Saturday, January 1, 2011

Best of "What If...?": #20

Special (1988)
What if Iron Man had been a traitor?

CoverWritten by Peter Gillis
Drawn by Steve Ditko and Pat Redding

Anthony Stark is brilliant, and he is dying. Days ago, American soldiers were escorting him through the jungles of Vietnam, where he was observing tests of weapons which he himself had designed. Then, one errant footstep set off an anti-personnel mine, killing Tony’s guards and embedding shrapnel in his chest.

A band of guerrillas soon stumbled upon the unconscious weapons designer and carried him off to their leader, Wong Chu. This mountain of a man informed Tony upon his revival that the metal buried in his breast would reach his heart in under a week. But until that time, his considerable intellect would not be wasted.

Commanded to invent an awesome new weapon, Tony spends what could be his final days designing something truly amazing: a suit of armor fitted to double as his life-support. With the pull of one final switch, Tony shall become invincible.

But before Tony can power his armor on, he is set upon by Wong Chu and transported to the headquarters of a superior officer. When this man learns of the dual purpose of Tony’s armor, he modifies it so that it can be powered off at the push of a button. And then, he offers Tony an ultimatum: betray America or die…

“You will go along-- and try to find a loophole. Think of it as a battle of wits…”

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