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Emperor Stark

Season Two, Episode 45


Director(s) Boyd Kirkland

 Christopher Yost

Summary The Vision, having been injured in the confrontation with Ultron in a previous episode, is being placed in a 30-day sleep so that his auto-repair facilities can bring him back to operational status, repairing the damage.

The Vision wakes after 30 days, and finds that a lot can change in 30 days... he wakes, to find the Avengers Mansion deserted.  He goes outside, and finds the streets being patrolled by Iron Man robots the size of Sentinels.  A billboard across from the Mansion is of Tony Stark with creepy purple eyes, captioned "Stark Industries     A Better World".  TheVision seems shocked and appalled; in the distance, we see Iron Man, Captain America, and Thor inside the Stark International building.  The entire building is glowing with a purple energy field.
Captain America congratulates Tony Stark on fixing the world.

The Vision reboots J.A.R.V.I.S., who had been turned off.  J.A.R.V.I.S. tells the Vision that all Artificial Intelligences had been turned off fourteen days ago by Iron Man.  J.A.R.V.I.S. recounts that Tony Stark launched the Stark Engergizer satellite, to broadcast free power to the world.  Shortly thereafter, the United Nations met and disbanded, leaving Iron Man in charge of the world; Iron Man deployed his Iron Man robots and the Avengers around the world, taking over and crushing all resistance.  The Avengers are now positioned around the world, with Yellowjacket in London, Ms. Marvel in South America, the Wasp in Asia, etc.  Thor has become Iron Man's bodyguard, and Hawkeye runs the Iron Man robots.  He also tells the Vision that Captain America is behind him.

Captain America confronts the Vision, who Captain America thought was shut down.  Captain America declares that AI and presence in the Mansion are both illegal, and tries to shut the Vision down.  Projecting an image of Captain America defying Ultron breaks the brainwashing, and Captain America and the Vision fight Iron Man robots.  Iron Man, monitoring via the robots, questions why Captain America has turned against him, and out of the shadows walks Zebidah Killgrave, the Purple Man.

Captain America and the Vision defeat the Iron Man robots, but more are on the way.  The Vision allows J.A.R.V.I.S. to upload himself into the Vision, and the Vision and Captain America head out, avoiding the Iron Man robots that are trying to capture them.  With the quinjets removed to other location, Captain America borrows Hawkeye's skycycle, and they are off.

The Vision tells Captain America that he detects an unknown eneergy field around the city.  The energy has the same power over humans as the pheremones of the Purple Man, and Captain America recalls that just before Iron Man took over the world, there had been an alert; Iron Man had apprehended Killgrave and turned him over to SHIELD.

Captain America and Vision reason that the Purple Man took over Iron Man with his compulsion powers, and made Iron man build the satellite capable of carrying the energy to take over the rest of the world.

Back in Stark's office, the Purple Man gives Stark the order to find and kill Captain America and the Vision.  Stark resists, but the Purple Man approaches him closely, and tells him that Killgrave may have given Stark a psuh, but that all these plans were in his head from the beginning.  When Ms. Marvel calls in with a sighting of the fugitives, the Purple Man forces Stark to give the order to take them down.

Over Central Park, Ms. Marvel and Hawkeye attack Captain America and the Vision.   Hawkeye blows up Captain America's borrowed Skycycle, but not before Cap leaps onto Hawkeye's.  The two struggle, and Captain America goats Hawkeye's rebellious streak into breaking the Purple Man's control over him.  They leap to safety as the skycycle plows into a building rooftop.

Meanwhile, Ms. Marvel witnesses the crash, and the shock of thinking Hawkeye and Captain America dead breaks the Purple Man's control. The four of them regroup and begin to plan how to defeat the Purple Man.

Hawkeye, Ms. Marvel, and the Vision go to Hydro Base to take a quinjet.  They dispose of the Iron Man robot guards easily, but then have to face Thor.

Captain America crashes another skycycle through the windows of Iron Man's office, to be able to confront Iron Man directly.  Iron Man and Captain America fight, with Iron Man doing his best to resist the Purple Man's control, until Cap redirects Iron Man's blast back at him.  The Purple Man tries to re-establish control over Captain America, and Iron Man attacks again, knocking both Cap and Iron Man through a wall.

Back on Hydro Base, Thor and the Vision face off while Hawkeye and Ms. Marvel steal a quinjet.  Thor gets caught in the quinjet engine blast, and the Vision joins them inside.  Thor pursues as the Avengers head into near orbit to knock out the satellite. 

The satellite is guarded by a squad of Iron Man robots, some of whom attack while others stay on guard.  The Vision exits the quinjet to tackle Thor, increasing his density to 500 tons, striking the Thunder God like a crashing meteor.  Both of them crater on Earth.

In Stark's office, Captain America and Iron Man are still fighting it out, with Captain America trying to take out the Purple Man to shake his control over Iron Man.

On the quinjet, Hawkeye is about to blast the satellite when the Purple Man energy re-establishes control over Ms. Marvel, who attacks Hawkeye.  Hawkeye uses a Flare Arrow to blind Ms. Marvel long enough to make a bank shot off of Iron Man robots to disable the satellite.

On Earth, the destruction of the satellite frees Thor.  On the quinjet, Ms. Marvel returns to normal before she splatters Hawkeye all over the quinjet.

In Stark's office, Iron Man has gained the upper hand, and Killgrave eases slightly off his control of Stark, so that Stark can be tortured by knowing he just blasted the head off of Captain America.  With the destruction of the satellite, Stark regains control of himself for a moment before Killgrave can re-establish control.

J.A.R.V.I.S. takes that moment to over-ride Stark's control of the Iron Man armor long enough to reactivate Iron Man's air filtration system.  Cut off from the Purple Man's pheremonal control, Iron Man turns and blasts the Purple Man instead.  Surrounded by angry Avengers, the Purple Man is knocked out by Iron Man.

Afterwards, Iron Man and Captain America are standing on the roof of the Avengers Mansion. Iron Man is repairing the damage he has caused, and Iron Man blames himself for not being strong enough to break free of the Purple Man's control.  Captain America sets him straight, telling him that Stark sending Cap to the Avengers Mansion to capture the Vision was no accident, and that Captaim Americe believes in Tony Stark, the man.

Commentary It has been well-documented that his thirty-day sleep would have rendered him incapable of appearing in the Yellowjacket episode.  It can't take place before, as Pym appears as yellowjacket in the episode.

Clearly, the idea that someone might think of taking over the world but never actually do it hadn't occured to the Purple Man.  I want bacon, but my health won't let me, so I don't do it. 

If Ms. Marvel is overseeing matters in South America, how could she report the Captain America/Vision sighting?

Over Central Park, Ms. Marvel and Hawkeye attack Captain America and the Vision.   

Where did Captain America get his third skycycle?

Notes According to Christopher Yost, the first draft of this was a straightfoward adaptation of the "Emperor Doom" graphic novel by Peter David, but the story took off in another direction in revision.  Originally, Wonder Man was cast in the Vision's role.