It still doesn’t look like Marvel’s abandoning the terrible retcon Kieron Gillen did on Tony Stark nearly a decade ago, turning Shell-Head into an adopted son with a stepbrother as heir to his enterprise. But even if they have, Jason Aaron’s ruining everything with a shoddy Avengers story described in this gushy, fluff-coated Screen Rant article, where they make it sound like Tony’s discovered he’s the son of Mephisto:
In previews for Avengers #31 by Jason Aaron and Gerardo Zaffino, it’s heavily implied that Tony’s parents are up to something sinister. He discovers his parents taking place in a bizarre ritual that’s akin to worshipping the devil. A young, traumatized Tony sees people seemingly sacrifice their souls, and he stares directly in the face of a masked man referred to as “the devil.” It turns out the devil has more of a connection to him than he ever thought possible.
Avengers #31 sees Tony separated from the superteam as he explores the mystery of a million-year-old Iron Man helmet being discovered in the depths of a cave. Upon investigation, he’s sent back in time. As he descends into madness as his armor starts to fail him, he’s visited by a talking snake (the devil). The snake tells Tony he wants his soul. Tony jokingly declines, saying he “traded that for a daiquiri in 1998.” However, the snake asks him “do you know how someone becomes the smartest man in the world?” saying it came at a cost for Howard Stark. The snake says Tony belongs to him and that he was the price paid for Howard. In a stunning revelation, the Snake is about to say “I’m your real father,” before Stark kills it by bashing it in with his helmet.
The devil returns in the form of Howard to Tony at the cave, as flashbacks reveal his soul had already been sold by his adopted dad. Howard tells him he’ll show him how to rule worlds and extends his hand for Tony to join him – Tony immediately shoots a sharpened icicle through his head. His dad respawns as a time-stone wielding Mephisto, who claims he’s Tony’s real father. After being brought back to the present timeline after fighting with Mephisto, Stark heads straight to Vegas for answers from the devil. Iron Man departs after telling Mephisto to “kiss my iron ass.” The issue ends with Howard Stark appearing in front of Mephisto and claiming he knows how to break down Tony while uttering “all hail Mephisto.”
It was bad enough when Peter Parker made a faustian pact with Mephisto at Mary Jane Watson’s expense. And it got worse when Steve Rogers was turned into a Hydra-Nazi declaring “hail Hydra” for publicity’s sake. Now Aaron’s joining this atrocious direction for shock value, and making everyone wonder if Tony Stark’s the next victim of the same approach. The SR writer ends his article with the following atrocity:
The issue is an exciting rewrite of Stark’s history. Is the devil really his father? Did Howard make a deal with Mephisto that granted Tony his intellect and success? Is Howard really alive? There’s a lot of questions to be answered, but Avengers #31 adds an exciting, devilish element to Tony Stark’s backstory. Things aren’t about to get any easier for Tony once he finds out more.
Things aren’t about to improve for Tony or the rest of Marvel with these trolling stunts. They’re deliberately beating a dead horse to show what they really think of Stan Lee’s fans, and so long as Marvel remains in Disney’s ownership and the mainstream press defends them, the revolting scripts won’t stop.
Originally published here.