Marvel Action: Avengers continues to tell the story of the brainwashed Tony Stark in it’s second issue, which begins to shed more light onto what the evil AIM (Advanced Ideas Mechanics) are up to.
With Iron Man missing his memories thanks to the evil organisation he’d been led to believe that he’s one of their agents, operating the stolen Iron Man suit. It’s interesting that Matthew Manning has decided to go with this idea, instead of the standard Avenger being turned evil plot that is often used in the comics.
Rather than simply being the hero turned bad it put both Stark and the rest of the team in an interesting position. The Avengers think that Tony has been kidnapped and that an AIM agent is operating his stolen suit, and Tony thinks the same, but that he’s the agent. Instead of a simple fight the bad version of the hero and snap him out of his brainwashing scenario the heroes don’t even know that they need to break the brainwashing because they don’t know it’s him. It’s a great twist on a fairly common trope.
We do get to see, however, that this brainwashing isn’t perfect, with Tony having flashes of his adventures as Iron Man coming and going. Whilst the AIM scientists try to make him think that this is just a byproduct of using the armour it starts to become clear to him by the end of the issue that it’s more than that. Perhaps this less than perfect mind control will allow the rest of the team to be able to snap Tony out of it by the end of the story arc.
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The issue also introduces an old foe of the Avengers, who is now also under the control of AIM. The giant space dragon Fing Fang Foom. Whilst one of the most ridiculous characters that could have been chosen to be pit against the heroes it’s brilliant to see him flying into battle against them, and will certainly lead to an exciting fight in the third issue.
In the first issue the designs of the characters costumes bore some analysis, and whilst the second doesn’t introduce a load of new looks, Fing Fang Foom is essentially exactly the same, it does offer a couple of neat new looks. During one of Tony’s memory flashes we get to see an older version of Captain America, complete with his classic fish scale armour look, and gets an upgrade into the Advanced Iron Mechanic, the Iron Man armour with an AIM aesthetic over the top of it.
Marvel Action: Avengers continues to tell an interesting and engaging story, and whilst it doesn’t move events forward in huge ways this issue it does set the stage for a huge confrontation in the third issue, and fingers crossed a satisfying conclusion.
Marvel Action: Avengers #2 is now available from IDW Publishing.