It’s time once again for another Marvel’s Next Big Thing press call. Today, we spoke to writer Kieron Gillen about “The Godkiller,” the next major story arc in his newly launched Iron Man series. February’s Iron Man #6 marks a departure for the series’ structure, transition from the one-and-done episodic formula of the first five to a series of three-issue serials. But that’s hardly the most significant change.
This is the part where Tony goes to outer space…
…but before the bit where he hooks up with the Guardians of the Galaxy.
As you can see, it has a bit to do with the Phoenix Force as well. We’ll see a bit of AvX residue in Tony’s state of mind, a bit of a crisis in belief. Once Tony’s actually in deep space, we’ll learn a bit more about that cosmic entity’s backstory. After all, the futurist is now inexorably linked with the Phoenix, and its ashen trail runs pretty deep out there in the vacuum. Gillen likens this story to space opera with a Conan the Barbarian twist. Planet Hulk wasn’t mentioned, but that doesn’t seem to far off from Gillen’s proposed settings. There’s a bit of a Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court vibe, with Tony regarded as a “space knight in an ancient civilization.”
We asked what this means for Tony’s love life, given his reputation as an incurable, platinum-collared hound. Would Tony give James T. Kirk a run for his gold-pressed Latinum (I know that’s not a hugely accurate gag, but whatever)? Gillen said that there’d be a bit of skirt chasing, but it may or may not be a successful endeavor.
Meanwhile, Pepper Potts will retain some kind of connection to Tony while he’s off in space, but we don’t know quite what that means just yet.
How will Tony fair so many light years from his bank account, we wondered. We’ve seen him prove his ingenuity more than once when marooned in other worlds, but with an extended vacation like this, how would he adapt? Gillen explained that Tony’s only taking one suit, but it’s quite a bit of kit. “He thinks his suit will do the job it’s required for and it’s designed for ‘I’m going to space as an adventure, as an explorer and as a hero,’” said Gillen. But rolling with the punches without a support staff? That could get dicey.
The real draw of course is seeing Tony outside of his comfort zone. Gillen has big plans for this venue change as an opportunity for character growth. ”There are a lot of things that he’s not sure about, that’s part of what the story is, self-discovery.”