those now. Let the comic proceed and it’ll eventually iron itself out.”

Cactus: “So they literally flopped on this in the second issue? So now going forward in the story is just waiting to see how he will learn/realize that his memories of joining Hydra were fabricated? I’m asking legitimately, because they made such a HUGE deal about “Oh no, this isn’t a clone, or a doppleganger, etc this will stick!” but that’s exactly what it is…”

Al Lobama: “I’m a little late to the party on this one (last week was pretty busy at work), but better late than never, I guess.

I hated the first issue of ANAD Steve Rogers, and I equally hate the explanation. The problem with the Cosmic Cube deus ex machina (besides the inherent laziness of it) is the gaping logic hole it leaves open. The Red Skull has his most coveted weapon back in his possession, a device that can bend both time and space to his will and make any thought a reality, he uses it to make Steve Rogers think he’s a bad guy. Okay, but why stop there? Why not make every superhero on Earth think THEY’RE in Hydra, too? Why not make all the world leaders think they’re in Hydra? Why not just take over the damn world? For a villain with near godlike power, choosing to use it embarrass/discredit your arch rival is pretty pedestrian stuff, and I would expect a better master plan from the Red freakin’ Skull.

As for whether Marvel caved to the criticism and changed Issue Two, most people (including a few comic book industry pros I have talked to) all seem to unanimously think that it would be impossible switch things up that close to print time and the issue two we got was the issue we were supposed to get. Historically speaking, though, there are two instances at Marvel is capable of doing so if they wanted to. There was an instance in the early 90’s ( I want to say it was Silver Sable and the Wild Pack) where one of the creators quit after the first, with the impression being that he only took the assignment to receive the additional sales royalties that come from working on a number one issue. Since Marvel usually had three finished issues in the can before going to print, they changed the print order so that the second issue became the first issue and the replacement creator got the royalties instead, with the original number one being used later as a fill in issue. To that end, it’s not outside the realm of possibility that the editor shuffled issue three up the rotation and made it the number two issue to squelch the backlash a month early.

The other more famous instance was the ending of the Dark Phoenix Saga. The story told by all involved (see Phoenix: The Untold Story) was that EIC Jim Shooter read the finished pages for X-Men #135 (where Dark Phoenix caused the destruction the D’bari planet), which resulted in him demanding that the ending for the story arc (issue #137, which as already in the can) be completely changed. The original ending had Jean being separated from the Phoenix Force and rejoining the team as a good guy, which Shooter thought was a cop out, as destroying an entire planet and it’s race of people should have greater repercussions. So that gave the creative team close to two months to to rewrite and redraw practically an entire issue before it went to press (although I’d have to go back and compare #137 to P: TUS to see how many pages ended up being salvageable). That’s significantly less time than the ANADSR team would have had, obviously, so my guess would be it was case of the former (changing the order of completed issues) than the later (completely overhauling the issue before it goes to print), but I’d still say the later is unlikely rather than impossible.”

As always, thanks for the comments!

This week we tackle…

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Who is Iron Man’s Mother?

I originally had a nice, long column written about the Marvel NOW! “Divided We Stand”/”I Quit” initiative going around but with the news that it leads into a new Champions series, all the mystery is suddenly gone.

Suffice to say, I’m intrigued by the new Champions book.

Instead, I’m turning my attention on the latest news about Marvel revealing the mystery of Tony Stark’s true parentage! The idea has been simmering for years since Kieron Gillen introduced the idea that Tony is adopted and the upcoming International Iron Man #5 is set to reveal the identity of his birth mother, which will lead to the full family reveal later this year.

With something like this, we expect Marvel to make it a huge reveal, someone we know and will be shocked to learn the truth. Already rumors are making the rounds about who it will be and thanks to some previews, word is it’s…I’ll hold off till the end to say.

My question is: Who cares who Tony Stark’s mom is? It seems the comic book industry is obsessed with over-explaining every possible angle. While it was done before, I point to the 2001-2002 series Wolverine: The Origin as the tipping point. Writers and creative teams have been milking any and every possible tidbit for a new and exciting storyline. Even if it’s one that doesn’t need to be told.

When it comes to Tony Stark, there aren’t many characters who could elicit a reaction from the readers. Marvel has made it clear they’re revealing Tony’s mother first: “Tony Stark comes face-to-face with his biological mother,” they promise.

If you don’t want to be SPOILED don’t go any further.

The early word is his mom will be one of the following:

Natasha Romanoff (Black Widow)
Peggy Carter
Aunt May

Quite a list to choose from and each holds an interesting answer about who Tony’s dad is. Each has their own pros and cons when it comes to continuity and shock factor. While Black Widow is the early leader, do they really want to confuse new fans? You can imagine someone watching The Avengers and seeing Black Widow on the big screen and then pick up the comic and find out she’s his mom. Peggy Carter is a nice tie to Captain America but it feels a little too forced. With Aunt May…c’mon.

What do you think? Is Tony’s true parentage crucial information? Who do you think his mom is?
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That’s all the time I have. Check out our Comic Book Reviews tomorrow and see you next week!