Tony Stark: Iron Man has accumulated a pretty significant ensemble throughout recent issues, as the series' titular character comes to terms with his own ever-changing sentience and mortality. That conflict hit a fever pitch in this week's issue -- and a familiar face was brought in in the process.
Spoilers for Tony Stark: Iron Man #15 below! Only look if you want to know!
The issue opened with Tony facing trial for the flaws in eScape's technology, which prompted a question of exactly how sentient and responsible artificial intelligence should be of their own decisions. Tony then outed himself as a potential artificial intelligence -- news that quickly spread into the mainstream.
As the trial was happening, Vision and Wonder Man both arrived at Avengers Mansion, believing that Tony had contacted them for help with the controversy. Jarvis - or a cyborg appearing to look like Jarvis - answered the door and brought the pair inside, only to shock them with some sort of mysterious technology.
As the issue went on, Tony and Janet Van Dyne began to confront the robot protestors that had risen up in the wake of Tony's comments. They then were confronted by Wonder Man and Vision, who had been corrupted into hybrids of each other and were hell-bent on removing Tony from "the equation" and kidnapping Janet. They successfully transported Janet to "Jarvis", who zapped her as well and took her as a prisoner.
Janet woke up in some sort of stasis tube, and soon learned who cyborg Jarvis was working for. It was Ultron/Hank Pym, who was excited to see Janet once again and "get down to business".
As readers will remember, Ultron merged with Hank Pym in a freak accident during the Rage of Ultron event, and ended up abandoning Earth. He returned and attempted to rejoin the Avengers later on, but the team quickly realized that Ultron had the upper hand over Hank. Ultron/Hank then survived being thrown into the sun, played an integral role in the "Secret Empire" event, and attempted to collect the Infinity Stones. Most recently, his soul fragment had been trapped in Soul World, and subsequently eaten by Devondra.0comments
The series has been teasing the "Ultron Agenda" for several months now, but the circumstances surrounding it still remained a mystery. If this issue is any indication, we still don't really know exactly how Ultron/Hank returned, much less how he managed to overtake so many elements of Tony's life. Either way, it's safe to say that it will set up a pretty interesting conflict for Tony in the issues to come.
Tony Stark: Iron Man #16 will arrive in stores on September 18th.
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