Starting with February's issue #6, Kieron Gillen will be taking Tony Stark into space with the beginning of the "Godkiller" arc. According to the "Phonogram" writer, this arc will bridge Iron Man's time on Earth and recently-announced membership in the Guardians of the Galaxy.
Gillen explains that the storyline follows Tony as he becomes a "heroic space knight figure" as he deals with the history and the legacy of the Phoenix Force. The writer says that the way he likes to think of the story is Tony's "Conan" tale--which also figures into the character's new armor.
The arc, which flows, in part, out of the recently-concluded "Avengers Vs. X-Men," sees Tony going interstellar with his adventures in what he consciously treats like a 30's space serial as a way of dealing with a crisis of faith. This "crisis" isn't a religious one (which would be an odd-fit for the notoriously irreligious Stark), but one of Tony's feeling about his place in the world. He'll question what he's been doing with his life and poking at the contradictions within the character.
Gillen describes it as a fish out of water story, where Tony the romantic deals with the harsh and weird realities of extraterrestrial cultures. But Gillen says that we shouldn't look at this as a downer story: Tony is driven by a hunger for knowledge and exploration which will push the story forward as opposed to self-doubt. For Gillen, there's a kind of joy to the story he's telling.
At the same time, the arc deals with some of the anger and tension within the character--what does it mean to be a futurist (something he explores in issue #5) and what does it mean to be a capitalist. Likewise, it's about "the weaponization of faith" by other factions in the book as Tony journeys deeper into space.
The storyline also emerges from a storyline focused on Extremis, which Tony is chasing down as part of the current arc Gillen is building in the relaunched "Iron Man." Also featured prominently: Tony's facial hair as the armored Avenger may or may not get some kind of rich facial foliage in the next arc.
Gillen wouldn't talk much about the supporting cast going into "Godkiller," saying that he's had to be delicate about what would be happening to Pepper and Tony's friends while he's out in space. Gillen did hint that something about Stark's relationship with Pepper will be integral to the arc, but wouldn't elaborate. He did give away that cyborg mercenary Death's Head would be making an appearance, the second time the writer has used the character since his brief stint on "S.W.O.R.D." where he showed up to snipe at and pitch snark at the cast of that book before making a grand, explosive re-entrance.
"Iron Man" #6 launches in February with art by Greg Land.
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