The Ultron Agenda has ripped its way through the pages of Tony Stark: Iron Man -- and it looks like the titular might not be the same after it. The dark plan engineered by Hank Pym/Ultron appears to have had some pretty gnarly side-effects, all while taking Tony Stark's recent internal conflict to new heights. Spoilers for Tony Stark: Iron Man #16, which arrives in stores this week, below! Only look if you want to know!
The issue opened with Hank/Ultron making his presence known on Earth, after he somehow managed to survive flying into the sun years prior. After already kidnapping Janet Van Dyne in last month's issue, Hank/Ultron came to kidnap Jacosta, who was in the middle of being upgraded into more of a humanoid by Arno Stark.
Meanwhile, Tony and his team attempted to separate Wonder Man and Vision, who had been presumably merged together by Ultron in the previous issue. The fusion did not appear to be able to be undone, but Tony continued anyway, in an attempt to find out more about where Janet had gone. Tony determined that Ultron was gathering the human and robot doppelgangers for some nefarious purpose.
After a fight in a robot bar, Tony was able to determine that Jacosta was in the middle of getting upgraded by Arno. They went to Arno's lab, only to find that Jacosta had been taken, and that Hank/Ultron was using the secret tunnels beneath Avengers mansion. That proved to be correct, as Hank/Ultron was seeking to fuse Janet and Jacosta together, so they could serve as the first female of the robot takeover.
Tony and his team arrived, and discovered that Hank/Ultron had created an army of human/robot guinea pigs, who had been grossly mutated in an attempt to test his technology. Tony and Machine Man tried to fight off Hank, who kick-started the molecular fusion anyway. As the clock counted down, Tony got Jacosta and Janet to safety -- just as he was hit with the fusion. Janet watched in horror as Tony was now fused together with his Iron Man armor.
The plot twist is certainly a gruesome one, and it will be interesting to see if and how Tony manages to break free from the fusion. It also adds a whole new context to Tony's conflict about being human or robotic, something that has been at the forefront of recent issues. Of course, recent news that the series will be ending with Issue #18 takes the wind out of the proverbial sails a little, but it still sets the groundwork for an interesting road ahead.
Tony Stark: Iron Man #16 is available in stores now. Issue #17 will arrive on October 23rd.