Continuing the ’Big 2’s’ relatively recent policy of revealing spoilers of big storylines to the national media before the storyline reaches most comic book readers, Marvel Wednesday revealed the big pay-off to the Kieron Gillen’s “The Origin of Tony Stark” story arc, and SPOILER WARNING for anyone trying to avoid them until reading Iron Man #17 sometime today or later…
[You’ve been sufficiently warned]…
Tony Stark was adopted. And he has a brother, Arno, Tony and Maria Stark’s natural son who was “imbued with alien technology proffered by the rogue android 451 - who has been hidden away from the world, laden with unknown abilities and, perhaps, powers,” according to the AP.
Yes, you read that right.
According to the news wire service, Gillen calls it a “new challenge for Stark, one that is closer to home and more down to earth than his normal conflicts, which have included villainous masterminds, god-like alien intelligences and mechanical behemoths, among others.”
"What could I do to challenge the characters' core conception of their self," Gillen said in an interview. "When you discover something about yourself, you reprocess. How does it churn in the gut? How do you re-examine your life? It's a completely different prism in how you study yourself."
The AP reports Tony will be both accepting of the new revelations yet still experiencing “a swirl of emotion as the facts of his life come out in full view and meeting his brother, Arno, who has been in a hospital his entire life, wanting for nothing, but an enigma regardless.”
The idea of Tony's being adopted rather than a genetic heir to Howard Stark’s genius changes nothing about him as a Stark, added Marvel Editor-in-Chief Axel Alonso.
"When Kieron pitched the story, the bottom line question for us was 'Does this open up the doorway to stories that are worth telling?'" Alonso told the AP. "And it does. Who are Tony's parents? Will he want to know them? How will he feel about Howard? How will this affect the dynamic between father and son?"
That, continued Alonso, will enrich Tony and, by extension, Iron Man
"When you introduce a twist this big to an iconic character's life, you have to do due diligence and think through all the angles," he said. "We will definitely have something to say about adoptions and what it means."