SPOILER WARNING: The following article contains major spoilers for The Invincible Iron Man #593, by Brian Michael Bendis, Alex Maleev and Stefano Caselli, on sale now.
The newly renumbered Invincible Iron Man packed a lot into its debut/return issue, even by Marvel Legacy standards. As the continuation of not just the previous volume of Invincible Iron Man starring Ironheart, but also the continuation of Infamous Iron Man which starred the seemingly heroic Victor Von Doom, the sole Iron Man title in Marvel Legacy has a lot of weight to pull in order to catch everyone up to what they may have previously missed. Add to that the fact that Tony Stark is currently in a coma following the events of Civil War II, and there’s a lot to digest when diving into this so-called jumping on point, and by the end of the issue you may have more questions than answers.
Tony Stark is currently in an artificially-induced coma following his fight with Carol Danvers at the end of Civil War II, but Stark Industries is still very much up and running, thanks to the ladies in Tony’s life. The most recognizable of these characters is Mary Jane Watson, one time partner of Peter Parker and the person in charge of Stark Industries’ day-to-day while Tony is unavailable. Mary Jane has help in much of the nitty gritty via Friday, the artificial intelligence which Tony Stark designed to help do exactly that. Friday didn’t just help run the Iron Man armor for Tony when he was around, she’s embedded into the very core of Stark Industries and knows everything about everything.
The current public face of Stark Industries is Amanda Armstrong, and if you didn’t read Brian Michael Bendis and Alex Maleev’s International Iron Man, you may be a bit lost as to who she is. Years ago, Tony Stark learned that he was in fact adopted by Howard and Maria and discovered the existence of a previously unknown brother, Arno Stark. He later decided to investigate the identity of his birth parents and discovered that his mother was Amanda Armstrong, a former agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. who used her day job as a touring singer/songwriter to travel the world and hide in plain sight. When she discovered her partner — Tony’s father — was a double agent working for Hydra, she stabbed him in the throat and put the baby up for adoption, where it was intercepted and raised by Howard Stark. Tony was briefly reunited with his mother before he was taken out of action, and since then she’s been working to keep Stark Industries afloat.
That leaves one more character helping keep Tony’s legacy alive — Ironheart, AKA Riri Williams. Following a successful mission in Latveria where she deposed Lucia Von Bardas and gave the country back to the people, Ironheart is now an internationally known and beloved hero. However, she still doesn’t quite know who she wants to be or where she fits in. An important plot point which hasn’t been forgotten about is that Riri has offers from many different universities and insititutions to come work alongside them, including Cambridge, MIT and The Future Foundation. She’s also been extended an offer to officially join the team at Stark, but hasn’t given a solid answer yet, something which will likely play a big role in her future going forward.