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Abandoned Love: The Titanic Tale of Teen Tony Stark, AKA Iron Teen

by  in Comic News Comment

Every week, we will be examining comic book stories, plots and ideas that were abandoned by a later writer while still acknowledging that the abandoned story DID still happen. Click here for an archive of all the previous editions of Abandoned Love. Feel free to e-mail me at bcronin@comicbookresources.com if you have any suggestions for future editions of this feature.

This week, we take a look at how Marvel resolved the whole “Iron Man is a bad guy and has been replaced by a teen version of himself from the past” storyline from the mid-1990s.

In 1995, Marvel had a crossover event between Avengers, Force Works, Iron Man and War Machine. It was titled the Crossing and the bare bones plot is that Tony Stark was revealed to have been manipulated by Kang since Tony was a young man. Tony secretly turns on his fellow Avengers and surreptitiously kills a couple of them, including the nanny for Crysal and Quicksilver’s daughter, Luna. In Iron Man #323, Luna reveals her thoughts via some sort of thought scanner…



Now revealed as a bad guy, Iron Man takes on his former friends in Avengers #393…




So now Iron Man and Kang are working together against the Avengers. The Avengers figure that the only person that could stop Tony Stark is, well, Tony Stark. So they travel back in time to right before Kang first corrupted Tony. They bring the teenage version of Tony into the present.

In Iron Man #325, he is like the proverbial kid in the candy shop…



He uses one of Tony Stark’s Iron Man armors to fight against old, evil Tony, but things don’t go well for the younger Tony…



In Avengers #395, old Tony finally breaks free from Kang’s control long enough to stop Kang’s big ol’ McGuffin device, at the cost of his own life…



Old Tony has one more good deed to do before he dies…


So now young Tony takes over as Iron Man in the regular title, with a futuristic chest plate of his own keeping himself alive…


After a few months, in the battle against Onslaught, a number of superheroes sacrifice themselves to stop Onslaught…


So how did this lead to the return of adult Tony? Read on!

As it turns out, they did not die but instead were transported to another Earth and here, Tony is back to being an older fellow…


After a year, the heroes returned to the regular Marvel Earth and old Tony Stark returned to his own title…



As you might imagine, Marvel chose to pretty much ignore teen Tony for awhile. Finally, after a couple of years, Kurt Busiek addressed what exactly happened in Avengers Annual 2001, as Jarvis answers some questions. He explains the basic story of how Iron Man turned evil and how young Tony was brought to the present…



The theory is that Franklin Richards, who was the reason that the heroes all survived, using his reality-altering powers to “fix” Iron Man, so when he returned he was the way Franklin remembered him, so that required altering Iron Man back to his old, familiar state. This, though, does not make Tony Stark feel any less guilty over what happened before Onslaught…



So THAT’s how you return Iron Man back to “normal” after a strange detour through time travel and a Teen Tony, an “Iron Teen,” as it were.

If YOU have a suggestion for an abruptly dropped storyline, e-mail me at bcronin@comicbookresources.com