On this edition of the Word Balloon podcast, Marvel writer Matt Fraction comments on the startling events in The Invincible Iron Man #19.SPOILERS FOR THE END OF THE ARC AHOY, AND IN THE PODCAST
At the end of the issue, Tony Stark has been physically crushed by The Iron Patriot/Norman Osborn and in the custody of the government task force H.A.M.M.E.R. Despite losing the physical battle with Osborn, Tony successfully wiped his mind clean of the identities of the Marvel Heroes, but at the cost of losing all cognitive power. Stark is "brain dead," in a persistent vegetative state. Osborn was ready to pull the plug, but Tony's living will placed his life/death power of attorney in the hands of Dr Donald Blake (Thor).
"That moment of Norman saying "Who the hell is Dr. Donald Blake ?" That was as I was making the pitch for the book up in my first editorial retreat, out of my mouth riffing. I had these first four story lines to go from the start ...issues 1-25 were all put together in my head."
We also talk about the new monthly cover design from Ryan Hughes, incorporating Savador Larocca's art, beginning this month in Iron Man #20, and the story Stark Disassembled.
"I've always thought of Iron Man as a science fiction comic... set 20 minutes from now...I think just after winning the Eisner, I figured if I were ever going to spend this chip, it can be played right now ...convincing (then editor) Warren Simons that I could talk to Ryan and span the gap between art school kid and comic book guy, and I think we have."
We talk about his run on Uncanny X-Men and the focus on Magneto and Cyclops relationship in the newly formed Nation X: "Who these two men are now, and how these situtations force how they relate to each other is a big part of Nation X."
Other topics include...
Namor's place in the Mutant World:
"He's around as a wild card... I enjoy writing him, and wanted very badly for him to be around...he has chosen to honor the Mutant part that he is, and will be part of the X-Men story for the forseable future....he's such a great fit for the book and where they are now."
Emma Frost's current status, having to stay in her diamond form, to keep that piece of the Sentry's psyche at bay:
"Nightcrawler discovered what Scalphunter's cargo is. He's coming to drop 5 Predator X's on the island...you're gonna want an omega class telepath working for you, and she's not able to. Emma's status gets resolved in the next Terry Dobson issues, 518 and 519."
Fraction also hints at things to come, as stories like Stark Disassembled lead into the the next big 2010 status quo in the Marvel Universe called The Heroic Age, first discussed publicly by David Gabriel, Marvel Comics’ Senior Vice President of Sales at the Diamond Daily website.
"Coming from Siege and going into The Heroic Age...we're playing with the popular toys and everyone is going to be in everybody's business...there is a big macro story that is falling together by design or dumb luck to where we are. Hang on tight!"