Marvel’s strongest cosmic force eats Iron Man alive.

Iron Man’s new connection to the Power Cosmic comes at a high price, but perhaps the cost of omnipotence is just what Iron Man needs right now.

WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Iron Man # 14, which are now available from Marvel Comics.

As savvy and intelligent as Tony Stark is, the Armored Avenger has its fair share of inner demons whom it weakly holds at bay while presenting himself as one of the most polite Playboy billionaires in the Marvel Universe. Tony’s battle against cosmic supervillain Korvac has resurrected many of those dormant demons and unsolved problems that he has harbored over the years, and after connecting himself to the Power Cosmic, Tony finds all of his consciousness under his own control. Perhaps this will give him the opportunity he has long needed to exorcise these old ghosts from his psyche.

Tony’s recent battle with Korvac has become a very personal match, with Korvac asking Tony for help before being firmly rejected and deciding to devote his efforts to gaining cosmic omnipotence in order to regain deity. At the heart of Korvac’s plan was the Power Cosmic, the raw energy that powers Galactus and the Silver Surfer, embedded in Galactus’ world ship.

After the World Eater was recently killed by Thor, the ship was empty, although Galactus’s security systems were still in place to defend the Power Cosmic, as Tony and friends discovered. In Ironman # 19 by Christopher Cantwell, Cafu, Angel Unzueta, Frank D’Armata, and Joe Caramagna of VC, Tony’s highest rise in access to the Power Cosmic leads to an unexpected self-therapy session.

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Iron Man deals with his past

The first thing Tony sees after connecting with the Power Cosmic is his own memories of an unhappy childhood where he was neglected by his parents and years later after their tragic death in a car accident. Tony then imagines a conversation with his father Howard Stark from the afterlife, with Howard still being as strict and disappointed in his son as ever.

He mocks the boy for not being able to bring about any real, lasting change despite his intelligence. As he goes through this imaginary ordeal, he gets used to the new strength his body has absorbed. Tony seems ready to accept eternity and his immense new abilities.

For Tony, this confrontation with his inner demons comes after his drug addiction problems reappear. After sustaining serious injuries from a previous battle with Korvac and his overzealous supervillain cult, Tony began dodging on the Iron Man armor’s morphine supply and relying too much on this potent pain reliever. This incident is in keeping with Tony’s renewed bouts of temptation stemming from his alcoholism as he and his associates grapple with the magical threats unleashed on Earth after Doctor Strange’s death.

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Iron Man Tony Stark Morphine

Now as in command of the Power Cosmic, Tony’s perspective on space and time has changed, but this has allowed him a period of self-examination that he has denied himself for months.

Absolute power rarely comes without consequences in any universe, especially the Marvel Universe, and Tony may see the dark side of his cosmic ascension soon enough, but this significant improvement has also given him a unique perspective on the places of his psyche that he has reached most to fear. Tony survived this cosmic surge and is ready to defeat Korvac once and for all, and with his demons hopefully finally buried, Iron Man will be stronger than ever, no matter how long his connection to the Power Cosmic lasts.

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